Bluegrass music artist and songwriter Claire Lynch is among 54 remarkable artists to receive one of 50 USA Fellowships (some collaborative) from United States Artists (USA). The national arts advocacy organization announced the award of the 2012 fellowships today, each of which comes with an unrestricted grant of $50,000. The 2012 USA Fellows represent the most innovative and influential artists in their fields. Reflecting the diversity of artistic practice in America, they include cutting-edge thinkers and traditional practitioners from the fields of architecture and design, crafts and traditional arts, dance, literature, media, music, theater arts, and visual arts.
Out of the 54 winners, only seven are in the music field. Previous winners for music include Lila Downs, Bill Frisell, Wu Man, Michael Doucet, Leila Josefowicz, and composers Mary Ellen Childs, Sean Shepherd and Uri Caine. In addition, Lynch joins 2012 fellow Tony Trischka and 2010 fellow Rob Ickes as the only USA fellows whose roots are in the bluegrass tradition.
Lynch has long been recognized as a creative force in acoustic music and at the forefront of women who have expanded the bluegrass genre. She has twice earned The International Bluegrass Music Association's "Female Vocalist of the Year" title, and two GRAMMY nominations among others. For over two decades, Lynch has delighted audiences and enjoyed reverent standing ovations for her shows at prestigious music festivals and theaters around the world.
"On a personal level, it makes me feel "bona fide" and will fuel my creativity and confidence and allow me to take my work to new levels," shares Lynch. "I'm in the studio recording a new album right now and the thrill of being selected is bringing an incredible energy to the sessions."
Lynch has crafted one of the most instantly identifiable sounds in acoustic music. Her style encompasses classic bluegrass and thoughtful infusions of contemporary folk, country, rock, and swing. As a songwriter of inventive and evocative Music Row hits, her songs have been recorded by Kathy Mattea, Patty Loveless, and others, and she has performed as a backing/harmony vocalist with Dolly Parton, Linda Ronstadt, Emmylou Harris, and Pam Tillis -- just to name a few.
Lynch's musical work is also embodied in seven albums released by Rounder Records, where she enjoyed an 18-year collaboration with label founder Ken Irwin. Currently, she is recording a new album to be released in 2013 on esteemed roots label Compass Records. Founded Garry West and by GRAMMY-winning musician Alison Brown, the company provides a thriving haven of creativity for artists and a reliable beacon of quality for roots music fans.
United States Artists (USA's) mission is to invest in America's finest artists and illuminate the value of artists to society. Through the USA Fellows program, which annually awards 50 unrestricted grants of $50,000 each to outstanding performing, visual, media, and literary artists across the country, USA has put $17.5 million in the hands of artists in the seven years since its founding. Past recipients of USA Fellowships include visual artists Glenn Ligon, Kara Walker, and Catherine Opie; cartoonist Chris Ware; designers Kate and Laura Mulleavy (of Rodarte); performing artist Meredith Monk; jazz composer Jason Moran; ballet dancer and choreographer Benjamin Millepied; choreographer Bill T. Jones; and the writer Sapphire.
USA has extended its mission beyond the successful USA Fellows program with USA Projects, an online community where people can connect with, learn about, and support America's greatest artists and their next creative breakthroughs. USA Projects is the first micro-philanthropy website dedicated exclusively to artists living and working in the United States, where anyone can discover original projects from some of today's most innovative artists and make tax-deductible donations to support their work. As an initiative of United States Artists, USA Projects uniquely answers the needs of the artist community and provides an active support network and education program for artists. USA Projects also offers artists access to support from its match fund program. Individual donors, groups, organizations, foundations, and corporations are able to specify criteria and create a match fund to leverage new or additional community
Through the USA Fellows program and the expanded reach of USA Projects, USA continues the work of advocating for living artists and providing a community where they can connect with the public and each other. For further information about USA, please visit www.unitedstatesartists.org/.