Welcome Grantees

Creative Exchange Capacity Grant | 2024

Meet the Arts Foundation of Cape Cod’s (AFCC) 15 newest Capacity Building grantees! They’re a stellar group who represent the best of the Cape’s artistic richness and diversity. 

Amy Davies, West Harwich | Film

Amy Davies' work explores how personal relationships, the sensations of sight and sound, and the natural environment impact her life and the lives of creatives and scientists. Her films tell their stories through emotion and experience.

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Amy Mason, Brewster | Visual Arts

Amy is an artist and designer known for her whimsical card lines, nostalgic illustrations, and colorful paintings. Over the past three decades, she has worn many hats as an entrepreneur, including shop owner, vintage treasure hunter, and window display designer. The one common thread throughout her career is a constant drive for creativity. Amy creates her art and cards out of her home studio in Brewster. She is also the retail consultant for the Cahoon Museum of American Art in Cotuit.

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DeAngelo Nieves, Provincetown | Performing Arts

DeAngelo is a multidisciplinary multi-instrumentalist polyglot Afro-Latino artist based in Provincetown.

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Lipe Borges, Brewster | Visual Arts

An independent multidisciplinary artist, inclined by the ideas of neohumanism, Filipe aims to capture the individuality that every single being in the world possesses. His methodologies are based on building an intense and genuine connection, as well as deeply observing his subjects. Filipe is interested in the way beings express themselves and their unique qualities. Aligned with this, he has an ideological purpose in life: to traverse the globe, to the best of his ability, as an apprentice to humanizing himself every single day, and to document this experience of being alive. Filipe has adopted an aesthetic inspired by social documentarists such as Dorothea Lange, Sebastião Salgado, and Henri-Cartier Bresson. He also has great admiration for Platon and Vik Muniz.

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Gabriella Simpkins, Hyannis | Performing Arts

Gabriella is a singer-songwriter, composer, and multi-instrumentalist from Hyannis. Informed by her vast experiences across many genres and performance settings, her work exists at the intersections of folk, indie rock, classical, and jazz music.

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Joerg Dressler, Provincetown | Visual Artist

Born in Hanau, Germany, Joerg fuses nature and perception in his art, creating evocative paintings that blur the lines between reality and abstraction. Drawing inspiration from Romanticism, Impressionism, Abstract Expressionism, Pop Art, graphic design, and photography, Joerg's work reflects a unique dialogue between representational and abstract elements.

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Gemma Leghorn, Orleans | Written Word

Gemma is a writer whose work explores obsession and inner worlds. Her writing has been published in magazines and journals, including Provincetown Arts, Art New England, and Topography, and she helped establish the Cape Cod Poetry Review. Scholarships from the Salty Quill Writers' Retreat and Bowdoin College, among others, have supported her work. She is revising her first novel.

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John Thomas, Provincetown | Performing Arts

John is a pianist, concert producer, music director, composer and actor. John has been producing the Great Music on Sundays @5 concert series at the UU Meeting House of Provincetown since 1999, delivering more than 350 concerts, featuring hundreds of performers, to Cape audiences. He co-founded Provincetown’s WorldFest to celebrate international seasonal workers/students and has been producing the annual Celebration of Life concert since 1994.

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Karla DeStefano, Marstons Mills | Visual Arts

Karla is a self-taught, multimedia artist specializing in paper art and acrylic painting. She is a transracial, transnational adoptee from El Salvador who uses handmade art as a way to connect to her roots. Karla’s focus is on abstract work. Her use of texture and layering gives viewers the space to make their own interpretations, while also serving as a visual representation of the experiences as a transracial, transnational adoptee living on Cape Cod.

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Katie Castagno, Eastham | Performing Arts

Katie is a geologist by day and a musician by night. Drawing on roots in rural New England and collegiate a cappella, Katie writes about people, places, and geological phenomena.

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Mike Palmer, Mashpee | Visual Arts

Mike is a scientist and artist specializing in fish art. Through his artwork, he connects with, translates, and shares his experiences and discoveries about life and place. Drawing and creating have been lifelong pursuits, with minimal formal art instruction beyond high school. Before embarking on a career as an artist, Mike served as a fisheries scientist for the federal government, spending over 200 days at sea on fishing boats and research vessels from Alaska to the Canadian Maritimes. These experiences have profoundly impacted his art and approach to each subject. Mike's style harmonizes scientific accuracy with aesthetic form. Influenced by the Japanese philosophy of wabi-sabi, he embraces simplicity, beauty, utility, imperfection, and the ever-evolving. Working in various mediums but specializing in colored pencil, Mike strives to breathe life into local wildlife and imagery, showcasing a deep appreciation for the natural world.

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Michelle St. John, Mashpee | Film, Music/Sound, Theatre

Michelle is the Content Producer for We Are the Seeds, an Indigenous nonprofit arts organization based in Philadelphia. She is the Producer of From Here, With a View, a We Are the Seeds podcast, centering Indigenous perspectives on life, art, and everything in-between. Michelle currently performs with the Wampanaoag Nation Singers and Dancers and is part of the cast of We Are the Land, a community-devised play that shares the Wampanoag experience. She is also a two-time Gemini Award-winning actor and filmmaker and has more than 40 years-experience working in theater, radio, television, and feature films. Her film Colonization Road garnered a Golden Sheaf Award from the Yorkton Film Festival and a Canadian Screen Award nomination for the Donald Brittain Award for Best Social/Political Documentary.

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MiYoung Sohn, Provincetown | Visual Arts

MiYoung, a South Korean-born artist, holds a BFA from Parsons School of Design and an MFA in Sculpture from Yale School of Art. Her sculptural works, installations and collages, influenced by her immigrant childhood, use common materials to interpret daily experiences. Notable works include a series of daily collages reflecting life on Cape Cod. MiYoung resides in Provincetown, actively engaging in the Outer Cape community through public art projects, workshops, and curation, alongside her ongoing studio practice.

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Tianna Esperanza, Hyannis | Performiing Art

Some of the most beautiful and intimate art is birthed from the rawest of emotions. For singer/songwriter Tianna Esperanza, it’s the heart of their music’s universe, a place where they freely tell their story in a way that can resonate with anyone. The depths of that expression are not only vital to their messaging, but it’s woven into their DNA. As the 23-year-old rising star unveils their debut masterpiece Terror, Tianna is geared to create a movement fueled by honest and authentic music that will stand the test of time. - Kathy Landoli

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Victoria Brown, S. Yarmouth | Dance

Victoria is the founder of Dance Therapy 508. Dance Therapy 508 hosts fun themed dance parties for all occasions for children and adults, creates wedding entrance dances, and offers additional services so that party planning may be done in one spot. Victoria was also an understudy to Carl Alleyne, founder of Boston Mobile Dance Studio, The Beantown Lockers, and Dance Where You Are. For more than 10 years Victoria danced with Tara Murphy and Cape Cod African Drum & Dance and Ensemble and spent time with Benkadi, a West African Dance Ensemble in Cambridge.

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