College of Charleston SCHOOL OF THE ARTS

2019 School of the Arts Alumni Award Recipients

The School of the Arts honors the achievements of a select group of alumni who have demonstrated excellence in their respective disciplines. These arts professionals have set a standard for current students who will follow in their footsteps. The recipients of the 2019 Alumni Awards are:

Alumni Award for Achievement
Eric Sean Fogel ’97

Originally from Charleston, SC, Eric became passionate about classical music and dance at an early age, inspired by the Spoleto Festival. After graduating from the College of Charleston in Theatre Eric furthered his studies at the Alvin Ailey and Martha Graham Dance Schools on scholarship in New York City.

As a Concert Dancer, Eric was a member of the Metropolitan Opera Ballet for four years. He also was a member of Ben Munisteri Dance Projects for fourteen years performing at BAM, Lincoln Center, The Joyce Theatre, Dance Theatre Workshop and in Germany. Other NY concert dance work includes NY City Opera, NY Philharmonic, Mark Dendy, Max Luna, and Donald Byrd / The Group. In Musical Theatre, Eric performed on the National Tours of Evita! (Tango Dancer), Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, and three productions of West Side Story: a European Tour, at La Scala Opera, and an International Tour. As an Associate on Broadway, three National Tours and at Encores City Center, Eric was fortunate to assist and learn from many Choreographers and Directors.

As an Associate Choreographer, Eric worked on Everyday Rapture Broadway, Little House on the Prairie, We The People, Happy Days! The Musical National Tours, My Fair Lady, Most Happy Fella! Lincoln Center, and Bells Are Ringing at Encores. As a Choreographer World Premieres include Musicals by: Jeanine Tesori The Lion, The Unicorn, and Me; Frank Wildhorn Artus! Excalibur; Ben Moore Odyssey;  and XSBN- China’s Princess Butterfly. The Kennedy Center Choreographic credits include; Porgy and Bess, Samson and Delilah, Candide, West Side Story, The Little Prince, Florencia en el Amazonas, La Forza del Destino. Eric is currently in his 9th Season at the Glimmerglass Festival and in collaboration with Director Francesca Zambello as her Head of Stage Movement and Choreography. Eric has also created productions for: Atlantic Theatre II, Opera Bordeaux, Chicago Lyric Opera, Chicago Opera Theatre, Hawaii Opera Theatre, Houston Grand Opera, Lyric Opera Kansas City, Los Angeles Opera, Metropolitan Museum, Milan Fashion Week, New York Fashion Week, Opera Philadelphia, Paris Fashion Week, Seattle Opera, Shakespeare Theatre Company, Théâtre du Capitole, Theater St. Gallen, and Washington National Opera.

Eric continues to study in both classical and modern forms of dance and music, while working to create new visuals in story telling. Eric is currently on staff as Head of Choreography and Stage Movement at the Glimmerglass Festival. His choreographic work has been featured on Television, in Theatres and Opera houses around the world.


Alumni Award for Achievement
Michael Ann Wilson ’04

Michael Ann Wilson has committed her career to serving others, particularly artists. Currently Pacific Northwest Ballet’s Director of Company Operations & Touring, her primary responsibilities include budget management, union relations, contract negotiations, foreign artist taxes and visas, long-range planning, workers compensation and wellness, and tour execution. Before relocating to the West Coast in 2012, she served as Manager of Dance Programming at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and General Manager of The Kennedy Center’s ballet company, The Suzanne Farrell Ballet. During her eight season tenure at The Kennedy Center Michael Ann also produced the Local Dance Commissioning Project, an annual granting program supporting the creation of new work by artists from the Maryland/Virginia/DC region. Michael Ann proudly earned a Bachelor’s degree in Arts Management from the College of Charleston accompanied by a minor study in Dance (’04). During her treasured tenure at CofC, Michael Ann also taught dance at Ashely River Creative Arts Elementary School, was a member of the Chi Omega Fraternity as well as the Robert Ivey Ballet. She also spent her senior year interning with the Charleston Symphony Orchestra.  Michael Ann is a Maryland 4-H All-Star and an active member of Dance/USA, the nation’s service organization for professional dance; and a Board Member of Seattle’s Accelerator YMCA branch which provides holistic support to young people and their families who have experienced trauma.

