2024 Medici Circle Scholars

UC Irvine Claire Trevor School of the Arts names eleven new Medici Circle Scholars

UC Irvine Claire Trevor School of the Arts is pleased to announce the 2024 Medici Circle Scholars. Eleven scholarships were awarded to outstanding undergraduate and graduate students. These scholarships allow recipients to extend their education beyond the classroom, collaborating with academics and artists in the community and worldwide.

The competitive Medici Circle Scholarships in art, dance, drama and music support artists and scholars in undertaking specific projects within their field. This unique program assigns a faculty mentor to oversee each project. This ensures students receive an enriching educational experience while achieving excellent outcomes. These projects further students’ research and enhance their portfolios and graduate dissertations. 

Each scholarship is generously sponsored by a Medici Circle patron, who is directly paired with an awarded student to help them reach their creative professional goals. 

Congratulations to the Summer 2024 Medici Circle Scholar awardees:

Talin Abadian, Ph.D., Drama ’25: Queer Climate Performance: Pleasures of Excess and Plastic Activism
Faculty Mentor:
Bryan Reynolds, Distinguished Professor and Claire Trevor Professor, Drama
Research: Queer environmentalists’ drag performance rethinks the antagonistic coexistence of plastic waste and calls for an inclusive climate action rooted in hope and exuberance.

Fabricio Cavero Farfan, Ph.D., Music ’26: Observing the Indigenous Academia of America
Faculty Mentor: Mari Kimura, Professor of Music
Research: The project integrates ancestral and Indigenous music technologies with modern and global practices through scientific exploration and artistic expression, while acknowledging and honoring the epistemological contributions of Indigenous Academia of the American Continent.

Anastasia Denos, M.F.A., Art ’25: Various Anthropomorphic Typologies
Faculty Mentor:
 Amanda Ross-Ho, Professor of Sculpture
Research: The art installation will feature textile pieces for the 2025 M.F.A. thesis exhibition, contributing to ongoing artistic research that explores the intersections of embodiment, semiotics and space.

Minoo Emadi, M.F.A., Art ’25: Three Echoes
Faculty Mentor:
Monica Majoli, Professor of Art
Research: Three Echoes is a thesis show that will explore different lenses of time, informed by the scholar's firsthand study of the influence of the spatial environment in post-WWII Italian art.

Chieh Huang, Ph.D., Music ’25: Songs of Ancestors: Capturing the Sound of Amis and Atayal
Faculty Mentor:
Michael Dessen, Professor of Music
Research: The composition aims to uphold the ancient melodies of the Amis and Atayal by documenting and recording them for future generations.

Rebecca Larkin, Ph.D., Music ’25: Duet for Flute and Video Game at Ludo2024
Faculty Mentor: Kojiro Umezaki, Professor of Music
Research: Larken has been invited to present Duet for Flute and Video Game at Ludo2024, the Thirteenth European Conference on Video Game Music and Sound in Mataró, Spain. This lecture-recital explores an immersive video game environment where players, regardless of musical skill, can experience and appreciate musical improvisation and performance.

Anthony Martinez, M.F.A., Art ’25: America as Scene: The Dead-End Legacy
Faculty Mentor:
 Liz Glynn, Professor of Art
Research: The research portion of this project will explore the archives of American landscape art at the National Gallery of Art and the Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington, D.C. It aims to create a series of photographic studies that recontextualize archival practices and preservation, highlighting the landscape as an apparatus of nationalism.

Emily Parise, Ph.D., Drama ’25: Visible Bullets: Shakespeare's Subversive Stage Properties in the English and Roman History Plays
Faculty Mentor: Ian Munro, Professor of Drama
Research: Visible Bullets recenters academic conversations in Shakespeare Studies by examining the stage properties — costumes, props, and theater architecture — of his history plays. It offers new insights into their politics and performance through an object-oriented dramaturgy.

Carly Shaw, Ph.D., Drama ’25: Devise and Conquer: Exploring the Therapeutic Dimensions of UK-Based Youth Devised Theatre
Faculty Mentor:
 Bryan Reynolds, Distinguished Professor and Claire Trevor Professor of Drama
Research: This project aims to explore and observe a diverse range of therapeutic theatre practices from youth theatre companies in the U.K. By examining significant developments in therapeutic devised theatre, the goal is to identify the most effective theatre-based therapy techniques and ultimately integrate these methods to create the most beneficial process for addressing adolescent trauma.

Natalie Shirota, B.F.A., Dance ’26: Las Vegas Mastery Dance Camp
Faculty Mentor: Lindsay Gilmour, Professor of Dance
Research: The Las Vegas Mastery Dance Camp is a summer educational opportunity that brings together successful ballroom dance professionals to teach upcoming dance sports students in an intense week of training sessions.

Alyssa Wixson, Ph.D., Music ’27: SPLICE Institute collaboration
Faculty Mentor: 
Rajna Swaminathan, Assistant Professor of Music
Research: A composition composed in collaboration with a student cellist, to be premiered at SPLICE Institute 2024 in Kalamazoo, MI.

The Claire Trevor School of the Arts gratefully acknowledges our 2024 Medici Circle Scholar Patrons: Valerie Glass, Susan Hori, Dean Tiffany Ana López, Sheila and Jimmy Peterson, Richard and Cheryll Ruszat, Steve Sorenson, Rick and Alison Stein and Mary Watson-Bruce. 

Learn more about how you can become a Medici Circle Patron and unlock opportunities that would otherwise be out of reach for remarkable Claire Trevor School of the Arts students at arts.uci.edu/medici-circle.