Rickerby Hinds, a professor in the Department of Theatre, Film, and Digital Production, was selected as a 2023 Legacy Artist for the Individual Artists Fellowship (IAC) created by the California Arts Council in partnership with Arts Orange County (ArtsOC).
The Individual Artists Fellowship program recognizes and uplifts California artists practicing various art forms and provides unrestricted funding in the form of grants over 3 different categories, according to the ArtsOC website showcasing the 2023-2024 IAC fellows.
“My initial reaction was disbelief, quickly followed by being thrilled for being recognized for my work,” Hinds said. “Then after seeing the list of the other artists who had been awarded, I was simply honored to be included.”
A panel of peers, including artists, arts administrators, arts educators, and arts funders from the participating counties in the region carefully selected the artists, following the submission period in March and the reviewing panels in May. According to the ArtsOC press release, Hinds was one of 58 fellows selected from a submission pool of 779 artists in Region 1 comprising the Imperial, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, and San Diego Counties of the California Arts Council fellowship program.
Hinds is the second member of the UCR faculty to receive this honor. In 2021-2022, distinguished professor of creative writing Allison Adelle Hedge Coke received the California Legacy Artist inaugural fellowship.
On their website, ArtsOC highlights Hinds in his fellow profile stating that “Rickerby Hinds is a playwright/professor and Hip-Hop theatre pioneer who works with community members and students in the Inland Region of Southern California as well as nationally and internationally.”
“I am humbled and grateful, especially given the unprecedented number of artists who applied and the quality of their work,” Hinds said.
Hinds was selected as a fellow in the highest distinction the program awards. As a Legacy Artist fellow, Hinds will receive a grant of $50,000. The fellowship grants are meant to support artists and their works across various disciplines in California. It was an important factor that prompted Hinds to apply, he said.
Through this opportunity, Hinds intends to financially support his new projects such as “Blackbox,” his latest commissioned play retelling Henry Box Brown’s journey to freedom as an enslaved man.
“I know that as an artist I have the tendency to be more pragmatic in my creative process and having this kind of support allows me to free my mind with the knowledge that I have the means to, at least, begin,” Hinds said. “I hope to leverage the Legacy Award by using the funds to bring my latest play, ‘Blackbox,’ to fruition as proof of what can be done with just a little support for the arts.”