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Flossmoor artist among 34 recognized by the Illinois Arts Council Agency

Flossmoor artist Rita Coburn was among the recipients of The Illinois Arts Council Agency (IACA) 2023 Artist Fellowship Award (AFA). 

The IACA awards are $15,000 unrestricted awards to Illinois artists in recognition of their outstanding work and commitment within the arts. This year, 24 Illinois artists will receive Fellowships totaling $360,000. Finalist awards of $1,500 were also awarded to 10 Illinois artists for a total of $15,000. 

The finalist award category recognizes and encourages additional applicants who demonstrate considerable talent.

The program offered funding in eight artistic disciplines. This year’s fellowship and finalist award recipients were selected from 283 Illinois-based creative artists working in the disciplines of choreography, media arts (including audio art, digital art, film and video), music composition, music improvisation, new performance forms, poetry, prose and scriptworks.

Executive Director Joshua Davis-Ruperto said artists are boosting the state’s creativity and economy.

“The 2023 IACA Fellows were selected for their remarkable artistic practice and their commitment to Illinois’ communities – both within their specific regions and discipline at large,” he said.

The mission of the Illinois Arts Council Agency is “to build a strong, creative and connected Illinois through the arts.” The Agency recognizes that Illinois’ artists are an essential component of the social fabric of the state and its arts community especially during these challenging times.

The Artist Fellowship Awardees and Finalist range in demographics and identities, and hail from 13 different cities across the state including urban, suburban, and rural communities.

Following are the Fiscal Year 2023 Artist Fellowship and Finalist Award recipients listed by discipline.


  • Joel Hall, Chicago, $15,000.
  • Erin Kilmurray, Chicago, $15,000.
  • C. Kemal Nance, Champaign, $15,000.
  • Regina Perry-Carr, Maywood, $1,500. 

Media arts

  • Rita Coburn, Flossmoor, $15,000.
  • Monty Cole, Chicago, $15,000.
  • Laura Harrison, Chicago, $15,000.
  • Özge Samanci, Evanston, $15,000.
  • Colleen Plumb, Chicago, $1,500.

Music composition

  • Carlos Carrilo, Urbana, $15,000.
  • David Vayo, Bloomington, $15,000.
  • Martha Horst, Normal, $1,500.
  • Amy Wurtz, Chicago, $1,500.

Music improvisation

  • Bobby Broom, Evanston, $15,000.
  • Robert Chappell and Liam Teague, DeKalb, $15,000.
  • Nick Mazzarella, Chicago, $15,000.
  • Jon Irabagon, Park Ridge, $1,500.

New performance forms

  • Lisa Fay and Jeff Glassman, Urbana, $15,000.
  • Meida Teresa McNeal, Chicago, $15,000.
  • Marcela Torres, Chicago, $15,000.
  • Aaliyah Christina, Chicago, $1,500.


  • Allison Funk, Edwardsville, $15,000.
  • Christopher Kempf, Champaign, $15,000.
  • Simone Muench, Chicago, $15,000.
  • Suzanne Buffman, Chicago, $1,500.


  • Collen Abel, Champaign, $15,000.
  • Nami Mun, Chicago, $15,000.
  • Eden Robins, Chicago, $15,000.
  • S.L (Sandi) Wisenberg, Chicago, $15,000.
  • Kristi McGuire, Chicago, $1,500.
  • Sahar Mustafah, Orland Park, $1,500.


  • Kimberly Dixon-Mays, Chicago, $15,000.
  • Reina Hardy, Skokie, $15,000.
  • Missy Hernandez, Chicago, $1,500.

Biographies and more information about the 2023 Fellowship and Finalist winners can be found at https://arts.illinois.gov/news/2023-fellowship-award-recipients.

To learn more about the Artist Fellowship Awards visit: http://www.arts.illinois.gov/AFA-Program.

To learn more about the Illinois Arts Council Agency visit: http://www.arts.illinois.gov/.

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