On June 9, the Coronado Theatre will be filled with local artists and the supporters of the arts, who will be anxiously awaiting the announcements of this years winners for the 16th annual Mayors Arts Awards.
This year, 28 nominees were submitted in the categories of Community Impact by a Corporation or Business, Exceptional Student, Star Teacher, Creative Cultural Event, Individual Arts Advocate and Individual Artist. As is usually the case with such honors, all named are incredibly talented.
We are so lucky to have a committed group of 16 individuals who are on the review committee. The group is made up of past recipients and friends of the arts. Each reviewer has one or two nominees to present, followed by comments from the other members, and then it is put to a vote. When the event began, it was simply one award in response to the numerous people who use the arts to positively impact our community; additional categories were agreed upon. The committee will be working over the next year to encourage the community to make even more nominations next year. We will strive to have nominations available this fall to make it easier to nominate when an event is fresh in your head.
The awards presented June 9 are creations of Rockford artists, Joseph Church and Ed Riddle. Ingrid Neuhofer Dohm has donated her fifth painting that will be auctioned off at the event and through noon June 10. This year the painting enlivens Coronado guests on the staircase. The painting has been on display at Rockford Bank and Trust.
I look forward to seeing many faces on June 9. We all must embrace the importance of the arts in our community. This evening is an incredible tribute to the fine treasures we have here.
Anne E. OKeefe is executive director of the Rockford Area Arts Council.
From the June 1-7, 2005, issue