2020-2021 Student Artist Awards Presented

The annual Arts NC State creative and performing arts awards celebrate NC State students who either create new work and/or perform in dance, music or theatre.

On November 5, 2021, Arts NC State recognized the 2020-2021 student artist winners in a virtual ceremony.

For the Creative Artist Awards, students apply by submitting an original composition in dance, music or theatre. The Performing Artist Awards recognize exceptional student performers, selected by arts program directors and faculty. All winners receive a cash award.

The awards are administered and funded by Arts NC State and were originally made possible from a generous grant from the NC State University Foundation, Inc. The Creative Artist Award is funded by the Suzanne Kennedy-Stoskopf Endowment for Creativity in the Performing Arts.

Gaven Bell was selected for the Creative Artist Award in theatre for her original play A Case of Salt. She is a junior majoring in biological sciences with a concentration in integrative physiology and neurobiology, with minors in science communication and theatre. Bell often jokes that she does a little bit of everything in theatre including acting, directing and writing. She has been involved with University Theatre since her first semester at NC State when she played Emma in Fefu and Her Friends. Last year, she stage-managed Static, the 2020 Creative Artist Award play. A Case of Salt has been workshopped in fall 2021 as part of University Theatre’s Wright Way series, and will be presented with production support in the Kennedy-McIlwee Studio Theatre in March 2022.

Ashley Broderick was selected for the Performing Artist Award in dance for her outstanding work in the Panoramic Dance Project. She is a senior majoring in animal science and minoring in zoology. She has been dancing since the age of nine and has been a member of the Panoramic Dance Project for the past two years. According to Panoramic Dance Project artistic director Francine Ott, “I have watched Ashley beautifully grow and evolve as a person and artist throughout her time in Panoramic Dance Project. She is consistent, kind, willing to share and help others. She is dedicated to her own development and works hard inside and outside of the studio. And Ashley is a powerhouse and a force of nature.”

Dani Coan was selected for the Performing Artist Award in theatre. She is a senior majoring in social work and minoring in theatre. Coan started acting her freshman year, but in high school was the state champion in Poetry Out Loud, a national poetry recitation competition. According to University Theatre assistant director Mia Self, “Dani Coan was awarded the 2020 Performing Arts Award for the high quality and significance of her acting work over her tenure with University Theatre. She was a cast member in In the Blood, Our Town, and Ragtime. She was readying to play Masha in Christopher Durang’s Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike when NC State closed the campus and the production was canceled. Dani is an incredibly versatile actor onstage and is exploring local film projects as well.”

Benjamin Davis won the Creative Artist Award in music for his original electronic composition Stealing Stones, the title of which is a loose reference to people taking bricks from NC State’s walkways. He is in his senior year of electrical engineering at NC State. Davis has composed music for eight years, and began working with electronic media shortly before coming to NC State. Dr. Tom Koch, associate head of the Department of Music, describes Stealing Stones as “an enterprising work that combines traditional instrumental and media techniques with modern innovations in tuning, notation, and electronic and digital processes. The result is a creative and bold exploration of timbre with constantly shifting colors of kaleidoscopic brilliance.”

Jenna Finkelstein is a recipient of the Performing Artist Award in dance. She was a member of the State Dance Company for all four years at NC State. Finkelstein has been dancing since the age of four, training primarily in modern, jazz and ballet. In May 2021, she graduated with a B.S. in biochemistry and a minor in dance. According to Dance Program director Tara Mullins, “Jenna is an exquisite performer who truly mesmerizes the audience. Although masked last year, she was able to fulfill the soloist role in Learn to Whisper Without Sound, with incredible attention to nuance and detail. She takes all her roles seriously and is able to beautifully transition into the unique environment of each piece.”

Delaney Galvin was selected for the Creative Artist Award for her dance titled Stained Glass. Galvin is a senior majoring in English and she has been a member of the State Dance Company for all four of her years at NC State. She began dancing in high school and enjoys modern and contemporary dance the most.

Taiylor Wade was selected for the Creative Artist Award for their dance titled Flowers Pressed Between Pages. Wade is a junior majoring in history with a minor in dance and art studies. She previously attended Ohio University as a dance and history major and transferred to NC State in the fall of 2020. Wade began their dance training at age three and began presenting her choreography at the age of 16. Flowers Pressed Between Pages is an exploration of repressed memories and the meanings that spaces hold.