Healing Arts: Local, National, and International Initiatives

Awarding Academic and Career Advancement Scholarship to Holly Springs artist, Tripp Jarvis, www.trippjarvis.com

Artist’s Biography and Personal Statement: Tripp was born in Raleigh, NC and grew up in Holly Springs, NC. He earned is BFA from East Carolina University in 1998 and there went on to live in Eastern Europe in the country of Estonia, where he attended the Estonian Academy of Art. There, he was an active artist participating in many international exhibitions and symposia. Upon returning to the States he earned his MFA from ECU and then went on to teach at Craven Community College in New Bern, NC. He resides in Holly Springs. He is father to Lyza and Andreas Jarvis.

“My work centers on the physical and spiritual worlds. I believe the heart is at the center of these two worlds. For me the physical world of matter is the foundation and vessel for a spiritual existence. Without the physical the spiritual couldn’t manifest itself, and the spiritual gives life to the physical. I see my sculptures as “Temple Heart Vessels”. They speak about the sacredness of the world, the temple, which I feel is the meeting place of humanity and the divine, and is the vessel of the Great Spirit. It is my belief that the Heart is the greatest temple to be found. At its center is the sacred ground that unifies humanity as a whole. It is my hope that my sculptures awaken the heart to the ever-unfolding blossom of the divinity residing in us all, which together we make up the garden of life.”

Awarding Academic and Career Advancement Scholarship to Apex, N.C writer, J Mickela Sonola

Artist’s Biography and Personal Statement: J Mickela Sonola is a British Expat living in North Carolina. She studied writing at Manchester Metropolitan University and is about to embark on another academic adventure at North Carolina State University.

“Growing up I lived in England, Nigeria, Zambia and Papua New Guinea, ending up in U.K, where I attended Manchester Metropolitan University. As a third culture kid, I had a truly multicultural childhood, which has had a profound effect on my outlook on life and the development of my personal identity. I have written most of my life, beginning with journaling, then poetry but it was only when I was doing my undergraduate degree in Creative Arts that I started to ‘study’ writing. I had a drama and theatre background and I began writing for performance. It was at this stage that, when a narrative about a young girl began to appear in my writings, I realized that I was writing a novel. I took these ‘writings’ with me and pursued a MA in Creative Writing, at Manchester Metropolitan University where I graduated in 2004 with distinction. Since then I have been editing and polishing my first novel ‘Yinka’.”

Awarding Academic and Career Advancement Scholarship to Pittsboro, N.C. writer, Nancy Peacock

Artist’s Biography: Nancy Peacock’s first novel, Life Without Water, was chosen as a New York Times Notable Book. She followed this with a second novel, Home Across the Road, and a memoir, A Broom of One’s Own: Essays on Writing, Housecleaning and Life. She lives in Chatham County and sets most of her fiction somewhere along the Haw River. She teaches writing in her studio and invites you to read her personal statement below and visit her website: www.nancypeacockbooks.com

Artist’s Personal Statement: “I have never been to college. For years I cleaned houses for a living while writing, publishing, and dabbling in teaching. Since the publication of my last book, A Broom of One’s Own, I have been able to retire my mops, buckets and rubber gloves and take up teaching as my way to earn a living. I believe that there is great power in storytelling and that we all have stories inside of us, stories that need to be told and should be told. How else can we connect with each other, and understand our human condition, if not through telling and receiving each other’s stories. Stories are so profound and universal that they belong in all walks of life, from the halls of academia to the camps of the homeless, and everywhere in between. Our lives are our stories, and it is my hope that my work as a teacher, and the example I set as a writer, will encourage others to tell their stories. I especially hope to reach out to people who long to write but think that literature belongs to others, but not to them. It is my firm belief that literature belongs to all of us.”

Awarding Academic and Career Advancement Scholarship to Pittsboro, N.C. writer, Nancy Peacock

Ajit Anthony Prem is a filmmaker/writer/editor in Durham, North Carolina.  His interests range from obscure foreign films to mundane geekery to Roger Federer.  He has directed several award winning films including Dear Stranger, Banana Bus and A Walkthru.  He was the recipient of the 2009 Indy Arts award for filmmaking.  His editing credits include Two Bells, Two Worlds featuring Susan Sarandon and Howard Zinn, The Godfather of Basketball featuring Morgan Wootten, Coach K and Dereck Whittenburg.  He currently shoots, edits and directs for Figure 8 films, a North Carolina based television production company.



  • Sponsor scholarships for a Writing to Heal Workshop facilitated by Janet Kangas, March 2012.


  • Sponsor scholarships for a Mindful Self Care Workshop Scholarship facilitated by Jane Broden, April 2012.


  • Sponsor a writing scholarship for author, Nancy Peacock, June 2012.


  • Sponsor scholarships for those in need for a Loving Kindness and Self Compassion Workshop facilitated by Lisa Wickham, February 2013.


  • Grant awarded to Holly Springs Arts Council for a Healing Arts initiative to support the Arts for Healing in the Holly Springs community, December 2014.


  • Grant to support research on the healing effects of music on physical and mental health awarded to Aneesh Agarwal, March 2016.


  • Grant awarded to Holly Springs Arts Council for a Healing Arts Initiative to support the Arts for Cancer Survivors and Caregivers, March 2016.


  • Grant awarded to Holly Springs Arts Council for Healing Arts Initiative to support the Writing to Heal Workshop Series, facilitated by Janet Kangas, May 2016.


New and Upcoming Initiatives