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Congratulations to Ralph Real and Warkenda Williams-Casey for winning the 2021 Artist Innovator Award.

The Artist Innovator Awards are intended to recognize excellence within the York County arts community as a vital aspect of both our cultural diversity, and our economy.

2021 Innovator Award Finalists:

Ralph Real – Music

Shane Speal – Music

Warkenda Williams-Casey – Dance

Doug Henderson – Film/Video

Bryan Wade – Film/Video

Krystal Younglove – Performing Arts

Theodore Prescott – Visual Art

Ashley Moog Bowlsbey – Visual Art

Greg Bowers – Literary

Michael Baskerville II – Literary


“Winning the prize was so much bigger than the money, I’ve worked so hard and so long on my music that winning made me remember that it’s bigger than me and that my music has a purpose.  I will be forever grateful for your organization and what you represent for people like myself who believe and know that art is a real job.”

2020 Artist Innovator Awardee, Ambitious Caban

What does the Journey of a Creative in York Look Like in 5 Years?

The Cultural Alliance has been hard at work laying the tracks and ties to bring our creatives into community solutions.  From creating artist residencies to embed creatives in primary healthcare and manufacturing, to partnering with the York County Economic Alliance to create resources to accelerate creative businesses, this creative engine can power our economic recovery.

We hope to reframe the perception of the arts from “nice” to “necessary.” In 5 years time we will see artists working in healthcare settings to speed up healing and improve outcomes, artists using their talents to bridge the civic and racial divide that we see in our county, and a bounce back of our local economy fueled by the creative sector.”

Rita Whitney, Director of Communications & Engagement, Cultural Alliance of York County
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