It has been just about a year since I was appointed President & CEO of United States Artists, and I am so proud of what USA has accomplished during that time, including the work that was set in motion place before my tenure officially began — from the awards distributed through our Programs and Initiatives teams to the events and publishing projects that provide additional platforms for artists’ voices.

I’m also busy reflecting on those first twelve months, listening to my colleagues within USA and across the field about how we can continue to build support for artists and their communities. On top of the unrestricted funding that comes with our Fellowships, we have been offering artists access to individualized financial planning, and this year we have started adding access to legal and wellness services. We already have some hunches about what directions we might build out next.

Thank you for all of your trust as we continue our growth and evolution, driven as always by artists’ needs, even as these needs change in response to the world around them.

With gratitude,

Judilee Reed
President and CEO
She // Her // Hers

Awards Initiatives Stories


Since 2006, United States Artists has awarded over $38 million to more than 800 artists thanks to our funders, who understand the value of supporting an artist’s livelihood. In 2022, we were privileged to award Fellowships to artists and makers across twenty-three states and Puerto Rico, spanning every career stage and illuminating a breadth of artistic practices. This cohort was selected for their remarkable artistic vision and their commitment to community – both within their specific regions and discipline at large.

We were also honored to present the Berresford Prize to Louise Erdrich for paving new pathways for Native American artists through her bookstore, Birchbark Books.


We celebrated sixty-three creative disruptors, social sculptors, and material vanguards who ignite our imagination beyond limits. In addition to their award, each Fellow has the opportunity to work with a Certified Financial Planner for a year, giving them access to tools to improve their lives and further their agency over how they choose to spend the funding.

→ Learn more about the 2022 USA Fellows.

Image of Dream the Combine.
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Photo by Hadley Fruits.

[ID: Tom Carruthers on an iPhone video call with Jennifer Newsom with the green hill of the site in the background. Tom holds the phone in a gloved hand while Jennifer grins on screen. Tom is visible on a window in the corner of the phone.]

2022 USA Fellow
Architecture & Design

Dream The Combine

“The sort of raw material that we’re working with is direct experience. I’m interested in the kind of chance-encounter, the perspective that anybody might bring to our work… You don’t have to know what our motivations were to find something in it.” — Jennifer Newsom

From an interview with Ithaca Voice

Image of Sharif Farrag.
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Photo courtesy of the artist.

[ID: A man with a baseball cap painting in a studio space with many containers of different-colored paints next to him.]

2022 USA Fellow

Sharif Farrag

“I get excited about the idea of hybridity… I’m someone in between a lot of cultures, whether that’s being a Muslim and skateboarding or different music subcultures and countercultures, and a lot of my work visualizes that hybridity.”

From an interview with LA Times.

Image of Jenn Freeman (Po'Chop).
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Photo by MC Newman.

[ID: A Black woman with an afro sits on a green floor cushion among houseplants and a wall of open brown paper bags. She is wearing a red sweatshirt and dark denim pants. Her legs are crossed and she looks casually at the camera.]

2022 USA Fellow

Jenn Freeman (Po’Chop)

“I wanted to interrupt that vintage aesthetic [of Burlesque]…It was important for me to show femininity in a way that was demanding, in your face, irreverent and uplifting my own Black femininity, my own Black womanhood and queerness.”

From an interview with Windy City Times.

Image of Laura Ortman.
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Photo by Nanobah Becker + Blackhorse Lowe.

[ID: A woman with long dark hair, wing-tipped eyeliner holds a violin in front of a mountainous landscape.]

2022 USA Fellow

Laura Ortman

“Learning how to record music on a four-track cassette tape recorder let me know that I didn’t have to act like an orchestra. I was in collaboration with the small but mighty ways I wanted to sing: violin-forward with singing second… Making voices and intimate textures helped me find my voice.”

From an interview with I Care If You listen.

Image of Mary Two Bulls Jr.
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Photo by Kehala Two Bulls.

[ID: A brown man sits on a stool playing an acoustic guitar. He is wearing a yellow pullover hoodie and a black stocking cap with pink letters that read “tatanka nunpa.”]

