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Trillium Arts Debuts With October Fellowship; Two Residencies Welcome Chicago Dance Artists


Among Trillium's activities are two annual fellowship program.

Trillium Arts Debuts With October Fellowship; Two Residencies Welcome Chicago Dance Artists Envisioning a rich, thriving creative arts community in North Carolina's Blue Ridge Mountains, arts professionals Phil Reynolds and Heather Hartley announce the launch of Trillium Arts, a nonprofit residency center that provides regional, national and International Artists in various disciplines time and space to create their best new work.

Located just 35 minutes north of the culturally thriving city of Asheville, Trillium offers artists a secluded space on 22 rural acres, with facilities where artists in dance, theatre, literary arts, photography and arts administration can imagine, develop and create new work.

Among Trillium's activities are two annual fellowship programs: ACE (Asheville/Chicago Exchange) and the "Miss Sarah" Fellowship for Black Women Writers.

THE ACE FELLOWSHIP, which launches in October 2020, invites established Chicago-area choreographers and dancemakers time and space to create new work. Trillium offers ACE Fellows a menu of resources, including transportation between Chicago and Asheville, private lodging, rehearsal space, an honorarium/per diem and access to a developing ACE Roster of Western North Carolina artists for experimentation and collaboration. Each ACE fellowship is one to two weeks, with no obligation for the artist to produce a finished work.

2020 ACE Fellows

Trillium's inaugural ACE residency, with funding from the PERT Foundation, welcomes two groups of artists from Chicago who will engage in limited ways according to safety protocols due to the pandemic.

"Joshua and Vershawn were selected because their work aligns with Trillium's Core Values," explained Hartley. "They are artistically innovative, they have dedicated their careers to community engagement, and their practices and company philosophies support and advance diversity, equity and inclusion." More information about the 2020 ACE Fellows is available here.

The "Miss Sarah" Fellowship for Black Women Writers

Honoring Sarah "Miss Sarah" M. Johnson and her commitment to social justice, the "Miss Sarah" Fellowship for Black Women Writers offers a seven-day residency at either Trillium's primary location in Mars Hill or a residence near downtown Asheville, courtesy of board member E. Patrick Johnson. "Miss Sarah" Writing Fellows may use this time to develop the seed of a new project, fiction or non-fiction, or complete a work already underway; they have access to transportation to and from Asheville and receive a stipend. More information about "Miss Sarah" is available here.

Information about the application process for the "Miss Sarah" Fellowship will be available in early November.

Trillium Arts aims to strengthen and engage communities in Western North Carolina with educational and cultural initiatives. To achieve its mission, Trillium develops programs that foster creativity, generating deeper appreciation for the arts in an ecological environment. Trillium envisions an artist residency center where artists of many disciplines can find a creative home away from home, offering secluded space for rejuvenation in a beautiful, remote setting in the Blue Ridge Mountains.

While the primary space, located at 357 Joe Brown Road in Mars Hill, is under construction during most of 2021, artists who do not require a rehearsal studio may take advantage of the opportunity for inspiration and immersion as soon as spring 2021. The application will be available at in early November, and the deadline to apply is December 15, 2020. More information about residencies, including a mentorship option, is available here.

Plans for 2021 include the construction of a 30' x 40' free span rehearsal studio with a sprung dance floor, as well as an ADA-compliant two- or three-bedroom cottage, all nestled on the stunning Trillium property. The property, which features a gazebo, firepit and gentle waterfall, is just 15 minutes via car to the town of Mars Hill, which offers basic needs including grocery stores, restaurants and Mars Hill University. The region boasts incredible creative talent and abounds with natural beauty.

Phil Reynolds, president, has more than 35 years of experience in curation and performing arts executive management in North Carolina, Chicago, New York, Vermont and elsewhere. He previously was executive director of Chicago Dancers United and executive director of the Dance Center of Columbia College Chicago, Chicago's leading presenter of contemporary dance, for 17 years. Blue Ridge native Heather Hartley, vice president, has more than 25 years of experience in the performing arts sector as an administrator, dancer and interdisciplinary artist, most recently serving as executive director of See Chicago Dance, a service organization specializing in marketing and advocacy for Chicago's vibrant dance community.

Trillium Arts is supported by the PERT Foundation and generous individual donors. Partners include the Alliance of Artist Communities and Terpsicorps Theatre of Dance. Special thanks to the Wortham Center for the Performing Arts.

For more information, visit

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