I am lucky enough to have been chosen as a 2016 Creative Workforce Fellow. The Creative Workforce Fellowship is a program of the Community Partnership for Arts and Culture, made possible by the generous support of Cuyahoga County residents through a public grant from Cuyahoga Arts & Culture.

Cuyahoga Arts & Culture’s mission is to inspire and strengthen the community by investing in arts and culture. Cuyahoga County residents created Cuyahoga Arts & Culture in 2006 when they approved a tax on cigarettes to support arts and culture in our community. In 2015, the community affirmed its commitment to arts and culture by extending the tax through 2027 with Issue 8. Cuyahoga Arts & Culture has invested more than $140 million in more than 300 organizations to deliver on the promise made to support thousands of enriching arts and culture experiences in every corner of the county. In addition, CAC supported 161 Cuyahoga County artists through the Creative Workforce Fellowship since 2009. For more information, visit www.cacgrants.org.

I was awarded a Creative Workforce Fellowship grant from CAC in 2016, and I'm thrilled to have this opportunity to share my work with a broader community!

I have a few plans in the works, thanks to this fellowship award. My first idea for advancing my body of work (and that of other like-minded composers) is to create a contemporary music ensemble devoted to performances of contemplative, subtle music which still takes risks and challenges listeners. This group, titled the "Quiet Trance Ensemble," will feature a combination of local experimental/electronic musicians plus classical musicians who specialize in performing new music. This instrumentation gives the most flexibility, and can accommodate works that range from freely improvised pieces to notated scores, with or without electronic instruments. Musical programming for the QTE will consist of pieces that embrace the group's ethos, and can include commissions of new works specifically written for QTE.

To foster community involvement, QTE will hold 'group improvisation evenings' free for anyone to attend. The only requirements: to bring a found object or two that is capable of making interesting sounds (this could be anything), to bring an open mind, and be willing to engage openly in the improvisational process. The goal is to create musical improvisations that express themselves in a meditative yet experimental manner.

Group improv sessions will include discussions that first address the music just played, then move to social topics, community issues, etc. These provide a unique opportunity for anyone to make music, experience the creative process firsthand, discuss pertinent societal issues in a safe public forum, and connect with others in a deeply personal manner.