2022 USA Fellow
Traditional Art

Marty Two Bulls Jr

“One thing about my ancestors is they adapted to new media…It’s always been this continuation of art and culture. I really feel a part of that in my work. I work with clay and I work with computers and drones and all kinds of things. Those are just tools. … It’s the evolution of art in my community.”

From an interview with Rapid City Journal.

The 2022 USA Fellowships were generously made possible by: Sarah Arison, Barr Foundation, Bloomberg Philanthropies, Builders Initiative, Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, Ford Foundation, The Ford Family Foundation, David Horvitz and Francie Bishop Good, John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Steven H. and Nancy K. Oliver, Opportunity Fund and Heinz Endowments, Pritzker Pucker Family Foundation, Rasmuson Foundation, Reis Foundation, The Rockefeller Foundation, MacKenzie Scott, The Fred and Eve Simon Charitable Foundation, The Todd and Betiana Simon Foundation, Paul and Annette Smith, Walder Foundation, Katie Weitz PhD, Windgate Foundation, USA Ambassadors, USA Board of Trustees, USA Endowment Fund, and USA’s Show Up For Artists Campaign.

Berresford Prize

We awarded the Berresford Prize to writer, bookseller, artist, and Native arts advocate Louise Erdrich. The Berresford Prize is given annually to a cultural practitioner who has contributed significantly to the advancement, well-being, and care of artists in society. As the owner and founder of Birchbark Books and Native Arts, Erdrich has created an intentional space that serves as a critical part of the ecosystem supporting and celebrating Native American language, culture, and values.

→ Learn more about Louise Erdrich.

Image of Louise Erdrich.
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Photo by Alessio Jacona from Rome, Italy – Flickr, CC BY-SA 2.0,

[ID: A black-and-white photo of Louise, a woman with a fair complexion and shoulder-length black hair smiling and holding a microphone.]

2022 Berresford Prize Awardee

Louise Erdrich

“I have marveled at the artistry that has passed through my hands [at Birchbark Books and Native Arts]. My vision was that we would serve to bring awareness to Indigenous writing, further Indigenous language revitalization, and that we would support artists by selling the beautiful and creative art that Native people make, often on isolated reservations. This prize will help us to more fully realize our vision.”



Our Initiatives team continued its partnerships with foundations, philanthropists, and other field leaders to expand the arts ecosystem with unrestricted funding across regions and disciplines, announcing new cohorts for Disability Futures, The Knight Arts + Tech Fellowship, and The Rainin Fellowship, as well as co-launching The Maxwell Hanrahan Awards in Craft, a new award for craftspeople.

→ Learn more about USA Initiatives.

USA Initiative Partners Logos
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[ID: A graphic image combining graphics for the Disability Futures Fellows 2022, Knight Arts + Tech Fellowship, Rainin fellowship and Maxwell Hanrahan Awards in Craft.]


Disability Futures, a fellowship created in partnership with Ford and Mellon Foundations aimed at increasing the visibility of disabled creative practitioners across disciplines and geography and amplifying their voices, awarded twenty artists. The Knight Arts + Tech Fellowship, a partnership with The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, which provides funding for artists whose practices span across Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality, immersive installation, performance, Artificial Intelligence, and more, awarded five artists. The Rainin Fellowship, a partnership with the Kenneth Rainin Foundation celebrating Bay Area artists working in dance, film, theater, and public space who are anchors in their communities, awarded four artists.

Read More
Image of Terrol Dew Johnson.
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Photo by Tohono O’odham Community Action staff; courtesy of the artist.

[ID: A Native American man with short hair and a thin-striped gray shirt smiles at the camera in front of a red and black maze-like patterned cloth.]

2022 Maxwell/ Hanrahan Awardee

Terrol Dew Johnson

“My practice is rooted in the traditional techniques and cultural memory passed on by my mentors and community… All materials are from the land and I know the importance of giving back to the environment… I consider my art and activism one in the same, and as a call from necessity.”

From an interview with Arizona Daily Star.

