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Ten Northeast Florida Artists Receive Grants from the Community First Cares Foundation

JACKSONVILLE,  FL.  November 20,  2018  – The Community First Cares Foundation and the Cultural Council of Greater Jacksonville announce 10 additional recipients of its second-year artist grant program. The grants were awarded to the artists at the collaborative Every Single Artist Lounge monthly event on Tuesday, Nov. 13, 2018, held at the Museum of Science and History.

This spring the Community First Cares Foundation in collaboration with the Cultural Council of Greater Jacksonville, announced the second-year partnership to continue local artist grants and support business education symposiums. Community First pledged $10,000 to fund 10 direct artist grants, a doubling of last year’s funding. Community First also pledged to continue its support of the Cultural Council’s “Entrepreneur Symposium for Creatives: Every Artist is a Small Business” an educational workshop for local artists.

“The Community First Cares Foundation is thrilled to see the good these grants can do in the hands of local artists,” said Community First Cares Foundation Executive Director Missy Peters. “The grant recipients are engaged in creative and innovative projects in our community which are worthy of support.”

The  second round of grants was initially opened for applications from August 18, 2018 through October 18, 2018 (the deadline was extended by a week making the cut-off October 25, 2018).

Grant recipients include:

Michelle Calloway - Funding from the individual artist microgrant will allow photographer Michelle Calloway to produce and exhibit her project “New Bold City”, an urban exploration of the rich diversity and creative expression of today’s new generation living and working in the American South. These intimate portraits dive into the subjects’ lives and aim to convey their unique identities and power for change within their communities.

Stephen Conrad - Funding from the individual artist microgrant will allow large format landscape photographer Stephen Conrad to fund and produce an exhibition for his project OTHER WORLDS, Big Talbot Island, consisting of 20 black-and-white images made using traditional film on a 4x5 wooden large-format field camera.

Marie-Andree Escriba - Funding from the individual artist microgrant will allow art educator Marie Escriba to participate in art workshops to further her personal practice and development as well as allowing her to create an art studio in her home where she can continue developing her art practice. It will also help her to promote the arts at her school and engage more parents’ involvement. Currently, Marie voluntarily hosts “family art nights” that are held every other month. One of her goals includes hosting the event on a monthly basis.

Amanda Holloway - Funding from the individual artist microgrant will allow Duval County Public School Art Teacher Amanda Holloway to fund her students' public art projects out-of-pocket and help them to create two additional permanent murals.

Monique Williams Madrid - Funding from the individual artist microgrant will allow Monique Madrid and her husband, Adam, to expand their start up project - LOL JAX Film Festival - a platform that allows our community filmmakers, actors/actresses, comedians, and musicians to showcase short films and talent.

George E. Miller - Funding from the individual artist microgrant will allow Child Advocacy Artist George Miller to fund a project in which he will illustrate all 30 articles of the UN Declaration of Human Rights. With the first four illustrations completed, George is looking forward to his work on the next four. This grant will help him to obtain the necessary art supplies as well as cover the costs of initial printing.

Ulysses Owens, Jr. - Funding from the individual artist microgrant will allow artist, producer, and educator Ulysses Owens, Jr. to continue teaching entrepreneurship to young emerging and aspiring artists. Ulysses has recently been asked by Edward Waters College to teach its  music business course for a very limited budget. He has decided to teach the course pro bono and create a curriculum for the college students to aid their education with the knowledge and resources to be successful in whatever direction of career they choose.

Ebony Payne-English - Funding from the individual artist microgrant will allow arts educator, and new mother, Ebony Payne-English to fund her re-introduction production on January 6, 2019  entitled The God Is Experience. “I would like to contribute my artistic perspective to the Jacksonville environment once again and in return, I would like to receive the exchange and support necessary to spark the continuance of my career”, says Ebony.

Kathleen Leigh Vought - Funding from the individual artist microgrant will allow educator and artist Kathleen Vought, who has worked as an elementary school teacher for the past twenty years, to further develop her Exploring Art Homeschool Program, a quality and comprehensive homeschool art program. Her plans include expanding the number of children and classes she will be able to teach while providing discounts to families in need.

Nikesha Elise Williams - Funding from the individual artist microgrant will allow author and publisher Nikesha Williams to fund the development, production, and publication of her novels that center around Jacksonville, the South, and being a black woman navigating that environment.


Founded in 1973, the mission of the Cultural Council of Greater Jacksonville is to enrich life in Northeast Florida by investing in arts and culture. The agency serves six primary roles in the community, including: Ensure broad accessibility and public engagement with the arts culturally, socially, educationally, and economically; Build relationships and enhance communication with artists, cultural organizations, educational institutions, and the public at large; Expand public awareness of issues that affect local, regional, and national funding for the sector; Advocate for public and private financial support for the sector; Work to build communities that are healthy, vibrant, and equitable; and, Promote arts and cultural events, projects, and initiatives in Northeast Florida. For more information, visit or call 904-358-3600.


The Community First Cares Foundation, founded in 2013 by Community First Credit Union, is a non-profit 501(c)(3) community foundation that grants funds to improve the quality of life in North Florida.  The foundation supports activities to improve financial literacy, enhance the quality of our educational system, upgrade the health and welfare of our community and help underserved citizens. The Community First Cares Foundation makes contributions to non-profit organizations that serve the communities on the First Coast. For more information, visit or call 904-371-8090.


Grant Recipient: Monique Burr Foundation

Monique Burr Foundation Teen Safety Matters Program

A new program, MBF Teen Safety Matters™, was recently launched by the Monique Burr Foundation for Children to prevent child abuse and bullying among teen-agers. 

Poverty is a silent epidemic in our schools, and many issues with attendance and academics are directly related to students not having clean clothes, shoes that fit, or the supplies they need to be successful in school. Students want to feel good about themselves when they come to school, and we want to help them have everything they need to learn. We could not have opened our first on-site classroom-sized Giving Closet without this funding and volunteer support.

Jennifer Smith, DCPS teacher and Founder of The Giving Closet Project.

Community First Cares

637 N Lee St. (P.O. Box 2600)
Jacksonville, FL 32232

Phone: (904) 371-8090

Email: [email protected]

Have a Special Project?

The Community First Cares Foundation supports projects that place a special emphasis on activities that improve financial literacy, enhance the quality of our educational system, upgrade the health and welfare of our community and help the underserved citizens improve their quality of life.  We offer funding to help our community partners implement these initiative right here on the First Coast.