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Communications studies professor wins prestigious award for her creative work

Lorna Ann Johnson-Frizell, associate professor of communication studies

EWING, NJ … Lorna Ann Johnson-Frizell, associate professor and current chair of the Department of Communication Studies, has been awarded a 2012 Leeway Transformation Award. The goal of Leeway’s Transformation Award is to recognize artists who have created exceptional art that has had a transformational impact on a larger group, audience, or community. The Leeway Foundation supports artists and cultural producers working in communities at the intersection of art, culture, and social change. The award, given to only eight artists in the Delaware Valley area comes with an unrestricted prize of $15,000.

Johnson-Frizell is an awarded filmmaker who has been making films and videos for 20 years. Her work has been awarded by the Mill Valley Film Festival and has screened at festivals nationally and internationally including Montreal Human Rights Films Festival, Athens Film Festival, and the Ann Arbor Film Festival. She has been invited to present her work at the Whitney Humanities Center at Yale University, and at George Washington University.  Johnson-Frizell’s films are cutting edge in style and approach subjects from a unique perspective, often finding humor in the most unexpected topics. She brings a personal rather than objective perspective to each of her films.  Her work has looked at domestic abuse, immigration, the impact of the Iraq war at home and women prisoners.  In a change of pace, her most recent work focuses on the topic of love in the City of Brotherly Love. In the film “…about love,” the filmmaker writes a letter to her young son about love, as others retell humorous and sometimes poignant stories of love lost, love found and love hoped for. The film has screened at the Reel Sister’s film Festival in Brooklyn and is currently on the festival circuit.

A national panel consisting of artists and cultural workers convened to review applications and work samples in two stages. The second stage of the application was by invitation only.  The panel reviewed the second stage applications and made final recommendations for the Transformation Award. Awardees are mid-career, and established artists who fully embody Leeway’s mission to create art for social change

More information about Johnson-Frizell’s films can be found at her website at  More about the Leeway Transformation Award can be found at