Current MIller Arts Scholars Award Recipients

Class of 2022

Avery Erskine, Drama

Rising 3rd Year Award

Twelfth Night Mainstage Performance
The objective of the project is to have a full weekend of a mainstage production (i.e. not in a lecture hall) of Twelfth Night so that we can reach a larger audience and so that we can retain the technical work that has already been put into this production.

Rainah Gregory, Drama

Rising 3rd Year Award

New York Research Trip
I would like to have the opportunity to travel to New York to conduct research. I am currently in the process of declaring Drama as a major and American Sign Language as a minor. It is a goal of mine to work with both hearing and Deaf actors. During this trip I will conduct research in Deaf artists and their collaborations in theatre. I am also interested in learning more about physical theatre and experimental theatre.

Maya Kim, Studio Art

Rising 3rd Year Award

Objects as Portraits
In this project, I intend to use color reduction linoleum prints to create a series of still-lifes intended to represent people’s identities through their objects.

Ann-Elizabeth (Libbie) Ryan, Dance

Rising 3rd Year Award

BDF/Gibney Connect 2021 Dance Intensive
Bates Dance Festival/Gibney Connect 2021 is a five-day dance intensive in NYC, aimed to cultivate creative exchange between artists and dancers.

Benjamin Trombetta, Music

Rising 3rd Year Award

Third Year Recital: From Practice to Performance
I intend to perform a third-year recital early in the Spring semester of 2021, featuring both classical and musical theater repertoire.

Elizabeth (Liza) Wimbish, Studio Art

Rising 3rd Year Award

Photographing Still Lifes
The main component that the grant will fund is a digital camera, and specifically, I am interested in purchasing a Sony Alpha a7R III. This camera fits my needs because it is a professional quality, mirrorless camera.

Katherine (Katie) Yared, Dance

Rising 3rd Year Award

Bates Dance Festival/Gibney Connect 2021 Dance Intensive
My proposed project is attending a five-day intensive: the Bates Dance Festival/Gibney Connect 2021 Dance Intensive (two names, but a singular intensive).

Zohar (Zoe) Ziff, Dance

Rising 3rd Year Award

American Dance Festival Winter Intensive (Winter 2020/21)
My amended project proposal is to attend the one-week American Dance Festival Winter Intensive in New York City. During the program, I will attend three to four classes a day in a variety of movement styles including contemporary technique, improvisation, and repertory from guest companies.

Karen Zipor, Drama

Rising 3rd Year Award

NYC or LA: A Summer of Industry Experience & Learning
I plan to either hone my craft as an actor or get real-world experience in the film industry. I hope to improve my acting technique at the Stella Adler Studio in NYC, or work at a film company in L.A., assigned through the Emmys Television Academy Foundation.

Class of 2021

Jakob Cansler, Drama

Rising 3rd Year Award

A Summer Internship for Directing
It is my intention to intern at a professional theatre in either directing or artistic directing in order to gain first-hand experience in the theatre industry. I plan on applying to numerous summer internships at various theatres across the country, including Hartford Stage Company, San Francisco Playhouse, La Jolla Playhouse, as well as a few others.

Jakob Cansler, Drama

Rising 4th Year Award

The Cocktail Party​: Directing a Full-Length Play
This Fall, through Virginia Players (the student wing of the Department of Drama), I will be directing a fully-realized, full-length production of ​The Cocktail Party​. The final product will be a fully-realized, entirely student-created production that will perform for one weekend in the Department of Drama.

Adam Cooper, Music

Rising 3rd Year Award

Experimental Music Project (The Cello and Beyond)
I am asking for funding to buy a cello pickup microphone, Abelton Standard Software, an Abelton Push MIDI Controller, a Focusrite Audio Interface, and an Akai mini-keyboard Controller. Each of these items will be used to expand my capacities as a musician to explore new, experimental music with my cello.

Adam Cooper, Music

Rising 4th Year Award

Expanding Cello Performance and Electronic Music Production
I have been a classically trained cellist for 15 years, but over the past two years, I have begun to explore different types of music. This experience has been quite shocking, as I have seen the power of music in a much different way. Creating new types of music beyond the classical genre has inspired me to see other ways that music can effectively resonate with people. Thus, I hope for this project to be an opportunity for me to utilize my musical talents to create new music.