Michael Ann was selected to participate in Arts Presenters’ Emerging Leaders Institute (’08), Dance/USA’s Institute for Leadership Training (’13), AMEX Leadership Academy (’14), and the AMEX Leadership Academy Alumni Summit (’18). Michael Ann has also served as a grant panelist for the National Endowment for the Arts (Dance) and Dance/USA’s Engaging Dance Audiences program. Michael Ann is co-founder of Dance/USA’s Company Management Affinity Group which connects colleagues from across the country for learning and sharing. Michael Ann resides in Seattle where her family enjoys supporting the city’s rich cultural scene as well as Seahawks football.

Alumni Award for Service
JohnPaul Schutz ’00
JohnPaul Schutz, an Atlanta native, is a Foreign Service Specialist with the United States Department of State; mainly focused on VIP visit logistics and event management, known to many in the service as “the 4th of July guy.” He has served in Belgrade, Serbia; Islamabad, Pakistan; Paramaribo, Suriname; Asmara, Eritrea; and is currently posted in Mexico City, Mexico. Additionally, he has completed short-term temporary duty assignments to London, England, and Lima, Peru; the latter was to assist in former President Barack Obama’s final overseas trip of his presidency, to attend the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Conference of 2016. Also in 2016, JohnPaul collaborated on the creation of an event management course curriculum for the Foreign Service Institute (FSI) in Falls Church, Virginia. This fall, JohnPaul will transfer back to the United States, after more than ten-years overseas, to be a training instructor at FSI.
Before joining the Foreign Service, JohnPaul taught and directed at numerous Atlanta area schools and theatres. Ultimately, he became an Arts Coordinator for the Cobb County Division of Cultural Affairs in Marietta, GA where he managed arts centers, art galleries, historic sites, pottery studios, fieldtrip programs, theatres, concerts, festivals, and more. Most notably, he co-produced the county’s 175th anniversary celebration at the sold out 2,750-seat Cobb Energy Center with a one-million dollar budget and the coordination of numerous professional and amateur performing groups from all disciplines, as well as, turning the venue’s lobby into an art gallery honoring the best the county’s visual art community had to offer. Additionally, JohnPaul founded The Theatre Project of Mableton, a community theatre organization for young actors, with whom JohnPaul’s wife Heather currently directs and choreographs. The program has recently celebrated its 13th anniversary, routinely boasts audiences of more than 750-people per performance, and has become one of the leading feeders into the Cobb County Center for Excellence in Performing Arts magnet program at Pebblebrook High School.
While at the College of Charleston JohnPaul served in Theatre Department and School of the Arts leadership roles, as well as a frequent collaborator in The Emmett Robinson Theatre, Theatre 220, Director’s Showcase, and Playwrights Tonight; as well as appearing at the Gibbes Museum of Art, First Night of Charleston, and Red Tie Night Charleston. At the time of his graduation, JohnPaul worked on approximately 30 theatrical productions. And according to a waiter (and fellow CofC alum) in Washington, DC advising him not to order the Shrimp & Grits, claims JohnPaul is best known for his performances in SubUrbia and Angels in America Part I: Millennium Approaches. In additional to his undergraduate degree of Theatre, JohnPaul also has a Masters of Public Administration.
JohnPaul met his wife Heather on a blind date, orchestrated by his former Cobb County supervisor, while home on an R&R from Eritrea. Eight-months later, they engaged to be married while she visited him overseas, and finally jumped the broom on Columbus Day, 2014. Together, they have 4 children, all boys, Grayson (age 13), Beau (11), Gilliam (9), and Wade (9). Three of them are fans of the Atlanta Falcons, and the other will pay his way through college.

