Murfreesboro Laureates Call for Applications


A recent showing of works by this year’s three Murfreesboro Laureates just closed in the city rotunda, as a call goes out asking for applicants for next year’s laureates in poet, photography, and painting.

Gale Stoner and Ashley Buchanan both finished one year as Photography and Painting Laureates, respectively, and Kory Wells just completed a two-year stint as the Poet Laureate. The third year of the program will begin in January 2020. The program recognizes their community involvement and innovativeness as artists.

“The Murfreesboro Cultural Arts Laureate Program is a notable honor for local artists, providing recipients with further opportunities to educate, advocate, and represent the community through their own creative initiatives,” said Debbie Hunter, Assistant Program Director Cultural Arts – Visual Arts Division. “Local artists can represent the City of Murfreesboro and be a voice for their art form in 2020.”

The selected artists will receive a year’s commitment for exposure and community support for the work they do, as well as a $500 monetary honorarium. In turn, the Laureates will complete new work inspired by Murfreesboro, exhibit their practice and expertise at city events, and complete several community outreach arts related projects that will target non-traditional and/or under-served audiences during their tenure as Laureate. Laureates serve for one year with an optional one-year renewal.

“My year was challenging and rewarding,” said Gale Stoner, last year’s Photography Laureate. “Challenging in coordinating the time devoted to my laureate responsibilities and goals with my activities as a full-time photographer, and running a business. With regard to rewarding, the rewards I received was seeing the program participants getting involved in the photography process and creating some great images, such as the images that were showcased in the Laureate Exhibit at City Hall.”

Stoner created three projects: Taught a series of photography classes at the Tennessee State Veteran’s Home, organized a glamour photo session for 12 participants at the Doors of Hope organization; conducted a landscape photography class at the Boys and Girls Club, and provided three photography classes with special needs students at the non-profit Possibility Place.

“My favorite achievement in the [Laureate Show] are the images created by the participants at the Tennessee Veteran’s Home and Possibility Place that reflects a high degree of artistic creativity,” said Stoner.

Murfreesboro Parks and Recreation administer the program. They will make the Laureates available to speak to civic groups about the program, as well as the Arts in Murfreesboro, especially related to their genre.

“This is a special honor,” said Hunter. “[We] are working hard to make sure the community gets to know the Laureates and recognize them for all the work they do in the community, specifically in the name of their art.”

The Cultural Arts Laureate Program was founded with the intent to give experienced individual artists an opportunity to share their talents; offer youth, citizens, and emerging artists role models; and to encourage and nurture the growing arts and creative culture in Murfreesboro.

Laureates goals are to use their creative talents to impact the community in a way that they find rewarding, encourage other artists to do the same, explore ways that the community will best be served by the arts, and enrich the lives of the community by the work they accomplish during the year.

Applications will be accepted now through November 30. To be considered for the Laureate Program, candidates must live or work in Murfreesboro.

To coordinate a speaker or receive more information, contact Deb Hunter at [email protected]. Apply for the Laureate program at Simply fill out the application and agree to the responsibilities of the Laureate.

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