Evie Galvan, Dance

Rising 3rd Year Award

Holding Dance In My Hand
My hope is to receive funding to order a DJI Osmo Pocket Action Camera. This is an extremely small camera that is hand held and can record video and photographs with a very stable and reliable display. This camera will allow me to record movement anywhere and everywhere with such ease, truly letting the world become my stage. The ability to create dance in less restrictive spaces is truly a goal of mine, as I am extremely interested by how the movement we engage in every day, whether that be walking, working out, or even witnessing the movement of nature can actually be understood as dance.

Tina Hashemi, Music

Rising 3rd Year Award

Networking and Musicianship Development in New York City
I propose spending a week in New York during the time that Stephanie Nakasian, my voice instructor at UVA, will be in New York performing and sitting in at many clubs including Birdland. She has agreed to allow me to accompany her and sit-in on her and others’ performances while introducing me to the big names of jazz in New York City.

Tina Hashemi, Music

Rising 4th Year Award

Presenting and Recording a Professional Jazz Recital
I would like to professionally record my recital and release it as a live album. A recording technician and professional videographer would allow me to accomplish this by documenting the concert and then mixing and editing the recordings.

Margaret Kim, Studio Art

Rising 4th Year Award

Taxidermy of Biologically Possible Alien Organisms
This proposal will span two parts: summer when I will learn taxidermy, and the fall and spring when I will work to incorporate the taxidermy into my art.

Kiana Pilson, Dance

Rising 4th Year Award

Studying with the American Dance Festival and CLI Studios
I am applying for a Miller Arts Rising Fourth Year Award to attend the American Dance Festival’s 2020 winter intensive, as well as various online classes.

Veronica Seguin, Drama

Rising 3rd Year Award

Breaking into the Business: A Summer of Acting and Networking in NYC
My goal for this summer is to supplement my UVa dual-degree with a rigorous performance studies curriculum at the Summer Conservatory. I hope to glean practical field experience by working alongside industry professionals while making connections with peers and employers I undoubtedly will collaborate with in future film and television projects.

Veronica Seguin, Drama

Rising 4th Year Award

A Summer of Acting Study: The Artistic Trifecta
I look forward to expanding my acting training and involvement in short films as I will explain below. I have created the following detailed proposal for my Artistic Trifecta in which I hope to enrich my acting development. Essentially, I am centering my summer project around three training principles: professional feedback, self-inquiry and study with theory books, and immediate training application through involvement in a web series. I want each spoke of the trifecta to enrich the others as I work through each stage in parallel to nurture my acting development this summer. Seeing as this is my last summer still in college, this is the best time for me to tackle such a project.

Maile-Rose Smith, Drama

Rising 4th Year Award

Four Weeks of Film Acting: Summer at the New York Film Academy
With a Rising Fourth Year Arts Award, I would like to attend the New York Film Academy’s four-week Acting for Film workshop, a full-time, immersive training program focusing on Stanislavski’s System, monologues, and scene studies; I have experience in these valuable tools through the lens of theatre, but I have not been trained with them in a film setting.

Isabella Ullmann, Drama

Rising 4th Year Award

Creative Online Courses
I am requesting online classes at Gotham’s Writers, “...where writers develop their craft and come together in the spirit of discovery and fellowship,” according to their website. Gotham Writers was recommended to me by a mentor of mine, writer/director Roger Kumble, who developed some of his best work from their programs. I am also requesting a year subscription to Masterclass, an online site that hosts professionals from a variety of fields give virtual classes on their professions.

Lyla Ward, Drama

Rising 3rd Year Award

Experiencing Experimental Theater In New York City
This summer I will be interning with Richard Maxwell’s experimental theater company New York City Players in Brooklyn, New York. I will be organizing their archives, creating content for the website, and helping assist in production for a series of summer workshops with their Incoming Theater Division. The Incoming Theater Division is a program that supports immigrant playwrights in putting their work onstage.