Image of Naomi Ortiz.
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Photo by Jade Beall.

[ID: A light-skinned Mestizx wearing a blue bandanna, silver hoop earrings, dark lipstick, a silver bracelet, and a black shirt sits in their scooter, surrounded by pencil cholla, holding the book Sustaining Spirit: Self-Care for Social Justice and looking out at the crowd.]

2022 Disability Futures Fellow

Naomi Ortiz

“As a disabled person, I often think about ecojustice as justice that is reflectant of equity versus equality, where resources are divvied up based on need. Ecojustice to me is how we can live and balance the best we can and honor the fact that we have different needs.”

From an interview with The Takeaway.

Image of Maria Victoria Ponce.
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Photo by Staci DeGagne.

[ID: A Mexican-American woman with short hair sits and smiles at the camera in front of large crane and older warehouse buildings.]

2022 Rainin Fellow

Maria Victoria Ponce

“Growing up poor and undocumented in Richmond, California, I never imagined a career in the arts. The Rainin [Fellowship] allows me to pursue not just that, but something bigger, more complete in scope. It frees me to think more about the world I’m creating and expands the possibilities for my characters and their journeys. I can finally truly tell my stories.”

From an interview with San Francisco Business Times.

Image of James Allister Sprang.
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Turning Towards a Radical Listening, 2019. Spatialized sound and lecture performance, 70 min. Presented at The Kitchen. Photo by Paula Court.

[ID: A person with long braids, glasses, and a black jacket holds a sheet of paper and stands in front of a large projection which fills the frame. The projection shows dozens of layered black words of varying sizes against a white background, forming obscured blocks of text.]

2022 Knight Arts + Tech Fellow

James Allister Sprang

“This past year has been a time for a deep appreciation of, and a listening to, the black interior. Always and fervently let us remember that we, the people, are beautiful aquifers for the many histories that pass through and around us.”



USA’s events and publishing projects support artists directly with paid opportunities and venues for them to share their work throughout the year.

Our annual Artist Crawl, held virtually in 2022, explored the rich cultural heritage of Appalachia. In this brief survey of the region, USA Fellows and other contemporary artists shared their practices and helped to reframe historic notions of Appalachia in modern terms. Our Virtual Salons featured USA Fellows in conversation with arts leaders across the country, sharing intimate conversations and diving deeper into questions artists are grappling with today.

→ Access recordings from the 2022 Virtual Artist Crawl in Appalachia and past virtual Salons.

New Suns logo.
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[ID: On a geometric color block background of yellows and purples the words “New Suns” are rendered in a funky black font. Text reading “Issue 6: Ways of Learning” is placed in the center.]

New Suns: Listening with Artists

We published three more issues of New Suns, our digital commissioning platform for conversations, artwork, writing, and more. We featured twenty one artists and USA Fellows on themes including touch, pedagogy, and nature, allowing contributors to share new work and participate in conversations about their unique practices.

Explore New Suns!

Image of Nataki Garrett.
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Photo by Christopher Briscoe.

[ID: A portrait of a woman with dark brown skin wearing a vibrant red dress against a white background. She smiles warmly.]

2022 USA Fellow
Theatre & Performance

Nataki Garrett

“How do we strategically direct support right to the artists as opposed to the commodification of the output of their work? What if we were to just take the resources and give it directly to people who had to put roofs on houses and take care of elderly parents and sustain their lives?”

From the May 2022 Virtual Salon.

Image of Aaron McIntosh.
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Photo courtesy of the artist.

[ID: A man poses seated in front of two colorful quilts mounted on the wall behind him. He wears wire-framed glasses and smiles into the camera.]

2020 USA Fellow | Craft

Aaron McIntosh

“Piecework itself can be traditional; it can be rigid. It can be structured. It can also be very loose and intuitive, encoded with symbolism by the maker and sometimes practically illegible to people outside of the community understanding of its system of symbols and meanings.”

From the 2022 Appalachian Artist Crawl.

Image of Mary Thompson.
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Photo courtesy of the artist and United States Artists.

