MEET OUR 2019 AWARDEES:
ADAM MATLOCK and HAROLD SHAPIRO
The Bitsie Clark Fund for Artists is pleased to announce that musician/composer Adam Matlock and photographer/musician Harold Shapiro are recipients of the Bitsie Fund’s 2019 grants. The awards were presented at the Arts Council of Greater New Haven’s 39th Annual Awards ceremony on Friday, December 6, 2019 at the New Haven Lawn Club.
The Bitsie Fund successfully raised more than $250,000 in its first year. “It is so gratifying to me,” Bitsie said, “that so many donors have made it possible for The Bitsie Fund to provide $5,000 grants to two artists after a very competitive process.”
ADAM MATLOCK is a local musician/composer who is a greatly loved teacher at Neighborhood Music School, Foote School and Hamden Hall Country Day School. His talents have been described as “frightening” – in a positive sense. His accomplishments are equally frightening (meaning extraordinary), as are his passions and goals.
Adam has the Herculean plan to create a full-scale opera. Entitled The Greenwood Opera, it will focus on the little-remembered but still historically relevant (and appalling) massacre of African-Americans in Tulsa, Oklahoma in 1921. Over two days, a white mob set fire to 100s of black-owned businesses and homes in Greenwood, a business district so prosperous it was dubbed “Negro Wall Street.” Estimates are that between 100 and 300 black people were killed by either gunshots or fire; hundreds more were hospitalized; and more than 8,000 left homeless.
An opera is a project on a grand scale. The Bitsie Fund is honored to support the first segment of Adam’s opera, providing him with some concentrated stretches of time to compose, and the funds to secure an ensemble of instrumentalists and singers for dedicated rehearsals and performances. Adam will be working in collaboration with Neighborhood Music School.
HAROLD SHAPIRO has been a professional photographer for over 30 years and has mentored and inspired countless photography students as a master teacher in Guilford, Milford and New Haven, especially at Creative Arts Workshop, his partner in this project, where he’s taught for 35 years, and heads the photography department.
In his photographs, Harold can bring out the poetry in the most ordinary of images. When photographing power plants for United Illuminating, for example, someone noted: “Harold is able to make pipes sing…”
Harold’s ability to make inanimate objects sing soars to new heights in his project, “Luminous Instruments.” In these extraordinary black and white photos of musical instruments, his mastery of both the technical and creative aspects of his craft allows him to produce images that evoke movement and music.
“Luminous Instruments” exquisitely merges Shapiro’s two lifelong passions of music and photography. The grant will allow him to complete his project, then share his breathtaking imagery with our community and others around the country.
ABOUT CREATIVE ARTS WORKSHOP
Creative Arts Workshop (CAW) is a nonprofit regional center for the visual arts that has served the Greater New Haven area since 1961. As an anchor institution located in the heart of the award-winning Audubon Arts District, CAW offers a wide range of visual arts classes, with an active exhibition and public programming schedule. More than 1,700 people enroll annually in more than 350 courses. Thousands of visitors enjoy the free exhibitions.
ABOUT NEIGHBORHOOD MUSIC SCHOOL
Neighborhood Music School (NMS), another anchor institution in the Audubon Arts District, is the largest non-profit community arts organization in Connecticut and one of the 10 largest in the country. Founded in 1911 as part of the settlement house movement serving new immigrants to New Haven, NMS now serves more than 2,700 students from 80+ cities and towns annually. Students of all ages receive individual and group instruction in music, dance and drama and participate in over 100 weekly ensembles. NMS is a nonprofit regional center that has served the Greater New Haven area since 1961.