Meet the 2019-21 Fields Fellows

Oregon Humanities, in partnership with the Oregon Community Foundation, is pleased to announce the recipients of the inaugural Fields Artist Fellowship, a program designed to support emerging to mid-career Oregon-based artists. Each fellow will receive $100,000 over two years to both advance their artistic practice and explore the state’s “opportunity gap,” reflected in widening disparities in life outcomes for Oregon children born into poverty.

Fields Artist Fellows were selected from a pool of more than 150 applicants representing artists of all media, including writers, filmmakers, visuals artists, multimedia artists, cultural heritage artists, musicians, and performing artists. During their fellowships, these fellows will advance their artistic work, explore and respond to the opportunity gap within regional communities, participate in yearly gatherings, and document their experiences and work along the way.


Meet the Fields Fellows

Crystal Akins, Lincoln City, Musician
Crystal is a single mother and artist who believes musical light shines the brightest in the darkest places of humanity.  She will use her fellowship to build the Lincoln City Music Festival and Lincoln City Children’s Choir and compose an original musical titled The Girl with the Magic Skin.

Artist website: Activate Arts

Mic Crenshaw, Portland, Hip-hop Artist
Currently an artist in residence at Benson High School in Portland—an alternative program serving students who have been marginalized—Mic uses hip-hop to fight racial and economic injustice and empower young people thrive in their creative fields. He will use the fellowship to sharpen his skills and pay it forward by assisting students in creating projects that will get them paid work.

Artist website:

Ka’ila Farrell-Smith, Chiloquin, Klamath and Modoc Artist and Activist
Ka’ila lives and works in her ancestral homelands near Chiloquin, a town within the former Klamath Tribes Reservation lands. The Fields Artist Fellowship will serve as part business incubation and part youth mentorship and education as she plans to build a woodworking studio to sell her art made from local, sustainably harvested timber materials. The studio will also offer drawing, painting and printmaking classes to local Tribal youth.

Artist website:

Joe Whittle, Enterprise, Photographer
Born and raised in rural Wallowa County, Joe is an enrolled Native American tribal member and a person who has experienced the opportunity gap firsthand, having lived below the poverty level his entire life. He is a photographer and self-taught writer who has gained notoriety as a freelance journalist bringing Indigenous representation to outlets such as the Guardian, Outside Magazine, the New York Times, HuffPost, and National Geographic. Joe will apply his fellowship to investigative journalism exploring the opportunity gap in Northeast Oregon. He also plans to create summer activities for kids impacted by the opportunity gap including photo and storytelling workshops and an outdoor skills and adventure school.

Artist website:



Natalie Ball, Chiloquin, Contemporary Visual Artist
Artist website:

Esteban Camacho Steffensen, Eugene, Muralist
Artist website:

Jason Graham, Bend, Multidisciplinary Artist
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Meghann Hanour, Astoria, Visual Artist
Artist website:

Eduardo Melendrez, Vale, Visual Artist
Artist website:

Vin Shambry, Portland, Performing Artist
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Sara Siestreem, Portland and Coos County, Cultural Heritage Artist
Artist website:

Sharita Towne, Portland, Multidisciplinary Artist
Artist website:


The Fields Artist Fellowship is supported by The Fred W. Fields Fund of the Oregon Community Foundation. Learn more about this and other funding at


1 comments have been posted.

Congratulations to all of you!!! I can't wait to hear updates over the next two years!!!!

Hollie Newton | May 2019 | Salem OR

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