UAB’s Valerie Accetta, Jenny Fine awarded $5,000 Alabama State Council on the Arts grants

Head of musical theater Accetta is training to become an Estill Voice Training mentor and course instructor — the first in Alabama and one of only 12 in the country.

Valerie Accetta headshotValerie AccettaThe Alabama State Council on the Arts has awarded a $5,000 Arts Educator fellowship to Valerie Accetta, head of musical theater at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

Artist Jenny Fine, an adjunct faculty member who teaches foundations in the UAB College of Arts and SciencesDepartment of Art and Art History, was awarded a Visual Arts fellowship.

ASCA’s fellowships are grants awarded to outstanding individual artists and arts educators in Alabama and provide support for the creative growth of an individual’s career. Fellows use funding to support the growth and development of their artistic careers through time creating, practicing and improving their skill, pursuit of professional development and training, or other opportunities that lead to success for these Alabama artists.

Accetta teaches musical theater performance classes in the College of Arts and Sciences’ Department of Theatre. She is an Estill Voice Training master trainer. Estill Voice Training is an international organization committed to the research and teaching of voice production and uses the language of anatomy instead of descriptions of vocal sound that might show gender or cultural bias.  

Accetta is working to become an Estill mentor and course instructor, and the process of certification at this level usually takes between three and five years. The ASCA fellowship will provide Accetta with funding to study with internationally renowned voice specialists and Estill practitioners. If successful, Accetta would be the only EMCI in the state of Alabama. There are currently 43 EMCIs in the world and only 11 in the United States.

JennyFine SynchronizedSwimmersImage from "sync/swim," courtesy of the artist Jenny Fine, 2020-present, immersive, photographic installation.Rooted in the photographic form, Fine’s practice employs time as material in an exploration of both personal and cultural memory, identity, and our shifting relationship to the photograph in our digital, image-saturated age. Her project that was awarded the fellowship, “sync/swim,” is a multimedia, photographic installation that juxtaposes the still against the moving, 2D with 3D, to create a phantasmagoric stage for a highly costumed, live performance to unfold. Fine was named the Southern Prize, Alabama Fellow by SouthArts in 2022.

ASCA awarded 23 fellowship grants totaling $115,000. Fellowships are awarded to individuals working in arts education, craft, dance, design, media/photography, music, literature, theater, and visual arts. These grants recognize artistic excellence as well as professional commitment and maturity, contributing to the further development of the artist.