The Frances Focus Fellowship

Dame Wilburn

The Frances Focus Fellowship is awarded to a storyteller with deep ties to the American South.

August 1 - 14

About Dame

Dame S. Wilburn was born in Macon, Georgia. Her family moved to Detroit when she was very young but felt that connection to home was essential. Dame spent all of her summers in Macon with both sides of her family. The summers spent in her grandmother’s backyard are the foundation of her work. At an early age she was able to craft stories that entertained adults and kids. It wasn’t long before her mother enrolled her in a private school with an arts based curriculum. Dame spent yeas listening to stories, writing poetry, and developed a love of words and how they convey ideas. This love of words lead to her “story poem” style of writing.

Currently, Dame is a community educator with Generation With Promise out of Henry Ford Health System in Detroit, Michigan. Dame spends her free time writing poetry, singing and painting. Dame has performed her stories at several Moth Mainstage events. She is also working on her first book “Sugar Plum”.

Excerpt from Azalea:
Back outside with a new glass of tea and a
New pan of peas
You smell the azaleas, the hyacinths, the magnolias
And you wonder How could heaven possibly be better than this?


AIR Serenbe supports artists of every discipline through our Focus Fellowship awards, nominated annually by our National Advisory Council—esteemed peers and experts in the field.  Focus Fellowships provide the opportunity for individuals, corporations, and other organizations to directly support artists and their influence on building healthy, creative communities. Funders of these awards have the chance to name the fellowship and to work closely with AIR Serenbe to determine what kind of artists (discipline, geography, demographic, subject) the fellowship will serve.  

To learn more about establishing a Focus Fellowship, contact AIR Serenbe Director Brandon Hinman at