SUMMIT, NJ -  Nancy Turano, Artistic Director of the Summit-based New Jersey Dance Theatre Ensemble, has been honored with a 2017 Individual Artist Fellowship for Excellence in Choreography from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts (NJSCA). Turano is one of 21 fellowship recipients statewide in Choreography, Music Composition, Poetry and Sculpture, and one of four artists selected to receive the highest award from NJSCA at their public meeting held at the Mile Square Theatre in Hoboken.

The New Jersey Individual Artist Fellowships are competitive awards to New Jersey artists in 12 different disciplines granted solely on independent peer panel assessment of work samples. The anonymous process is focused on artistic quality, and awards may be used to help artists produce new work and advance their careers. This program is carried out in partnership with the Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation.

“I am beyond grateful for this meaningful recognition from the NJSCA. It is certainly a welcome honor and harvest after a lifetime of effort,” said Turano.

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Sharon Burton Turner, NJSCA’s First Vice Chair, said, "The Fellowship program is one of the many ways the Council seeks to help New Jersey artists strengthen their careers and to make it just a little easier to get in to the studio - whatever kind of studio that may be - and get to work."

Turano plans to utilize her Fellowship to continue to explore and research her most recent work, which she describes as “informed by subtle fields of energy in the human body, physics, and the mapping of architectural patterns in nature. The work challenges the dancer to find physical limitlessness in body and mind, and ultimately connectivity with the viewer.” The goal, Turano says, is “to have the dancer and viewer lifted to a higher realm and ideally transformed by the experience.”

The New Jersey State Council on the Arts, created in 1966, is a division of the NJ Department of State. The Council was established to encourage and foster public interest in the arts; enlarge public and private resources devoted to the arts; promote freedom of expression in the arts; and facilitate the inclusion of art in every public building in New Jersey. For more information, visit artscouncil.nj.gov.