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The Cultural Council for Palm Beach County has announced 10 recipients of its 2024 Artist Innovation Fellowships.

The Artist Innovation Fellowship program was originally launched in 2020 as a funding program for professional artists in all artistic disciplines. Designed to honor and support the creative individuals who form the core of Palm Beach County’s cultural sector, the program awarded five inaugural Artist Innovation Fellowships in 2020, followed by six fellowships in 2022 and now 10 in 2024. The program’s funding is made possible through a grant from the Cornelia T. Bailey Foundation.

“Supporting professional artists is essential to our work, and we’re very grateful to the Cornelia T. Bailey Foundation that we’ve been able to expand the program to 10 fellowships this year,” said Dave Lawrence, the Cultural Council’s president and CEO. “The Artist Innovation Fellowship program is a journey of discovery, creativity, and innovation. The fellowship offers an opportunity for artists to breathe and think outside daily constraints, and to celebrate creativity and the act of making.”

This program is part of the Cultural Council’s Year of Extraordinary Support, or YES! campaign, an initiative that represents the largest 12-month investment to the cultural community in the Council's 46-year history. The culmination of planning and the creation of new funding initiatives combined now total nearly $12.6 million to support the cultural sector in Palm Beach County.

The Artist Innovation Fellowship is unique among professional development opportunities as it focuses on personal creative growth and the belief that an entire community will benefit through investments in creative individuals. The program is designed to address the pursuit of innovation in either existing avenues of creative expression or through the pursuit of new ideas and projects without the constraints of budgets or specific project outcomes.

Each of the 2024 fellows has been awarded $7,500 to pursue their work. This includes exploring new ideas, new or familiar avenues of artistic expression, apprenticeships, conducting research or receiving instruction, culminating in an exhibition and performance showcase that will take place at the Cultural Council in summer 2026.

Selected by a regional panel of discipline-specific arts professionals, applicants were evaluated according to the quality of the applicant’s artistic work, the strength of their proposed fellowship activities and its relation to their work, and the intended impact on the applicant and his/her work. Fellowships were awarded to applicants who demonstrate a sustained level of accomplishment, commitment, and artistic excellence.

The 2024 Artist Innovation Fellows are:

Suzanne Ankrum, Theater Artist, Jupiter

Suzanne is a theater artist who works as an actor, director, and devised-theater practitioner. She has performed in productions at several South Florida theater companies since making the region her home in 2019, including Palm Beach Dramaworks, Island City Stage and the Maltz Jupiter Theatre. She is passionate about sharing her love of the craft of acting and physical storytelling – leading courses and workshops at Lynn University, Hartford University, Momentum Stage, SUNY Albany, Housatonic Community College, Middletown Circus, Hartbeat Ensemble and more.

Molly Aubry, Visual Artist, West Palm Beach

Molly’s work explores entangled perceptual worlds through the matrix of print media. Mining the tension between organic materials and digital processes, the work imagines artifacts from a world in which the natural and artificial are inextricably linked. Selected exhibitions include Molly Aubry: Dark Luminosity at the Cultural Council, Strange Paradise: A Window into Surrealism at the Annmarie Sculpture Gardens and Art Center in Solomons, MD, and Intimacy at Science Gallery of Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland. She received her BFA from the University of Florida and her MFA from the Cranbrook Academy of Art.

Victoria Cardona, Musician, West Palm Beach

Victoria is a multi-instrumentalist singer/songwriter and composer that has been performing extensively throughout Florida and internationally through Spain and The Canary Islands for over a decade. Her one-woman-band and live-looping performances are a sonic and visual experience that take the audience on a ride through the mind of a spontaneous improviser. Victoria’s Cuban American roots and passion for multicultural and ethnic world music genres are the inspiration behind her creations.

Eli Cecil, Glass Artist, Boynton Beach

A glass artist, much of Eli’s work orbits the dialogue of a conscious and sustainable future. His sculpture reflects on the balancing act between humanity and nature. Many of the themes are a narrative about growth, causality and the legacy left from one generation to the next. In 2021, Cecil created his first public art installation, titled Take Flight, for the Maltz Jupiter Theatre. He is currently the creative director at the Benzaiten Center for Creative Arts, as well as an alumnus of Leadership Palm Beach County Class of 2023.

Noah Garbarino, Musician, Delray Beach

Noah is a music performance artist and educator primarily focused in Japanese taiko drumming and traditional music. He is a member of the ensemble Fushu Daiko, which performs across South Florida and nationally for various cultural festivals and programs. In addition to drumming, he is currently studying koto, the thirteen-string Japanese zither, under the traditional Yamada school.

Tracy Guiteau, Visual Artist, Greenacres

Tracy is a celebrated artist whose work transcends boundaries and captivates audiences worldwide. Her distinctive style, characterized by rich colors and emotive storytelling, has garnered attention on the international stage, including exhibitions at prestigious events like Miami Art Basel. What truly sets her apart, however, is the profound influence of her Haitian heritage and independent spirit on her art. Her work is a testament to her ability to blend tradition with innovation, infusing each piece with a timeless perspective and vibrant energy.

Jeanne Jaffe, Visual Artist, Boynton Beach

Jeanne is a multi-disciplinary artist working in installation, sculpture, drawings, and stop motion animation. Her work is influenced by an interest in language, literature, psychology, and history and explores how we construct identity, our world and our value systems. Jeanne is Professor Emeritus of Fine Arts at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia and has been a visiting artist for five years at Xian Academy of Fine Arts in Xian, China.

Janis McDavid, Musician, Palm Beach Gardens

Janis, also known as Ms. Janis or Jahnice, is a multi-talented individual who has made significant strides in both education and music. As Ms. Janis, she performs as a children’s music entertainer, spreading joy and positivity through her lively performances. As Jahnice, she performs adult contemporary music that is based in soul and reggae vibes, captivating audiences with her powerful vocals and meaningful lyrics.

Jose R. Mendez, Visual Artist, Lake Worth Beach

Jose is a self-taught artist, educator, gallery coordinator, curator, and co-founder of Day of the Dead Lake Worth Beach & Taco Fiesta. Jose works with nonprofits, government agencies, and private organizations to coordinate, collaborate, and promote art, cultural events and activities. Leading cultural organizations he works with include the Norton Museum of Art, Cultural Council for Palm Beach County, Raymond F. Kravis Center for the Performing Arts, City of Lake Worth Beach and LULA Lake Worth Arts, among others.

Gillian Kennedy Wright, Visual Artist, Lake Park

A multi-disciplinary artist, Gillian creates fabric collages, raw edge mixed media quilts, and functional art. Influenced by her Jamaican, Canadian and American heritage, her professional graphic design and textile training melds multi-cultural portraiture, Adinka symbolism, native plants, and environmental themes. Gillian’s socially uplifting creative energy is fueled by Wilma Rudolph’s words to “never underestimate the power of dreams,” and Georgia O’Keeffe’s bold colors and shapes.

To learn more about the 2024 Artist Innovation Fellows, the program and past recipients, visit

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