The Arts Commission Announces June 2019 Accelerator Grant Recipients

Eye On Art  |  08/01/2019 10:00 am

The Arts Commission is pleased to announce the second group of recipients of the 2019 Accelerator Grants. This program offers financial support with quick turn-around for local individual artists or artist collectives advancing creative projects and their careers. A committee comprised of members of the visual, performing and literary arts communities meets each grant cycle to review applications and make recommendations for funding to the Arts Commission staff and board. The remaining 2019 deadlines are August 26, and September 23. Full guidelines can be found at along with the application.

The June grantees are James Dickerson, Alex Goetz, Katie’s Randy CatLindsay Scypta, Ian J. Welch, and Marilyn Yakumithis.

James “dirtykics” Dickerson has roamed the streets of Toledo and other cities for the better part of five years, meeting hundreds of folks and walking hundreds of miles, all in an effort to understand humanity and what exists between himself and the history he wants to tell as a photographer. On August 10 he will present his first solo exhibition at AIGA Toledo, using Accelerator Grant funds to frame the photographs in the exhibition.

Alex Goetz and Justin Grubb are wildlife and conservation filmmakers who create content hoping to inspire positive environmental change. Recognized as winners of National Geographic WILDʼs, “Wild to Inspire,” film competition in 2016 at the Sun Valley Film Festival, they have gone on to create educational wildlife content for Nat Geo Wild, the Toledo Zoo & Aquarium, Conservation Centers for Species Survival, and many more. Both Goetz and Grubb have individually been nominated as Emerging Wildlife Conservation Leaders, and hope to utilize new, immersive technologies such as 360 and Virtual Reality video to create a unique and engaging experience for viewers, and hopefully inspire environmental action. Goetz received Accelerator Grant funding to purchase VR equipment as part of an oceanic conservation education video project. 

Katie’s Randy Cat (“KRC”) plays rebel music with an upbeat, electric edge, from heavy, Celtic-inspired original music to unique versions of traditional Irish folk music. Band members include lead vocalist/accordionist Steve Steel; lead guitarist Peter Kharchenko; rhythm guitarist Greg Heldt; bassist Jon Zenz; and drummer Matt Jones. KRC uses the Irish experience as a metaphor for experiencing the human condition, while at the same time smashing through the siloed limitations of musical genres. KRC’s upcoming dual releases, “Irish Fire” and “Die for These,” highlight the two thrusts of KRC’s oeuvre: wanton, raucous celebration and no-holds- barred rebellion and social uprising. Katie’s Randy Cat will use Accelerator Grant funding for professional mixing and mastering of a new collection of songs.

Lindsay Scypta holds a BFA in Art & Design from the New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University and a MFA from The Ohio State University. She was an Artist-in-Resident at Clay Art Center in Port Chester, New York. Returning to Ohio in 2014, she established a studio where she balances teaching at the local community college and making. She had a solo show at Morean Center for Clay in 2015 and was a recipient of the Toledo Museum of Art's Palmer Scholarship, providing support to conduct visual research in Paris, France. Her work was published by Gingko Press in the New Age of Ceramics, Lark Books 500 Vases and she was awarded Emerging Artist by Ceramics Monthly in 2017. Her influences include the stone tracery of Gothic cathedrals, Victorian fretwork and the history of the dining experience. Scypta’s Accelerator Grant funding will purchase a slab roller to increase and improve ceramic production.

Ian J. Welch is a printmaker and has exhibited his work throughout the USA. Welch is an instructor at Owens Community College and Bowling Green State University and is the Gallery Manager/Curator at Gathered Glassblowing Studio. Welch founded Pegboard Press in 2016 as a community print shop with a focus on collaboration with local artists, publishing editions and educating the public about the printmaking medium through workshops, classes and open studio tours. With the funding provided by the Accelerator Grant, Welch will purchase materials needed to finish work setting up a 1910 Fuchs and Lang lithography press.

Marilyn Yakumithis received a BFA in sculpture from the Cleveland Institute of Art in 2015. With an emphasis in jewelry & metals, most of her designs are wearable. After graduating, she relocated to Chicago and became involved with Lillstreet Art Center. In 2018, Yakumithis was granted an artist residency at the Ilias Lalaounis Jewelry Museum in Athens, Greece, where her work is now featured in their permanent museum collection. Yakumithis personally fabricates her own designs and commissioned pieces, currently located in her hometown Toledo, Ohio. Accelerator Grant funding will be used to equipment and materials for her jewelry studio.

The Arts Commission Artist Services programming is generously supported by ProMedica, the National Endowment for the Arts and the Ohio Arts Council.