Class of 2020

Elissa Bardhi, Studio Art

Rising 4th Year Award

Transcending the Photo Reference
I am applying to the Rising Fourth-Year Award in order to advance my skills in painting from photo reference. This summer, renowned artist, Alyssa Monk, is hosting a workshop concentrated on the creation of oil paintings from photo references at the New York Academy of Art. This workshop focuses on capturing the essence of a photograph in an oil painting, something Alyssa Monk is famous for. This course would give me the opportunity to use my foundational skills and take them the next level.

Kristen Barrett, Drama

Rising 3rd Year Award

Experiencing the Champs-Elysées Film Festival
I believe attending the sixth annual Champs-Elysées Film Festival would better expose me to the art of filmmaking and prime me to create my own screenplay about my experience traveling abroad.

Kristen Barrett, Drama

Rising 4th Year Award

A Summer of Live Theater
For my fourth year award, I will return to my original artistic passion: theater. Stage performance was the primary reason why I applied for the Miller Arts Scholars program. Since my acceptance, I have explored other forms of art, but I always end up returning to the stage.

Kate Bollinger, Creative Writing

Rising 3rd Year Award

An EP and Chapbook of Lyon
I am so thrilled to have been accepted to study abroad this summer through UVa’s Summer in Lyon program, and while my primary reason for going will be to practice French and experience language immersion, I also want to seize this summer as a creative opportunity. During my stay, I plan to write and record an EP of French and English songs inspired by my experiences that I will pair with an artist chapbook which will feature my illustrations and poetry.

Kate Bollinger, Creative Writing

Rising 4th Year Award

Summer 2019 in Two Parts: A Space to Create & On the Road
With summer break fast approaching, I have high hopes of spending my time focusing entirely on music. School, work, and other involvements often have me expending energy that would ideally be put toward writing, recording, and playing shows; I am often daydreaming of time devoted solely to creating. For my Miller Arts rising fourth year grant, I am proposing a summer with less of these obstacles and therefore with more time to write, record, tour, and collaborate with other artists.

Bryce Cuthriell, Dance

Rising 3rd Year Award

Performance Intensive with BalletMet
The main part of the project will be taking place in Columbus, Ohio at the summer intensive program for students at BalletMet. As a prospective dance minor at a liberal arts institution that only offers a minor in dance, I have been searching for opportunities to immerse myself in the professional dance world. After participating in several auditions for dance intensives, I chose BalletMet because of the extensiveness of the program, and also because it works with several dance genres closely resembling modern/contemporary technique in addition to classical ballet technique.

Carolyn Diamond, Dance

Rising 4th Year Award

Dance Training and Movement Research
Through this project, I hope to attend weekly classes this summer, as well as attending 2-3 dance performances in New York City, and participating in a Summer Intensive with Gaga Movement in August. As a rising fourth year, I would like to take this opportunity to explore the dance community outside of UVa and continue to build upon the experiences I’ve had here before going into my final year.

Savannah Edwards, Drama

Rising 4th Year Award

Dramaturgy and Community Engagement at a Professional Theatre
I am currently in the process of applying to full-time (40+ hours per week) internships located in various cities across the United States. Since many theatres do not have a dramaturgy-specific internship available, there are three types of dramaturgy-related internships that I am applying for: Literary Intern, Community Engagement Intern, and Education Intern. Every theatre defines these positions differently, but each position is similar in that it encompasses primarily dramaturgical elements.

Jessica Harris, Drama

Rising 3rd Year Award

Sharing the Power of the Arts to Educate and Transform: Expanding Techniques to Teach Drama
I would like to utilize MAS funds to attend a Broadway Teachers Workshop this summer. Additionally, upon returning to grounds next fall, I would like to offer a workshop for UVA students who may wish to incorporate techniques for including arts education in their training.

