Communication and Media

Soans named as Iowa Artist Fellow

Posted on Monday, October 4th, 2021

Associate Professor of Digital Media Francesca Soans was one of five Iowa artists selected by the Iowa Arts Council for competitive fellowships in recognition of their exceptional creativity, innovative work and career readiness.

A panel of Iowa arts professionals selected writers Paul Brooke of Ames and Emma Murray of Des Moines, photographer Brittany Brooke Crow of Des Moines, printmaker Louise Kames of Dubuque and filmmaker Francesca Soans of Waterloo from a pool of more than 50 applicants and 21 finalists.

Each Iowa Artist Fellow will receive a $10,000 grant to advance their career, promotional support, and in-depth training from Strategic Planning Partners, one of the country’s leading providers of professional development for artists.

“We’re proud to recognize and support our new Iowa Artist Fellows as they continue to develop their careers and contribute to the vitality of the arts in Iowa,” Iowa Arts Council Administrator David Schmitz said.

Soans' films and videos explore place, memory and identity and have been shown worldwide at competitive film festivals, art galleries and conferences, and on public and cable television channels. Her film “Notes Towards a History” received the Directors’ Citation from the prestigious Black Maria Film and Video Festival, and her film “Rebirth” received awards from the Iowa Motion Picture Association and a nomination for Best Iowa Film by the Wild Rose Independent Film Festival. Her pioneering documentary “Sons of Jacob Synagogue,” co-directed with historian Robert Neymeyer, received numerous awards, including the Loren Horton Community History Award from the State Historical Society of Iowa and a Silver Remi from Worldfest-Houston International Film Festival.