The Arts Commission announces July 2019 Accelerator Grant Recipients

Eye On Art  |  09/05/2019 10:00 am

The Arts Commission is pleased to announce the third 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 deadline is September 23. Application details and full guidelines can be found at

The July grantees are Jennifer Bak, El Corazon de Mexico, Emilio José González, and Loraine Lynn.

Growing up as a shy, biracial, artistic bookworm in small-town Ohio helped shape Jennifer Bak’s rather quirky and unconventional worldview, informing her work as a photographer, bellydancer, and fire performer. Bak’s next portrait series will highlight the history of people of color, who are often regulated to secondary character status and erroneously portrayed as needing guidance and policing, instead of being the heroes of their own stories. Accelerator Grant funds will be used to purchase a studio strobe that will allow for precise control over color temperature and consistency in diverse studio and on-location situations ideal for this portrait series.

In 1996, El Corazon de Mexico, which translates as "The Heart of Mexico", was founded by director Elaina Hernandez. Hernandez is a 33-year veteran of Mexican Folkloric Dance. She has studied under Maestro Carlos Vega of Mexico, Director Sam Cortez of Chicago, Instructor Rene Cardoza of Chicago, Instructor Placido Lopez Guerrero of Colima, Mexico, Director Bladimir Bravo of San Antonio and Maestra Karina Estrella of California. Hernandez has been directing and choreographing for over 20 years. She is recognized as a Master Artist by the Ohio Arts Council. In 2010, she received the Diamente Award for Adult Leadership and in 2016, she received the Ohio Heritage Fellowship. In 2018 and 2019, Master Elaina Hernandez received the Ohio Traditional Apprenticeship grant to train assistant Vanessa Hernandez in the art of Mexican Folkloric Dance. Accelerator Grant funding will be used for the company to study under Maestro Jose Tena of New Mexico, a renowned Folkloric Dance Instructor with over 40 years of experience.

Emilio José González is a composer, percussionist, and educator. His music is influenced by classical and pop genres as much as it is from nature and the (super)natural world, and it explores rhythmic complexity to create vivid imagery, as his primary goal has always been to tell a story— especially stories that might not be commonly known. In 2019, he received a Master of Music in Composition from Bowling Green State University, and he also holds a Bachelor of Music in Composition from Pacific Lutheran University. His primary teachers have included Elainie Lillios, Mikel Kuehn, and Gregory Youtz. González will use Accelerator Grant funding to purchase an iPad as a music composition tool.

Loraine Lynn is an interdisciplinary artist interested in recontextualizing the familiar in order to challenge notions of identity, labor and the scripts they follow. Lynn completed her MFA at Bowling Green State University and earned her BFA from the Cleveland Institute of Art. Her work has been exhibited widely in locations including South Korea, Italy, and Ireland. She has had solo shows at River House Arts and the Greenly Gallery in Bloomsburg, PA. Lynn’s Accelerator Grant funding will be used to purchase yarn to complete projects started during a recent residency at the Vermont Studio Center.

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