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Cornelius News

Cornelius artist among 6 to earn grants that celebrate commitment to community

Camerin Watson of Cornelius

July 21. Six Charlotte-Mecklenburg creative individuals will each receive $50,000 “mini-genius” awards as the inaugural recipients of ASC Founders Grants.

The grants represent the largest awards to individuals from ASC in the organization’s 65-year history.

Among the recipients is Cornelius resident Camerin Watson, the director of Inspire Inclusion Dance, a program for dancers with and without disabilities. She teaches dance to all ages, levels and abilities. In addition to teaching, Watson is a freelance choreographer, performer and the artistic director of Charlotte’s annual BOOM Festival.

Founders Grants support visionary artists who build and demonstrate an ongoing commitment to community in Charlotte-Mecklenburg by directly engaging residents through relevant and innovative cultural experiences. The awards celebrate the commitment of artists to the community they call home and honor their creative vision.

The recipients are creative entrepreneurs and founders of grassroots or emerging nonprofit cultural organizations. This new investment in local creatives is made possible by the Infusion Fund and generous donors.

ASC Founders Grants allow recipients to determine how they will use their awards without specific programmatic or reporting requirements. Such investments in creative individuals fit into ASC’s larger commitment to cultural equity.

The other inaugural ASC Founders Grants recipients are:

MyLoan Dinh

MyLoan Dinh, a Vietnamese American multidisciplinary artist. She is a cofounder of Moving Poets, the founder of several projects including a multidisciplinary arts outreach and migration project, “We See Heaven Upside Down.” Through her work, she strives to build community and facilitate direct connections and exchanges among the arts, creators and audiences.

Hannah Hasan

Hannah Hasan, an award-winning master storyteller, spoken word poet, author, playwright and creative facilitator who believes that our stories will set us free. She has built an impressive and impactful career centered on using the arts of the written and spoken word to inspire, inform, educate and empower audiences in Charlotte and throughout the U.S.

Jermaine Nakia Lee

Jermaine Nakia Lee, a songwriter, playwright, stage director, producer and culturalist. He is the founder of Charlotte Black Pride, founder of the KUUMBA Academy and a collaborator across many grassroots, community arts and culture projects.

Robin Tynes Miller

Robin Tynes-Miller, founding artistic director and the artistic and operations director of Three Bone Theatre. Tynes-Miller has spent her career working with local theatre organizations as an actor, director, teaching artist and marketing and ticketing professional. She is passionate about the intersections of theatre and anti-oppression work and is excited to incorporate that into Three Bone Theatre.


Dammit Wesley

Dammit Wesley, a multidisciplinary artist forging spaces and experiences for Black creatives and the community. He is the co-owner of BLKMRKTCLT and co-creator of Durag Fest, a Juneteenth commemoration of Black cultural representation through headwear fashions and fabulousness, described as “the Met Gala of Durags.”