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The Center for Latter-day Saint Arts chooses artists for New York City residency



Ryann Anderegg | Lehi Free Press

The Center for Latter-day Saint Arts recently announced the six winning artists for The Artists Residency at the Center in New York City. More than 70 applicants worldwide applied, including representatives from Argentina, Australia, Chile, Japan, Switzerland, the UK, Uruguay, the USA, and Vietnam. 

The Residency is a one-week experience from October 15-21, 2023. The Center will facilitate tailor-made workspaces and opportunities to progress the artists’ proposed works throughout the week. 

Of the six artists chosen, two are from Utah—Jessica Heaton for choreography and Alixa Brobbey for poetry.

Jessica Heaton is the creative director of the Wasatch Contemporary Dance Company. Her work has received awards from the Utah Dance Film Festival, Utah Arts and Museums, Verve Film Festival, and more. Heaton will use the residency to choreograph a dance that explores the Latter-day Saint faith, Christianity, and internal integrity in the face of external pressures.  

Alixa Brobbey is a BYU Law student from Ghana and The Netherlands. Brobbey is a prolific poet whose work has been published by Deseret Book, The Albion Review, Segullah, The Exponent, and more. She has won or been recognized in many poetry contests, such as BYU’s “Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Essay Contest” and “No More Strangers Contest,” the Ethel Lowry Handley Poetry Prize, BYU MOA Poetry Jam, and more. She will compile a collection of poems that position her life growing up abroad alongside her grandparent’s experiences as immigrants in NYC in an examination of belonging and home.  

A distinguished jury chose the six winners after being vetted by discipline-specific screeners. Sheri Dew, Stanley Hainsworth, Lance Larsen, Melissa Leilani Larson, Deon Nielsen Price, Walter Rane, and Ricardo Rendón comprised the jury who selected the six winning proposals from a group of twenty finalists. 


Walter Rane, a juror and visual artist from New York City,remarked, “All applicants were of exceptionally high quality and, although they came from widely varied disciplines, shared a creative spirit that bonded them together.” Fellow juror and prolific composer Deon Nielsen Price reinforced this sentiment,“All were high quality, inspiring, and deserving of recognition and support.”

The Residency is a one-week experience in New York City from October 15-21, 2023. The Residency aims to be an annual program wherein the Center for Latter-day Saint Arts provides travel to and from New York City, living accommodations, tickets to a curated group of art-focused events and entertainment, and a daily stipend to cover food and travel in the city for selected artists. The Center will facilitate tailor-made workspaces and opportunities to progress the artists’ proposed works throughout the week.

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