A look back at the Mayor’s Arts Awards

Bagpipers Hannah Gough and Camden Greenlee, both past nominees, led the 325 arts enthusiasts into the Coronado Theatre June 8 for the 18th Mayor’s Arts Awards.

Riley O’Neal was Master of Ceremonies and kept the program rolling without a hitch.

Rockford Mayor Larry Morrissey’s interpretive dance was postponed, but his message about the importance of the arts resonated with the crowd.

Performances included “Non Nobis Solum” with lyrics by Christine Swanberg, music by Donald Fraser, performed by WomanSong Chorale under the direction of Dorothy Paige-Turner.

Alex Lantz flawlessly performed a piece for the Rockford Dance Company’s recent production of Coppelia. Members of Broadway Bound performed Elegance under the direction of Jack Armstrong.

Rockford Health Systems received the award for Community Impact by a Business. Exceptional Student recipient Kausika Maddali was unable to attend because his talent had taken him to Japan.

Star Teacher Charles Matlock was absolutely thrilled and mentioned some of his teachers were nominated with him.

Amadeus’ birthday celebration was a crowd pleaser with the honor going to the Rockford Symphony Orchestra for “Rockford Celebrates Mozart” collaboration. Individual Arts Advocate went to Scott Prine.

Stephen Vrtol III, of course, entertained upon acceptance of the Individual Artist award. Last year’s individual artist went to fellow Artist’s Ensemble member Rod MacDonald. Vrtol was very proud to be in such well-respected company.

Ingrid Neuhofer Dohm, individual artist nominee, donated her sixth piece depicting Rockford’s crown jewel, the Coronado. MainStreet Financial’s Herb Allen, along with his wife, Debra, and the entire staff were thrilled to add it to the art collection. This is Allen’s second Mayor’s Arts Awards painting by Dohm.

The awards were created by local artists Axel Cruz and Nancy Anderson. The response for the call to artist for these commissioned pieces was incredible, and Cruz and Anderson’s work was absolutely brilliant.

Anne E. O’Keefe is executive director of the Rockford Area Arts Council.

From the June 21-27, 2006, issue

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