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Our artists, arts organizations and arts leaders work hard, mostly for no or little compensation, to enhance both our built environment and the quality of life in Seattle. Yet, I don’t believe they receive the level of recognition their work deserves. That’s why I appreciate the Mayor’s annual Arts Awards and why I nominate at least one candidate each year.
The Awards recognize the accomplishments of artists, arts and cultural organizations as well as community members committed to enriching their communities through the arts.
This year, the Arts Awards encompasses five categories: Future Focus, for arts education and working with youth; Artistic City, for creativity; Venture Culturalist, for funders, businesses, donors or professional development/service organizations; Arts as the How, for social issues; and Raising the Bar, for artistic excellence.
Do you know an artist deserving of recognition? How about an arts organization that you feel is doing excellent work? Or, perhaps you work for a company that makes a difference by giving big to the arts? I encourage you to submit your nominations for the 2013 Mayor’s Arts Awards via the Office of Arts website, here. The deadline for nominations to be received is 5 p.m., Wednesday, May 15.
The Seattle Arts Commission will review public nominations and recommend recipients to the Mayor for final selection.
This year, I am nominating The Gage Academy under the Future Focus category. Since 1989 the Academy, lead by co-founders Gary Faigin and Pamela Belyea, has provided community-based artistic development for artists of all ages and abilities through year-round instructional programs, public art events, lectures, youth programming, and exhibitions.
Past Award recipients include public artist Buster Simpson, Three Dollar Bill Cinema (2012), Pratt Fine Arts Center (2011), Reel Grrls (2010), Artist Trust (2009), Coyote Central and Marybeth Saterlee (2008), Longhouse Media’s Native Lens Program (2007), maestro Gerard Schwarz (2006), painter Alden Mason, The Tsutakawa Family (2005), and the Seattle Foundation (2004).
2013 Award recipients will be honored at a free public ceremony that kicks off the Bumbershoot arts festival at Seattle Center on Friday, August 30, starting at 4pm. Look for details closer to the date on the Office of Arts website.
While the Awards don’t provide any money, winners do receive a snazzy plaque or trophy. More importantly, winners receive recognition among their peers and throughout the greater Seattle area that may help them expand their successes.
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