During this season, we are grateful for the inspiration, joy, and profound impact that our artists bring to our community. It is the resounding voices of artists that shine brightly, guiding us forward. We are so proud that through our Community Creative Fellowship, in partnership with CJP, we are able to elevate top artistic talent to be the leaders we need.
In 2019, CJP and JArts came together to create the Community Creative Fellowship with a shared vision of bringing artists and communities together to share in inspiration, learning, and pride.
This mission feels relevant today more than ever. Our criteria this year emphasized the importance of finding artists who excel at infusing Jewish joy and offer a unique Jewish perspective that resonates with the current moment. After careful consideration of applicants from a large pool of outstanding artists, we are excited to introduce the members of our fourth cohort of Community Creative Fellows:
Please help us in welcoming Alex Salsberg, Deborah Leipziger, Yuval Gur, and Lily Henley!
Alex Salsberg is a Boston-based independent animator, filmmaker, and teacher who creates animated films to tell stories. He has created animation for Nickelodeon, WGBH, and MTV. Alex is an adjunct animation professor at Lesley University, and as the founder of The Animation Lab, he offers animation workshops to kids of all ages. Alex is also co-founder and director of AniMAtic Boston, an organization that supports and educates New England animation artists. “My early Jewish experience is almost inseparable from the growth of my creativity,” says Alex. Coincidentally, some of you may also know his wonderful wife, Mia Schon.There is an indescribable, unique, and magical feeling when we light Hanukkah candles together at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. The magic isn’t just in the communal joy, but in our ability to share light, even and especially in the darkest of times.
Deborah Leipziger is poet and creator of the annual Jewish Poetry Festival in Brookline. She descends from a family of rabbis and writers, and her Jewish roots inspire her poetry. Born in Brazil to European parents who fled the Holocaust, her journeys and cultural identities bleed into her work. Her work reflects the experience of leaving and returning and creating home in new places, giving her opportunities to connect with others through these shared experiences. Her poems shed light on themes connected to finding home as an outsider and making sense of loss and trauma.
Yuval Gur is a multidisciplinary artist who uses sound, video, and paint to explore multiculturalism. Much of his work explores his Jewish identity, a passion kindled by his upbringing in Haifa — a melting pot of diverse cultures and spiritual beliefs. Yuval envisions a world where the magic of art and the depth of his Jewish roots come together to paint a canvas of hope, resilience, and shared humanity. His singing paintings will inspire you.
Lily Henley is a Sefardi-American singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist known for her synergistic exploration of both Sephardi and American folk traditions. The Guardian called Lily’s 2022 album Oras Dezaoradas a “fascinating and beautiful release.” The album — a collection of new Ladino folk songs exploring transience, heartbreak, autonomy, and change — was awarded Top of the World by Songlines Magazine, and Best Jewish Album of the Year by Hey Alma Magazine. She has performed extensively, including with Grammy-nominated artists David Krakauer and Brittany Haas, and Irish guitar virtuoso John Doyle. She is a recipient of a 2019 NYSCA/NYFA Artist Fellow Finalist in Music/Sound, 2020 New Jewish Culture Fellowship, and a 2021 Fulbright Grant. Lily currently tours both as a solo artist and with mystic folk band Rising Appalachia.
Our fourth cohort of Creative Community Fellows has been expanded to include four Boston-area creatives who will each be paired with an organization to engage community over a three month residency. Check Instagram for updates on whom they are partnered with, and to follow along with their work.
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