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Guggenheim Fellowships awarded to Kansas and Missouri artists

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Abbott and Heying
Laura Cobb/ John H. Carmody
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Courtesy of Gary Abbott/Philip Heying
Choreographer Gary Abbott (left) and photographer Philip Heying are among this year's Guggenheim Fellows.

The Guggenheim Fellowship is awarded to mid-career individuals who show exceptional promise in their field. A Flint Hills photographer and a Kansas City choreographer are among the 2022 winners.

More than 2000 entries were received by the Guggenheim Memorial Foundation for its fellowship program, but the field was narrowed to 180 winners from "51 scholarly disciplines and artistic fields."

Gary Abbott, a professor of dance at the University of Missouri-Kansas City and Philip Heying, a photographer in Matfield Green, Kansas were each awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship.

Heying admits he's not used to the attention that has come with the honor and it's made him "a little nervous." The reason, Heying says is, "when you get an award like this, you got to represent. You got to really step it up."

For Gary Abbott, he's still "flying high" to have joined the ranks of previous fellows like choreographers Alvin Ailey and Martha Graham.

The funding that comes with the fellowship creates for Abbott "excitement around the possibility and the freedom that it sort of affords you to create more."

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When I host Up To Date each morning at 9 a.m., my aim is to engage the community in conversations about the Kansas City area’s challenges, hopes and opportunities. I try to ask the questions that listeners want answered about the day’s most pressing issues and provide a place for residents to engage directly with newsmakers. My email is steve@kcur.org.
Elizabeth Ruiz is a freelance producer for KCUR’s Up To Date. Contact her at elizabeth@kcur.org or on Twitter at @er_bentley_ruiz