S.C. sweetgrass basket weaver named 2024 USA Fellow

Corey Alston of Mount Pleasant was announced this week as a United States Artists traditional arts fellow by the Chicago-based organization, which “believes in artist and their essential role in our society.”

A man, smiling proudly and wearing a brightly-colored patterned shirt, holds an intricately-woven sweetgrass basket.Alston will receive a $50,000 unrestricted award. He has been recognized for his tireless effort to keep his heritage alive for his generation and featured in magazines, TV shows, and world-renowned museums. You can find him mostly keeping his artform alive by keeping the world informed on social media sites. Alston is a direct descendent of Enslaved Africans and is proud teaching others about his heritage by doing public educational talks all over the country.

2024 Fellows

The 50 2024 awardees come from 22 states and Puerto Rico.

“These artists and small collectives represent different regions and diverse backgrounds but share a commitment to helping us heal, connect, and thrive in community,” USA said in its announcement.

“They were selected for their artistic vision, contributions to the field, and the potential impact of the award on their practice.

This year’s fellows expand our definitions of beauty and belonging by embracing embodied knowledge, reimagining archives, and empowering the next generation to carry this work forward. They engage us in a collective responsibility to imagine and invest in our future.”

Learn more about the full class of 2024 fellows here.

The United States Artists Fellowship

USA Fellowships provide recipients $50,000 in unrestricted funding (meaning it can be used in any way the artist likes). Current fellows also benefit from access to financial planning, career consulting, legal advice, and other professional services as requested.

Fellows are selected through a nomination, application, and review process. Each year, artists are anonymously nominated by a geographically diverse and rotating group of arts professionals to apply for the fellowship. Applications are reviewed by discipline-specific panels for their artistic vision, contributions to the field, and the potential impact of the award on their practice. Panels recommend finalists for board approval. USA fundraises annually to make as many awards as possible.

The USA Fellowship program has awarded more than $41 million to more than 850 artists.