Sustainable Arts Foundation
supporting artists and writers with families


We've made two changes to our awards this round. We're pleased to announce that our Promise Award winners will now each be awarded $2,000. Additionally, we're proud to recognize the work of a select group of artists and writers by publicly acknowledging them as Finalists. You'll find their names listed below, and encourage you to seek out their work.

Fall 2013 Award Winners

Sara Houghteling

Sara Houghteling’s first novel, Pictures at an Exhibition, tells the story of a family of Parisian Jewish art dealers whose collection is looted by the Nazis during WWII. Her work in progress, Music for the Left Hand Alone, is set in the US during the age of McCarthy, and is a page-turner about art and politics. We’re so eager to read the finished book. Houghteling lives in Northern California with her husband and son.

Kerrin McCadden

Kerrin McCadden is a poet and high school English teacher who lives in Vermont with her two children. Her first book, Landscape with Plywood Silhouettes, comes out this spring; we read samples from her new collection. They are vivid, engaging poems about familiar topics from aging parents to ex-husbands, poems we lingered over and read aloud to each other, taking such pleasure in her language.

Travis Mulhauser

Travis Mulhauser’s novel, Sweetgirl, is set in the tough landscape of Northern Michigan's high country and peopled with some pretty seedy ex-cons and meth dealers. Our guide through this world is a young woman named Percy James, who is searching for her addict mother when she comes upon an abandoned infant. We had to force ourselves to put the book down, and hope to see it published soon. Mulhauser, author of Greetings from Cutler County: A Novella and Stories, lives in North Carolina with his wife and two young children.

Matthew Scheatzle

Matthew Scheatzle's wood and resin compositions are absolutely stunning. In a space that lies between sculpture, collage, relief, and painting, his work weds natural materials and a modern sensibility. He lives in Oakland, CA with his wife and son.

Jacob Tonski

Jacob Tonski is an installation artist whose work is artful and cerebral, thoughtful and playful. From a self-balancing sofa to a machine for dropping feathers to a height-adjusting conversation machine, his kinetic sculptures and explorations reveal an artist whose technical skill has found its match in his youthful curiosity. He lives in Oxford, Ohio with his wife and two young children.

Fall 2013 Promise Award Winners
Don't be misled by the name: our Promise Award winners show more than just promise – they are highly accomplished artists and writers who have already demonstrated great success. We're delighted to support them in their future work.

Joanne Diaz

Joanne Diaz’s new book, My Favorite Tyrants (coming out this winter) offers poems about Stalin, Lenin, and Castro beside poems about personal histories. Diaz writes, “I aim to explore desire, grief, and loss in a world where private relationships are always illuminated and informed by larger, more despotic forces.” The collection she is currently working on, The Electric Dress, inspired partly by the fact that her parents were both members of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers union, explores the ways in which our private selves are shaped by forces of technology. Diaz lives with her husband and son, and teaches at Illinois Wesleyan University.

Sveta Dorosheva

Sveta Dorosheva is an extraordinary illustrator working in a wide variety of media and styles. Her works are deeply influenced by the Golden Age of Illustration, melding a fairy tale sensibility with more modern technique and sensibility. Her work is equally at home on the page as it is on the gallery wall, and we marvel at the many avenues the future holds for her. She lives in Rehovot, Israel with her husband and three boys.

Alisa Dworsky

Alisa Dworsky is an installation artist who investigates hard sciences— physics and geometry— with materials that defy expectation. The title of one of her pieces— Surface Tension— provides an apt metaphor for these explorations: taut, fragile, and sturdy, all at once. She lives in Montpelier, VT with her husband and two daughters.

Karen Hartman

Karen Hartman is a playwright and essayist who lives in Brooklyn with her family. Her play, Goldie, Max and Milk, introduces us to a new mother struggling with her relationships to her ex-girlfriend, her sperm donor, and the new woman in her life: a bossy lactation consultant. The dialogue is sharp and funny, and we’d love to see it on stage. Hartman has commissions for two new plays: The Book of Joseph, based on a collection of letters which survived the Krakow Ghetto during World War Two; and Polaris, about hotel workers and international sex trafficking. We’re fascinated by the range of political and historical material Hartman explores in her plays and are proud to support their development.

Mary McMyne

Mary McMyne’s novel-in-progress, The Book of Gothel, is one of our favorite kind of multi-layered fictions: it offers both a 12th century woman’s memoir and the story of the modern-day scholar who finds, translates, and annotates it. It is utterly inventive and a real pleasure to read. McMyne lives in northern Michigan with her family and teaches at Lake Superior State University.

Amy Shearn

Amy Shearn is a novelist who came to widespread attention last summer when she published an essay in The New York Times, “A Writer’s Mommy Guilt,” that expresses perfectly the need for this Foundation. Her most recent novel, The Mermaid of Brooklyn, is so wise and funny; it really captures the messy realities of motherhood and marriage. Amy lives in Brooklyn with her young family, where she is working on a new novel about a librarian who helps a widower research the history behind his possibly-haunted house.

Kukuli Velarde

Kukuli Velarde is a Peruvian sculptor whose works are simultaneously classical and modern. Her ceramic work evokes the visual and material aesthetics of pre-Columbian pottery with clever, contemporary politics and insights. She lives in Philadelphia, PA with her husband and daughter.

Fall 2013 Finalists
These finalists are artists and writers whose work impressed us greatly. Their work showed such strength and promise, we felt compelled to acknowledge them publicly.

Brian Daykin, Fiction
Rebecca Donnelly, Fiction
Jennifer Givhan, Poetry
Sheena Graham-George, Installation
Courtney Kessel, Installation
Kathryn Nuernberger, Poetry
David James Poissant, Fiction
Kelley Rossier, Creative Nonfiction
Holly Savas, Mixed Media
Andrew Woodward, Painting

Learn more about our previous awardees.