Santa Monica Artist Fellows

Santa Monica Cultural Affairs awards two Fellowships of $20,000, and three $4,200 Project Fellowships, annually. The awards provide opportunities to Santa Monica artists and help promote public discourse on topics of human creativity and learning. More information is available in the Artist and Project Fellowships Guidelines.


Santa Monica
Artist Fellows

  • Leilani Chan

    Leilani Chan

    Leilani Chan is a performance artist, playwright, director, and Founding Artistic Director of TeAda Productions. Her collaboration with Ova Saopeng, Masters of the Currents, was developed with the support of the New England Foundation for the Arts. Leilani received her 3rd National Performance Network Creation Fund award for Global Taxi Driver, a transnational ensemble performance exploring immigration and mobility in the 21st century, co-commissioned by East West Players. Leilani is co-creator of Refugee Nation, the first national touring play about Laotian refugees, commissioned by the MAP Fund and by Legacies of War. Leilani received the 2009 Rainbow Award from the Los Angeles Women's Theater Festival and is on the board of the Consortium of Asian American Theaters and Artists. (Photo: Jen May Photography)

  • Larissa FastHorse

    Larissa FastHorse

    Larissa FastHorse (Sicangu Lakota Nation) has been awarded an NEA Distinguished New Play Development Grant, the Joe Dowling Annamaghkerrig Fellowship, AATE Distinguished Play Award, Inge Residency, Sundance/Ford Foundation Fellowship, the UCLA Native American Program Woman of the Year and numerous Creative Capital, MAP Fund, Ford, Mellon and NEA Grants. She has also been named a PEN/Laura Pels Outstanding Mid-Career Playwright. Her work includes The Thanksgiving Play, Native Nation, What Would Crazy Horse Do?, Urban Rez, Landless, Average Family, Teaching Disco Squaredancing to Our Elders: a Class Presentation and other plays. (Photo: Conor Horgan)


Santa Monica
Artist Project Fellows

  • Melissa Barak

    Melissa Barak

    Melissa Barak, Artistic Director of Barak Ballet, danced with the New York City Ballet and was invited by Peter Martins to participate in the inaugural NY Choreographic Institute. Martins commissioned her to choreograph Telemann Overture Suite for the School of American Ballet, which became part of the company’s repertoire. At 22 years of age, she was the youngest commissioned choreographer in New York City Ballet history at that time. Melissa has been awarded Mae L. Wien and Choo San Goh Awards for choreography, was commissioned by the Los Angeles Philharmonic twice in 2015 and again in 2016, and was named an L.A. Times “Face to Watch.” (Photo: Jin Lee)

  • Anthony Friedkin

    Anthony Friedkin

    Anthony Friedkin is an American photographer whose works have chronicled California's landscapes, cities and people, including topics such as surf culture, prisons, cinema, and gay culture. Friedkin’s photographs have been exhibited in the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and the J. Paul Getty Museum, and are collected by the Getty and the Museum of Modern Art in New York. In 2014, The Gay Essay, which documents Californian gay culture during the late 1960s and early 1970s, was featured in San Francisco's deYoung Museum. Anthony Friedkin has lived and worked out of his apartment studio in Santa Monica for more than forty-five years. (Photo: David Gruyn)

  • Elena Siff

    Elena Siff

    Elena Siff creates collages, assemblages, books and installation art, and has taught bookmaking and papermaking. She has had solo exhibitions at the FIG Gallery, 18th Street Art Center, Carol Craven Gallery, Martha’s Vineyard Island, and the Wichita Art Museum, Kansas. Elena has been represented in the Jerusalem Bienniel with a mural entitled SPEAKING THUNDER, which addresses autism awareness. Her son, Noah Erenberg, is an outsider artist challenged with autism (Photo: Sam Erenberg)