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WonderRoot is pleased to announce the inaugural Arbes Award, given annually to an individual artist participating in WonderRoot’s Walthall Artist Fellowship. The award is given to the Fellow who most exemplifies WonderRoot’s mission at the intersection of art and social change in their artwork and career. In addition to the prestige of the award, the Arbes Award winner will receive a $500 cash prize.

The inaugural award winner is Cosmo Whyte.

Former Wonderroot board member Tina Arbes.

Sarah Higgins, curator of Kennesaw State University’s Zuckerman Museum and facilitator of the 2016–17 Walthall Fellowship, in her nomination of Cosmo Whyte for this award, says:

“In his work, Cosmo addresses some of the most urgent and salient themes of contemporary social justice — immigration, migration, displacement, and diaspora. His work explores the impacts of these movements of individuals and populations on identity formation, visibility, and culture. His work comments on the structures and bio-politics that inform and control the movement of populations across boundaries and between nations.”

Tina Arbes is a former WonderRoot board member and served as the chair of the WonderRoot board of directors from 2015–17. While her tenure on WonderRoot’s board has passed, she remains an active and involved WonderRoot volunteer and supporter. In addition to her work with WonderRoot, Ms. Arbes is the Chief Financial Officer for Public Broadcasting Atlanta and formerly worked for the Atlanta BeltLine and the Atlanta Committee for the Olympic Games. Ms. Arbes holds a Master’s of Public Affairs from Princeton University.

“Few people have demonstrated the level of leadership and support that Tina offered to WonderRoot during her time on our board,” says Chris Appleton, WonderRoot founding executive director. “It is our privilege and honor to offer this award in her name. I am certain that Tina’s commitment to a thriving and vibrant cultural community serves as an inspiration to so many other across the region.”

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