Telluride Arts: Small Grants Announced

Telluride Arts: Small Grants Announced

Telluride Arts announced the recipients of their annual Small Grants for Artists program. Six different artists were awarded a total of $10,149 for various creative endeavors that advance their work. Grant awards will support professional development courses, artist-to-artist workshops, equipment, and materials. Disciplines varied across the board from fine arts, theatre, jewelry, film, and virtual reality, representing the diversity of creative talent that thrives in the Telluride Arts District.

Proposals for Telluride Arts small grants program are selected first and foremost based on the quality of the work, along with the artists’ plan to enrich the lives of the Telluride community by sharing their project through performances, exhibits, screenings, workshops, and other public happenings.

A peer panel of diverse artists and arts professionals who represent multiple creative disciplines reviewed each application, then gathered to evaluate the proposals and carefully award funding that will be meaningful to the artist and our community.

Given the talented pool of applicants, the decision process was very rigorous and challenging and sadly not every proposal received an award. Each year the quality of proposals increases — a testament to the strong creativity that continues to thrive within the Telluride community. Since its inception in 1999, the program has supported over 300 artists to deepen their skills and advance their work in the areas of filmmaking, literary arts, visual arts, theatre, music, dance, and other disciplines. Over the last 20 years, Small Grants have been a significant investment in advancing the work and expertise of Telluride’s local artists.

Small Grants support the innovation, creativity and professional development of individual artists living in the Telluride region. The Small Grants for Artists program is funded by the Town of Telluride and administered by Telluride Arts.

Telluride Arts’ Small Grants program has advanced innovation and excellence among Telluride’s local artists since 1999.
2019 Small Grant Award Recipients:

Brooke Einbender

Expansion into the Virtual

Virtual Reality painting is mind-expanding. Once immersed in the virtual realm, the creative opportunities are endless. With a background in oil painting, Brooke Einbender is interested in translating her paintings into the cutting-edge virtual space. As with painting, she no longer had to create an illusion of space on a 2D surface; instead, she could draw sculpture, meander around a line suspended in space, and walk through layers of virtual paint. Ultimately in the virtual environment, Brooke is creating her own experiential worlds, which surpass the limitations of painting. For this project, she plans to work between oil painting and VR, suspending her 2D works into 3D immersive space. Brooke’s goal is to have her first solo exhibition in Telluride, showcasing a new series of colorful, large-scale abstract paintings alongside the futuristic VR creations. This small grant is funding the virtual reality equipment as well as art materials and studio rental costs.

Elvir Muminovic

Moving Making Crash Course

Elvir Muminovic will offer a workshop to community members and anyone interested in understanding the process of filmmaking. This workshop will be held for one day in two, two-hour sessions. The first session will be on the language of cinema including dramaturgy and screenwriting. The second session will focus on pre-production and production from the director’s perspective. The goal of the workshop is to expand the participants’ basic knowledge of the whole process of making a moving including: Screen Writing, Movie Language, Directing, Acting, and Production. This small grant is funding teaching materials and hours for teaching.

Melissa Harris


Melissa Harris provides an extreme amount of sewing for local theatre costumes as well as creating personal artistic endeavors. Her work has become well known around the region and people are seeking her out to help with sewing projects. Melissa is hoping to form a business selling items she creates as well as doing alterations. She is also interested in entertaining requests she receives to teach people how to sew. She has reached a point in her sewing career where her machines are slowing her down. This small grant is funding an equipment upgrade for Melissa.

Noah Rosenberg

A Portrait of Telluride

After recently moving to Telluride from California, Noah Rosenberg has become very interested in Telluride’s history – its film history, its mining history, its changing demographics, its aesthetic of architecture, and the transience of the people that come in and out. Beauty and grandeur are surely elements that attract people to this town, but is it also something that causes them to leave? There is an interesting tempo to the natural landscape, the built environment, and the varying flux of people. They are all in relation to each other, and the town’s history is in relation to contemporary developments. Noah would like to address these notions by connecting a stream of images, found and shot, that paint an active portrait of Telluride. This film would operate under the genre of poetic cinema, in that there won’t explicitly be a narrative or screenplay, but a subconscious narrative will nevertheless be woven together during the process of making and viewing. For his medium, Noah hopes to use 16mm celluloid film and a Bolex camera to capture the visuals, and then either collaborate with local musicians to perform a live soundtrack when the film debuts, or perform a live soundtrack by himself. This small grant is funding the cost of 16mm film, in addition to processing and scanning.

Sean Mahoney

‘The Invincible Three’ 2nd Round of Staged Readings

Sean Mahoney’s project will be a public presentation after teaching, rehearsing, and performing a heavily revised, approximately 90- minute, two-act country-rock-folk musical theater piece based on the early life of former local Roy Parker (Butch Cassidy) and his partners, following his personal journey from honest Utah farm boy to famous outlaw here in a young, booming Telluride. The first iteration of the project was performed at the Palm Theatre in April of 2017 and was also funded partially through a Telluride Arts Small Grant. Most musicals need at least 2-3 staged readings in order to get the story, sequencing, and overall theatrical effectiveness. Sean’s goal for the next phase of the piece is to present the full “next draft,” continuing to heavily involve local artists in all phases of development and production. Sean hopes to have either a full production of the piece lined up after this iteration, or at least a bigger and broader community of resources, friends, and potential production partners. This small grant will fund a music director, a band, actors, stage-managing, and printing costs.

Tony Finocchio

Learn More, Teach More

Tony Finocchio is a local jewelry maker with a focus on themes that capture the Telluride spirit. This project is about expanding his skill set as an artist and bringing that expertise to the classroom to serve the educational needs of both aspiring and professional artists in Telluride. Funding from the Telluride Arts Small Grants program will go towards Tony’s continuing education as an artist, as well as the purchase of necessary new equipment. Specific areas of training will include advanced jewelry-making techniques, blacksmithing, and welding.

The Telluride Arts District serves the region by sustaining, promoting, and expanding the arts. The physical district, established in 2012, follows the boundaries of the Town of Telluride, and contains a remarkable concentration of arts and cultural activity. The Telluride Cultural Master Plan provides the roadmap for programs that enhance the arts within the district. Current priorities include providing resources for local artists, marketing Telluride as an arts destination, and securing space for the arts.

1 Comment
  • Lawry de Bivort
    Posted at 22:28h, 30 January

    What great choices for the grants recipients. I’m eager to see what these fine artists create.

    Well done!