[ID: A screenshot from Zoom showing a woman with long gray hair, holding a long strand of basket weaving material against an autumn backdrop.]

Basket weaver and Potter

Mary Thompson

“To learn about [Cherokee] culture and history we have to seek out that information. It’s not something that is readily taught in the public school system or in the private school system, and my interest in my art and in my craft has made me want to go seek out more information about my culture and my history.”

From the 2022 Appalachian Artist Crawl.

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[ID: Beige text against black background reads “Shift Space” with a green circle reading “2.0.”]

Shift Space 2.0

We launched a new edition of Shift Space, an annual digital publication exploring new media landscapes and spotlighting the Knight Arts + Tech Fellows. Shift Space 2.0 was edited by Natalia Zuluaga with contributions from Simone Browne, Stefanie Hessler, Robin D. G. Kelley, Darla Migan, Ade Omotosho, K Allado-McDowell, Ernesto Oroza, Tao Leigh Goffe, Alenda Y. Chang, and Jason Edward Lewis.

Read Shift Space 2.0.

Our People


We had the pleasure of welcoming a number of new staff members to the team: Hawa Adam as Programs Intern, Jacqui Dumornay as Development Coordinator, Danielle Iwata as Executive Coordinator, Luz Orozco as Program Assistant, Mandy Thomas as Staff Accountant, and Judilee Reed as President & CEO.

And we said farewell to colleagues Lisa Feingold, Development Director and Lily Herzan, Development Coordinator, whose important contributions to USA are represented in this report.

Image of Danielle Iwata.
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Photo courtesy of Danielle.

[ID: An East Asian woman with medium length black hair and a blue sweater holds a string of origami cranes horizontally. The lower part of her face is covered by the string of cranes, which are arranged in a rainbow from blue to red. A sea of origami cranes lays across the bottom third of the frame.]

Executive Coordinator

Danielle Iwata

Within my first month at USA, I had the joy of speaking with colleagues 1:1, and it was a wonderful opportunity to learn people’s stories — how they got to USA, what their own artistic practices are, what their pets’ personalities are, and more. I’m excited to work alongside these incredible people to build better futures for artists!


Image of Jacqui Dumornay.
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Photo by Mashall Khan.

[ID: A Black woman in her mid twenties with cornrows poses in a turtleneck dress poses in front of a background of pink and purple lights.]

Development Coordinator

Jacqui Dumornay

A highlight of my experience thus far has been the community building. Working on the Appalachian Virtual Artist Crawl provided the perfect springboard into fostering a rapport with our Fellows, relationships within USA, and partnerships with our regional partners. I am forever grateful for all of those that I have met along the way!

Image of Luz Orozco.
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Photo courtesy of Luz.

[ID: Luz celebrates a harvest of herbs at a farm by hugging a bundle of Tulsi Vana and standing behind a table covered in leaves and vegetables.]

Program Assistant

Luz Orozco

Working with talented artists one on one has been such an inspiring and rewarding aspect of working in the Programs team.

Image of Mandy Thomas.
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Photo courtesy of Mandy.

[ID: A white woman in hiking gear crouches in front of a mountain lake while her yellow lab looks up at her.]

Staff Accountant

Mandy Thomas

I fully enjoyed attending the October board meeting in Chicago. Since it was my first visit, Anna generously took me on a tour of the city which was a real treat to see through the eyes of a true Chicago native. The staff at USA is the most friendly and welcoming team that I’ve had the pleasure of working with and I’m very excited for the upcoming budgeting process and to experience the full ins and outs of a fiscal year.

Image of Judilee Reed.
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Photo courtesy of Judilee.

[ID: An Asian-American woman with short black-and-white hair smiles,
standing in an apple orchard and looking down at the apples she is holding in her arm.]

President & CEO

Judilee Reed

I am thrilled for this work of supporting artists. And I can’t imagine a better team to be working with. I am looking forward to celebrating my one-year mark with a list of accomplishments that lay the foundation for new ways of supporting artists.

Thanks for a great year of continuing to Believe in Artists together.

From everyone at United States Artists, we wish you wonderful 2023.