2021 Artist Innovator Award Winners, Ralph Washington and Warkenda Williams-Casey

November 4, 2021 Kelley Gibson Grant Recipients, News, Press Releases

Cultural Alliance Announces 2021 Artist Innovator Award Winners, Ralph Washington and Warkenda Williams-Casey

York, PA – The Cultural Alliance of York County is pleased to announce the winners of the 2021 Artist Innovator Awards, Ralph Washington (RalphReal) and Warkenda Williams-Casey, each of whom will receive a $10,000 cash prize.  The award was presented publicly on Tuesday, October 26th at the Cultural Alliance Annual Meeting at Keystone Kidspace.

Ralph Real tours with hip hop-soul band called “Oddisee and Good Company” around the globe, at festivals, and has been featured on NPR’s Tiny Desk and KEXP. More recently he has been active in York with his band, “RalphReal and the Family Jam”, a high-energy funk and soul band, as well as active in helping with youth programs such as the Shine Foundation and Peddle 4 Peace.

Warkenda Williams-Casey is a teaching artist, choreographer and community advocate.  She teaches ballet and contemporary ballet, Zena Rommett Flor-Barre®, as well as elemental movement to all ages at the Susquehanna Dance Center in Mountville.  Warkenda is also the Artistic Director and Founder of Black Swan Ballet Company, who’s mission is to encourage ballet dancers of color in their dance training and experience as well as changing the face and body of the ballet world for the better.

The Artist Innovator Award was created to highlight and reward the exceptional level of artistic talent that exists in York County.  The winners were chosen after a panel of peer reviewers and jurors from outside of York County, and in fact, across the nation, narrowed down the search to 10 finalists, and then to two winners  from those 10. 

The additional award finalists were:

The winner and finalists’ profiles and contact information, as well as many other talented artists from York County can all be found at www.york365.com.

Artists working in any medium and whom live in York Cunty are invited to create a profile of their work on the arts and culture website, York365.com in order to be considered for next year’s award.  For additional information on the award including how to be considered in 2022, visit www.culturalyork.org/artistinnovatoraward.  Please contact Rita@culturalyork.org or call 717-812-9255 with any questions.

Founded as a United Arts Fund in 1999, the Cultural Alliance’s annual campaign currently supports arts organizations and artists that are essential to arts and culture in our community and Over the past 22 years invested $12 million in cash and $2.5 million in in-kind support for the arts.   Through critical operational grants, the Cultural Alliance is the lifeline for arts and culture in York County.

For more information, call the Cultural Alliance at 717-812-9255, visit our website at www.culturalyork.org, visit the Cultural Alliance of York on Facebook, and follow @CulturalYork on Instagram.

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