2012-2013 LABA ARTIST FELLOWS


Clare Burson is a Brooklyn-based singer-songwriter whose latest album, SILVER AND ASH, was released by Rounder Records in 2010. Funded by a Six Points Fellowship for Emerging Jewish Artists and featured in the New York Times and on NPR and NBC’s Last Call with Carson Daly, SILVER AND ASH is a concept album that imagines Burson’s maternal grandmother’s life in Germany, from her birth in 1919 to her escape in 1938. 

Karen Hartman is the award-winning author of GoldieMax & Milk,GoliathLeah’s TrainGum and more than fifteen other plays and musical works. Her plays have been produced regionally and in New York, and are published by Theater Communications Group, Dramatists Play Service, Playscripts, Backstage Books, and NoPassport Press. Awards: New Dramatists residency, Rockefeller Foundation at Bellagio, the N.E.A., the Helen Merrill Foundation, Princeton’s Hodder Fellowship, Jerome Fellowship, Fulbright Scholarship. Her prose has been published in the New York Times.

Erin Patinkin grew up in Chicago where she developed an obsession for Vienna beef hot dogs, Big League Chew, and Yan Can Cook television episodes. After graduating from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and Columbia College Chicago, she spent her twenties working as an artist, actor, educator, and nonprofit executive, though every single free hour was spent thinking about and making food. Through a series of fateful events, Erin met her business partner, Agatha Kulaga, and the two decided to eschew their professional careers to start Ovenly, a creative kitchen specializing in baked goods and bar snacks located in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. In just under two years, Ovenly has become one of this cities most celebrated food companies and has been named to multiple best of lists (Eater, TimeOut, Village Voice) and its products are distributed nationally. Erin is dedicated to creativity, corporate responsibility, and sustainable business.

Joshua Schwartz works fluidly in photography, sculpture, and performance, allowing each project's conceptual framework to determine its form. A major undercurrent in Schwartz’s work is an exploration of social relationships and basic human interactions. Often the artist works outside the white walls of the gallery, expanding the potentiality of art as life and vice versa. He received his BFA from the Maryland Institute College of Art in 2006 and graduated with an MFA in Combined Media from Hunter College in 2012. He has created public works for the Museum of Contemporary Art in Krakow, the City of Baltimore and the MtyMx Festival in Monterrey, Mexico.  Joshua Schwartz lives and works in Brooklyn, New York.

Amir Shpilman began his musical journey at the age of 12 as a percussionist and his composition studies with Prof. Efim Yofe in Tel Aviv, Israel at the age of 17. After ten years of musical training in Paris and then New York, Shpilman founded the Ensemble Moto Perpetuo, a New York based chamber orchestra specializing in contemporary music and collaborative creations. Shpilman has worked with a variety of performers, orchestras and ensembles including the International Contemporary Ensemble, the MIVOS String Quartet and the IKTUS Percussion Project. His recent vocal work Darkness premiered in September 2012 performed by baritone Leigh Melrose and pianist Anna Tilboork at the Frankfurt Alte Oper, Germany.

Naama Shefi is a culinary curator and food writer who works to promote Israeli Cuisine in NYC. She works with chefs and cultural institutions to bring food and art together. She believes that food and art compliment each other and that people can enjoy food with their minds as well as their taste buds. Recently she has been working with the the Center for Jewish History to establish The New Jewish Pantry, a video archive for Jewish food.

Misha Shulman is an award-winning playwright, director and actor. In New York his plays have been seen at the Drilling Company Theatre, Dixon Place, Theater for the New City, and countless synagogues, JCC’s and public spaces. His plays have been presented in Toronto, Melbourne and Tel Aviv, as well as across the US. Misha has received high praise and numerous awards for his work confronting Middle Eastern political questions and his. His plays on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict have been presented and studied in classes at several major American universities. Misha’s writing has been published by Theater Communications Group, Tikkun Magazine and NOW Magazine, and he has been Writer in Residence at Crow’s Theatre in Toronto and Theater for the New City in New York.

Diana Spechler is the author of the novels Who By Fire (Harper Perennial, 2008) and Skinny(Harper Perennial, 2011). She has written for the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, GQ, Esquire, New York magazine, the Paris Review Daily, and elsewhere. She is also a four-time Moth StorySLAM winner and has been featured on NPR. She teaches writing in New York City and for Stanford University's Online Writer's Studio.

Eli Valley, Artist in Residence at The Jewish Daily Forward, is a writer and artist whose work has been published in the ForwardSaveurNew York MagazineHa’aretzGawker and elsewhere. His art has been labeled “ferociously repugnant” by Commentary and “hilarious” by The Comics Journal.  He has lectured about comics and satirical art in North America, Europe, Israel and South Africa.  The author of The Great Jewish Cities of Central and Eastern Europe, Eli is currently finishing his first novel. He tweets at @elivalley.

2012-2013 LABA JOURNAL FELLOW

Sarah Marian Seltzer is a freelance writer in New York City and a
graduate of Vermont College of Fine Arts' MFA program in Writing. She
is an editor at AlterNet, a contributor to the Jewish Daily Forward's
Sisterhood blog and is working on a short story collection linked
together by the death of a Jewish actress in New York City.