Jessica Harris, Drama

Rising 4th Year Award

Developing Artistic Networks, Educational Models, and Creative Best Practices: Connections in New York City
Continuing to expand my horizons as an educator and creator, I would like to use my Fourth Year Award to travel to New York City for an immersive experience. I hope to expand my skills and knowledge in the area of theater, specifically writing, directing, and theater education. Towards this end, I would like to see shows, attend the Educational Theater Association’s 2019 National Conference in September, and network with individuals working at colleges in like The City College of New York who have programs in educational theater and creating/writing. Additionally, I would like to join professional organizations, The Drama Teacher Resource Company and the Educational Theater Association, that would enable me to have access to resources and connect with others doing similar work.

Payton Moledor, Drama

Rising 3rd Year Award

London, UK Semester Abroad: The Foundations of Classical Acting
For this reason, I am applying to fund a semester of studying classical acting abroad at one of London’s most prestigious acting schools, either the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art or the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art. I have already been accepted to LAMDA’s semester program, and am still awaiting response from RADA following my audition in early March.

Ava Reynolds, Studio Art

Rising 4th Year Award

Visual Explorations of Conservation
I plan to do a comprehensive project comparing the concept of conservation in the United States and Tanzania. I would like to visually express several topics, such as how climate change impacts conservation, how conservation impacts local communities, and how people impact conserved spaces. After exploring these topics throughout my semester in Tanzania and over my summer in Grand Teton National Park I plan to compile these visual comparisons upon returning to UVa during Fall 2019 and Spring 2020.

Heidi Waldenmaier, Dance

Rising 4th Year Award

A Summer at the American Dance Festival
From June 13th to July 21st, I will take three classes per day, four days per week. On top of regularly scheduled classes, there are dozens of other classes, workshops, and performances to attend on the other three days of the week. I’ll be dancing constantly, exposing myself to different styles and cultural influences while making connections from every corner of the dance world.

Anna Warner, Studio Art

Rising 3rd Year Award

Where We Are
Ultimately, my project with this grant would be a body of color film photos exploring the relationships that human society has with the natural world (the physical ​real​ world.)

Anna Warner, Studio Art

Rising 4th Year Award

Italian Immersion​:​ Study-Abroad, Photography, and Farming
For the rising 4th-year grant, I am proposing creating another book following my experiences in Italy, with photographs, journal entries, and sketches, etc. For my outcome presentation in April 2020, I will have a handmade book to display as well as prints to install.

Kia Wassenaar, Studio Art

Rising 3rd Year Award

Creatures of Solitude
My proposed project would be a series of three short films (each 2-5 minutes in length) which would expand upon this series of drawings. Using paint, costumes, and a variety of props, each film would seek to transform a human body into an other worldly, fantasy creature whose external form would embody the mental state of the character themselves, and would explore different aspects of spending time alone.

Kia Wassenaar, Studio Art

Rising 4th Year Award

Documentation and Distortion Through Film
Using a mix of film and digital cameras, I would like to conduct a series of environment-oriented film studies. This would involve travel to a variety of both rural and urban places. I am particularly interested in the ways that nature and technology come together, so would seek out spaces in which industrial and natural forces meet head on. The final products of this project would be two or three observational films, between six and ten minutes each.

Isabella Whitfield, Studio Art

Rising 4th Year Award

Paper Sculptures
I am proposing to attend the workshop ​Fiber to Form: Sculpting with Paper​ at Anderson Ranch. During this week-long workshop, I will learn how to create paper sculptures using casting and folding techniques from Kozo fiber. I am especially interested in the casting technique, as I have used this method in my sculpture classes to create clay and plaster molds. Here, I will able to apply my previous mold-making experience within a new context.

Emily Williams, Music

Rising 4th Year Award

Enhancing Musical Teaching Skills and Violin Sound Quality and Technique
This summer, I plan on going to the Carriage House Violins of Johnson String Instruments store in Newton Upper Falls, Massachusetts, which is right outside of Boston. I have been to them to get violin accessories in the past and their bows have been recommended to me as high quality. There, I will test out a few bows that I have found on their website that are in my price range by seeing how compatible they sound with my instrument. After getting a new bow, I will continue to work on the repertoire I have selected for my recital and prepare for the recital which I anticipate happening at the end of February or early March of 2020.