San Antonio Artist Jennifer Ling Datchuk, Artist Nari Ward Win $50,000 ‘United States Artists’ Fellowships

by Christopher Blay January 22, 2020

Jennifer Ling Datchuk

United States Artists (USA), a national arts funding organization based in Chicago, IL., has announced its 2020 USA Fellows, including San Antonio-based artist Jennifer Ling Datchuk, and Nari Ward, whose exhibition We The People closed last November at the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston. Fifty artists across ten creative disciplines will receive unrestricted $50,000 cash awards that honor their creative accomplishments and support their ongoing artistic and professional development.

The fellowships are awarded in Architecture & Design, Craft, Dance, Film, Media, Music, Theater & Performance, Traditional Arts, Visual Art, and Writing, and fellows are nominated and selected by a panel.


Nari Ward, via Architectural Digest, courtesy of the artist and Lehmann Maupin

Past awardees include Houston artist Rick Lowe (2009), trumpeter and composer Terence Blanchard (2018), cartoonist Lynda Barry (2019), printmaker Amos Paul Kennedy (2015), podcaster Starlee Kine (2018), multidisciplinary artist Simone Leigh (2019), composer and pianist Jason Moran (2007), performance artist William Pope L. (2006), dancer and choreographer Yvonne Rainer (2016), documentary filmmakers Julia Reichert and Steven Bognar (2019), and actor and playwright Anna Deavere Smith (2009).

Here is the complete list of 2020 USA Fellows:

For Architecture & Design: MOS, Slow and Steady Wins the Race by Mary Ping, and Sara Zewde

For Craft: Jennifer Ling Datchuk, Del Harrow, Wendy Maruyama, Aaron McIntosh, and Linda Sikora

For Dance: Lisa Nelson, Dianne McIntyre, Will Rawls, Elizabeth Streb, and Abby Zbikowski

For Film: Sophia Nahli Allison, Bing Liu, and RaMell Ross

For Media: Yasmin Elayat, Surya Mattu,  and Guadalupe Rosales

For Music: Anthony Braxton, Courtney Bryan, Sylvie Courvoisier, Nathalie Joachim, Nicole Mitchell, and Pamela Z

For Theater & Performance: Christina Anderson, Jorge Ignacio Cortiñas, Branden Jacobs-Jenkins, Hamid Rahmanian, Clint Ramos, and Laurie Woolery

For Traditional Arts: Tatsu Aoki, Delores Churchill, Dom Flemons, The American Songster, Lani Strong Hotch, and Kevin Locke

For Visual Art: Patty Chang, Melvin Edwards, Matthew Angelo Harrison, Howardena Pindell, Cameron Rowland, Jaune Quick-to-See Smith, Martine Syms and Nari Ward

For Writing: Hanif Abdurraqib, Sarah Broom, Jericho Brown, Edwidge Danticat, Sharon Olds, and Crystal Wilkinson

2020-Grammy-nominated-Music-Fellow-Nathalie-Joachim-(Chicago); Visual Artist Fellow Martine Syms (Los Angeles); Film Fellow-Sophia-Nahli-Allison-(North-Carolina)

2020 Grammy-nominated Music Fellow Nathalie Joachim (Chicago); Visual Artist Fellow Martine Syms (Los Angeles); Film Fellow Sophia Nahli Allison (North Carolina)

“We are so honored to celebrate the artists who are making vital contributions to the country’s creative ecosystem,” states United States Artists President & CEO Deana Haggag. “It is a critically important time to support the livelihoods of artists and we are ecstatic to be able to honor 50 of them this year. The 2020 class is the largest cohort of Fellows we have awarded since we relocated to Chicago, and each and every one of them stands out as a visionary influence in their respective field.”

“We believe strongly that the arts are critically important to the well-being of our communities and at the heart of the arts is the individual artist,” says United States Artists Board Chair Ed Henry. “We are proud to offer this unrestricted award to encourage artists to explore the possibilities of their practices and support their livelihoods.”

For more on the 2020 USA Art fellows, please visit United States Artists website here.


Since 2006, the USA Fellowship has provided direct support to artists across the country. With this unrestricted award, Fellows decide for themselves how to best use the money—whether it is creating new work, paying rent, reducing debt, getting healthcare, or supporting their families. To make its work possible, USA actively fundraises each year and is supported by a broad range of philanthropic foundations, companies, and individuals committed to cultivating contemporary culture in the United States.

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