Photo Credit: Haley Jane Samuelson

We are proud to announce that our own Annika Sheaff has been awarded a 2016 Creative Workforce Fellowship by the Community Partnership for Arts & Culture! We recently sat down with her to learn more about this wonderful recognition.

Annika, what does receiving this fellowship mean to you?

“It’s a huge honor and validation of my work as an artist. It is so thrilling to feel that my community supports me in this very tangible way. It also means that I live in an incredible place filled with like minded individuals who support the arts which is extremely gratifying. It puts me into a new category; I get to meet new artists to potentially collaborate with…kind of like having VIP access in the Cleveland art scene. I think this award gives me the confidence to take a risk to make some art that I probably would not be able to make otherwise.”

What goals, if any, do you hope to achieve through your efforts during your time as part of this fellowship?

“I hope to combine film and dance in interesting ways to create an original dance film. I want to highlight dance as the focus but also showcase the incredible city that we live in. I want to film in front of the guardians on Carnegie bridge, in expansive fields in the metro parks, in abandoned houses in the inner city, in front of Lake Erie, at the Baldwin Wallace Water Treatment Center. I hope to be the one behind the camera filming and directing as well as choreographing all the movement used…and maybe even dancing in a few scenes! That is very ambitious, but my motto is go big or go home! We shall see how much of that I can get done.”

What does this fellowship program mean for the future of the Cleveland arts community?

“This fellowship as a whole means that young artists, experienced artists, emerging or famous can all have a chance to make themselves better at what they do. Every time someone wins a Creative Workforce Grant our community grows more interesting and dynamic. It makes all of us have access to more art which might lead to a more exciting life, a more curious and fulfilled existence. I really believe that art has the power to change lives, it just needs to be accessible and gobbled up by the community. The more people our community can support in that effort, the richer our home becomes. I hope this fellowship is provided for many years to come.”

Stay tuned for updates on Annika’s progress throughout her fellowship!

Annika Sheaff received a 2016 Creative Workforce Fellowship. The fellowships is a program of the Community Partnership for Arts and Culture.  Funding for the fellowship program is made possible by the generous support from Cuyahoga County residents through a public grant from Cuyahoga Arts and Culture.