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Kootenai County artist visions funded by Jack Bannon Fund for the Arts

Staff Writer | May 17, 2024 1:00 AM

COEUR d’ALENE – Arts projects in Kootenai County are coming to life thanks to the Jack Bannon Fund for the Arts. Five artists, including Elaina DeJong, Doreen Graham, Keith Harrop and Joslyn Benak received grant awards Wednesday as part of the legacy of actor Jack Bannon.

DeJong received $1,500 to cover expenses for her upcoming concert, Montage Season, on May 31 at the Kroc Center. There will be an opener ahead of her set and she will showcase her original pop-rock music as the headliner for the event.

DeJong said the project started as a fun “what-if” idea and said it’s been a wild ride to reach the point of the project being chosen for the award by Coeur d'Alene Arts and Culture Alliance.

“To have the support of the Jack Bannon committee, the enthusiasm of my band, family and community, and to have strangers tell me they've got tickets, it's surreal,” DeJong said.

Her new single, "City Park," also debuted this week in anticipation of the show at the end of the month. The grant money will cover the cost of the venue and hiring musicians.

“I have been working on this material for years, and it means a lot to finally get to share it and see the Coeur d'Alene community so supportive of it,” DeJong said.

Doreen Graham received $1,000 to put toward tuition for formal instruction from painter Colley Whisson, a well-established artist in a mentorship program through Tucson Art Academy. After dedicating herself to her family as a mother, she is seizing the chance to pursue her dream and hone her artistic skills.

Keith Harrop received $500 to put toward marketing for a six-month exhibit of 12 artists at the Jacklin Arts and Cultural Center. He has dubbed the group “A Conspiracy of Artists” with the vision for the collective to support each other and share ideas and experiences.

Joslyn Benak received $500 to support her in a journalistic approach to producing a video documentary on local artists. The goal is to explore their different creative approaches to art, capture their deep knowledge about their respective mediums and perhaps even reveal some hidden gems.