Press Release
dance performance

Congratulations to the FY24 Winners of the Performing Arts Individual Artist Fellowship

>We want to congratulate all of this year’s performing arts Individual Artist Fellowship recipients. They are a reflection of the varied talent Tennessee has to offer. The Tennessee Arts Commission awards Individual Artist Fellowships annually to recognize and acknowledge outstanding professional Tennessee artists who, through their work, add to the state’s cultural vitality.

Interdisciplinary Performing Arts

Lauren Akins’s Memoir
Sarah Saturday

Sarah Saturday is an interdisciplinary musician, producer, writer, and performance artist who presents deeply vulnerable, complex, and visually stunning performances. She has released several albums, singles, remixes, videos, films, and multimedia performances and played over 200 shows in the U.S. and Canada. Her IAF submission,

Voyage: A Live Visual Album, features a mix of live performances with innovative short films and vibrant original songs that explore “the shifting relationship we have with complex and layered identities – those parts of ourselves both positive and negative that are always trying to protect us, sometimes to our detriment.”

Music Composition

Lauren Akins’s Memoir
Russell Platt

Composer Russell Platt’s work is deeply rooted in the legacy of Romanticism, narrative-driven, formally dynamic, intellectually active, and frequently engages with works from other mediums. Currently serving on Vanderbilt University’s Blair School of Music faculty, his compositions have been performed by some of the country’s most distinguished artists and ensembles. Mr. Platt’s IAF submission, Symphony in Three Movements, was written for the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra and inspired by four paintings from the abstract artist Clyfford Still, whose work, as Platt describes, “rings with epic scale.”

Music Performance

Lauren Akins’s Memoir
Hillary Herndon

Violist Hillary Herndon has earned a national reputation for her brilliant playing, creative programming, and insightful teaching. A member of the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra and faculty member of the University of Tennessee Knoxville, she has been heard on NPR and PBS. She has collaborated with some of the world’s foremost artists, including Itzhak Perlman, who described her as “having it all… a gifted teacher and an excellent musician.” For her IAF submission, Ms. Herndon showcased her virtuosity in the Bartok Viola Concerto, a devilishly difficult work, in performances with the UTK Symphony.


Lauren Akins’s Memoir
Elyzabeth Gregory Wilder

Elyzabeth Gregory Wilder is the Tennessee Williams Playwright-in-Residence at Sewanee: The University of the South, where she teaches playwriting. Her plays have been produced at the Royal Court (London), Alabama Shakespeare Festival, Denver Center, and Cleveland Play House. In addition to her plays, she’s written for the serialized podcast In Good Company and was a staff writer on the short-lived CBS show Love Monkey. Elyzabeth’s IAF-winning submission, Zelda in the Backyard, takes the audience through protagonist Libby’s quest to reassemble Zelda, an inherited and wrecked 1961 Rolls Royce, in a story of love, loss, and all the roads in between.

Dance Choreography

Lauren Akins’s Memoir
Eboné Camille Amos

Eboné Camille Amos is an Assistant Professor of African-American Studies in the Theatre and Dance Department at Austin Peay State University. She teaches African-American history and culture through the lens of African-American visual and performance art. Eboné has the honor of performing her own choreography in events worldwide, most recently workshopping her IAF-winning submission, work, mine, yours, theirs, ours, in residency with the Jacksonville Dance Theatre.

Says Amos of the work, “It’s directly informed by the memories I have of/with the strong, resilient women in my family, intertwining abstract gestures and contemporary dance vocabulary with the powerful voices of notable Black women speakers and soul singers such as Shirley Chisholm, Odetta, and Nina Simone.”