Young Alumni Award
Ginger Vallen ’05

Ginger Vallen is the Director of Special Events at Carnegie Hall, where she oversees the planning, production, and execution of approximately forty annual events, including fundraising galas, stewardship cultivation events, and membership appreciation functions. In addition to supporting the day-to-day operations of the Hall, money raised from these events is used to fund Carnegie Hall’s artistic, education, and social impact programs on a local, national, and international scale. Over the course of her time at Carnegie Hall, Ginger has been fortunate enough to collaborate on events featuring artists and musicians as varied as Sting, James Taylor, Audra McDonald, Elton John, Yo-Yo Ma and Gustavo Dudamel, to name a few. Prior to joining Carnegie Hall, Ginger worked as a Special Events Associate at Broadway’s Roundabout Theater Company where she was responsible for planning opening night cast parties and gala performances, as well as raising funds for Roundabout’s philanthropic endeavors. Additionally, she has worked on live events with MTV (specifically the Video Music Awards) and the Drama League. Ginger’s career truly began during her time as a student at the College of Charleston, where she was able to supplement her education with real-world experience including interning with Charleston’s own Theater 99, Spoleto Festival, and the City of Charleston’s Office of Cultural Affairs. She is a 2005 graduate of CofC with a Bachelor of Art degree in Arts Management and minors in Theatre and Film Studies.

Young Alumni Award
Lauren Frances Evans ’11

Lauren Frances Evans currently lives and works in Birmingham, Alabama, where she is an Assistant Professor of Art at Samford University. Evans is a 2011 graduate of the Honors College at College of Charleston with degrees in both Business Administration and Studio Art. She received an MFA from the University of Maryland and has participated in artist residencies at Franconia Sculpture Park, Elsewhere Living Museum, and the Vermont Studio Center. In 2014, Evans was a recipient of the International Sculpture Center’s Outstanding Student Achievement in Contemporary Sculpture Award, and the following year she received an Artist Project Grant from the Iowa Arts Council. While living in Iowa, Evans worked as the Visual Arts Coordinator for the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, served as the artist in residence for the Iowa City Community School District, was the curator of the Times Club Gallery at Prairie Lights bookstore, and also taught courses at both the University of Iowa and Grinnell College.

Evans’s creative work, which ranges from meticulously layered collage to large mixed-media structures, addresses the body as a site of irresistible paradox. In her research, she investigates the meaning of the creative act, matters of origin, symbolic centers, and the significance of the maternal experience.
To learn more about her work,

Young Alumni Award
Giovanna Quattrone ’15
Giovanna Quattrone, a recent transplant from New York City to Savannah, Georgia, is currently working as an independent Fine Art Consultant. She earned her bachelor degrees in Art History and Arts Management from the College of Charleston in 2015, and graduated with honors from Sotheby’s Institute of Art in 2017 with a Masters in Art Business.
During her senior year at the College, Giovanna was the named as the sole recipient of the Art History department’s Haga Scholarship, and the Sotheby’s Institute of Art Summer Study Scholarship was awarded to her the previous year. During her last three years as an undergraduate student, she worked in dual capacities for the Art History department as an administrative assistant and a visual resource center assistant.
Immediately following graduation, Giovanna moved to New York to pursue her Master’s degree. Alongside her coursework, she worked as a graduate assistant at Sotheby’s Institute of Art. Also during this time, she published an article titled “The Art of Taxing Capital Gains” in the New York State BAR Association’s Entertainment, Art and Sports Law Journal.
Following an internship with Lofty Inc. – an online marketplace for fine and decorative art – she stepped into a full-time position as a Sales Associate for the company. In 2017, Giovanna began working at Athena Art Finance, where she worked as an Analyst on the Art Valuation & Research team, until her recent relocation back south. In this role, she was responsible for art historical and provenance research on artworks spanning various time periods for collection management, acquisition, and valuation purposes. Her current clients include both financial institutions and individuals.

In 2011, the School of the Arts established an Alumni Awards program in order to honor those former students who have made significant progress in their careers, the arts or have given of themselves as donors and/or volunteers. View a full list of past winners.