CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. – Christopher Burawa, director of the Austin Peay State University Center of Excellence for the Creative Arts, was recently invited to serve on the Tennessee Arts Commission’s 2014 Citizen Advisory Panel in Nashville. The panelists, who are nominated, meet once a year to offer advice on program planning and to review grant applications. In addition, they serve as year-round resources to the Tennessee Arts Commission staff as advocates for the arts in their communities.
The annual meetings were held throughout the month of April. Panels are divided into different categories including: Arts Education, Arts Access, Community Arts, Folk Arts, Literary Arts, Visual Arts, Music, Dance, Theater, Inter-Arts, Funds for At-Risk Youth and Rural Arts. Panel members are appointed to two-year terms, and generally consist of professional artists, arts administrators, patrons, sponsors, educators and community leaders.
“Our citizen panels consist of dedicated, informed and impartial individuals from across the state who provide an invaluable service to the arts in Tennessee,” Anne B. Pope, Executive Director of the Tennessee Arts Commission, said. “The caliber of individuals serving on the panels is impressive, and their nomination for the panel is a testament to their expertise in arts-related fields. We are so appreciative of their time and effort—they are critical to making arts investments in every Tennessee community.”
Burawa earned his Master of Fine Arts degree from Arizona State University, and he has made a name for himself over the years as an award-winning poet and translator. Cleveland State University Press published his book of poems, “The Small Mystery of Lapses,” in 2006. His translations of contemporary Icelandic poet Jóhann Hjálmarsson won the 2005 Toad Press International Chapbook Competition. He was awarded a MacDowell Colony Fellowship in 2003, a 2006 Witter Bynner Translation Residency at the Santa Fe Art Institute, a 2007 Literature Fellowship for Translation from the National Endowment for the Arts and a 2008 American-Scandinavian Foundation Creative Writing Fellowship. He translated from Icelandic a short story by Óskar Magnússon, “Dr. Amplatz,” which was published in Best European Fiction 2014 by Dalkey Archive Press. He also translated from Icelandic a short story by Kristín Eiríksdóttir, “Doris Dies,” which was published in Hayden’s Ferry Review.
Burawa was recently named a Translator in Residence by the Icelandic Literature Center for the summer of 2014. He will be completing his translation of Eiriksdottir's collection of short stories.
In 2009, he joined APSU as the director of its Center of Excellence for the Creative Arts. During his tenure, he has worked to expand the center’s notoriety and its reach within the community.
In 2013, $6.3 million in arts grants was invested in every region of the state. The Tennessee Arts Commission, a state agency that cultivates the arts for the benefit of all Tennesseans and their communities, made grants to more than 600 non-profit organizations, more than half of which were schools.