Emma Parker to receive Dale E. Heydlauff Community Arts Innovation Award

In recognition of her work with the Trans Visibility project, Emma was selected as one of the two recipients of the Dale E. Heydlauff Community Arts Innovation award. She will be awarded $5,000 to go towards the project, continuing to uplift the voices of the Trans and Non-Binary communities.


The Dale E. Heydlauff Community Innovation Awards are presented to “innovative arts and cultural projects or initiatives that have addressed the unprecedented and challenging circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic and/or the protests resulting from social injustice, by creating something that helped lift up or provide relief to others in the community,” according to GCAC.


Mikayla Denise, a participant in the Trans Visibility Project

There is an awards ceremony tonight celebrating all of the Community Arts Partner winners. Emma is not able to be there in person, but her person, Taylor Kiehl, will be there to accept the award on her behalf.



Staley Munroe, a Trans Visibility participant

I asked Emma a few questions about her thoughts on the award and what she sees for the future of the Trans Visibility project.


What does this award mean to you and the Trans Visibility Project?


This award is such a huge accomplishment. I'm very honored to accept the recognition and the grant, but this isn't just for the project. This is for the Trans, Non-Binary, and Gender-Expansive community. It’s about recognizing them, giving them space, and uplifting the community. This grant will allow me to continue documenting and creating art with the Trans and Non-Binary community.


Where do you see the Trans Visibility Project going from here with the Heydlauff grant?


The Trans Visibility project is an ongoing process. I started photographing people in other states so that it’s not just Columbus represented. It needs to be bigger than Ohio. We need a well-rounded view of people from all over the US and even the world. I’m hoping when I travel to Ireland this summer that I can continue to document people there and create art with the Trans and Non-Binary community.


You aren’t able to make it to tonight’s ceremony. Is there anything you wish to add?


Sadly, I’m not able to make it to the awards ceremony tonight. I am, however, excited for the people that will be there accepting it on my behalf. Taylor, my person, and my mom, Mary Jo Tompkins, my mother-in-law, Krista Kiehl, my sister, Hannah Parker, and her fiancé, Katie Papeish will be there supporting me. Doing something like this, where it takes a lot of energy and patience, I know that I'm able to do this because of them. I couldn't have done this without all of the participants who put themselves out there and were vulnerable.


The Greater Columbus Arts Council made a video tribute for Emma and the Trans Visibility Project. It can be viewed below.




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