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April 12, 2002
For More Information Contact:
Diane Gonzolas, Citizen Information Center, 441-7831
Deb Weber, Lincoln Arts Council, 434-2787

Mayor Announces Recipients of Arts Awards

Mayor Don Wesely, in cooperation with the Lincoln Arts Council, has named the recipients of the 2002 Mayor’s Arts Awards. The public is invited to the awards luncheon at 11:30 a.m. Wednesday, June 5 at the Lied Center for Performing Arts. Reservations are $25, and can be sent to the Arts Council, 920 “O” Street, Lincoln, NE 68508.

“This is the 24th year that this city has come together to present these awards,” said Mayor Wesely. “It’s an opportunity to honor individuals, organizations and projects for their contributions to the arts and to the quality of life we enjoy in Lincoln.”

New this year is the Mayor’s Choice Award, which will be presented to sculptor Fred Hoppe. NEBCO, Inc. is the sponsor of the award.

The Halcyon Allsman Benefactor of the Year Award will be given to retired architect Burket Graf. The honor recognizes the late Allsman’s sustained financial support of the arts over her lifetime and is sponsored by Wells Fargo.

Gayle Andres, former Executive Director of the University Place Art Center, will receive the Leadership Award, which recognizes the recipient’s major overall impact on the arts in Lincoln. It is sponsored by Talent +.

Time Warner Cable will receive the Support of the Arts Award. This award recognizes significant financial support for the arts by a business and is sponsored by Lincoln Benefit Life.

Jose Soto will receive the Cultural Celebration Award for artistic work that has fostered an appreciation of a specific culture or cultures. Soto is Vice President for Affirmative Action, Equity and Diversity at Southeast Community College. The award is sponsored by Lincoln Family Wellness.

Ruthann Young, promoter and enthusiast of Nebraska literature, will receive the Literary Heritage Award. Young is a former president of the Nebraska Literary Heritage Association Board and the Library Board of Trustees. The award recognizes a writer or a person who promotes excellence in writing in Nebraska and is sponsored by the Nebraska Literary Heritage Association.

The Lincoln Children’s Museum will receive the Larry Enersen Urban Design Award, sponsored by The Clark Enersen Partners.

Lincoln Community Playhouse Artistic Director Robin McKercher will receive the Sam Davidson Award for excellence in theatre arts, sponsored by Patsy Davidson.

Visual artist Nadine McHenry will receive the Artistic Achievement Award, which recognizes professional accomplishment in any arts discipline. It is sponsored by the Duncan Family.

Connie Dillow, Director of the Advanced Theatre Company, will receive the Gladys Lux Education Award. It recognizes special initiatives in or dedication to arts education and is sponsored by the Gladys Lux Foundation.

Belle Graves will receive the Heart of the Arts Award, which recognizes outstanding volunteer dedication to the arts. She is retired volunteer curator for the Gladys Lux Historical Collection. The award is sponsored by Runza Restaurants.

A Special Recognition Award is also being given to Dr. Richard Hay, retired Commander, Dental Corps, U.S. Navy, for his volunteer and philanthropic work for the arts in Lincoln.

Prairie Schooner’s 75th Anniversary will be recognized as the Event of the Year. The award is sponsored by Steve Nolan, Central Financial Services.

Judges for the 2002 Mayor’s Arts Awards were:
  • Janice Driesbach, Director of the Sheldon Memorial Art Gallery;
  • Corkey Ford, Public Information Officer, Producer/Director, Nebraska Health and Human Services System;
  • Jack Levick, Artistic Director, Abendmusik: Lincoln, 1985 Mayor’s Arts Awards winner;
  • Anne Pagel, Arts and Entertainment Editor for Nebraska;
  • Liz Shea-McCoy, artist, educator and President of the Lincoln Arts Council;
  • Jo Stewart, community volunteer; and
  • Kit Voorhees, Director of the Arts Are Basic Aesthetic Education Program, 2001 Mayor’s Arts Awards winner.

The Nebraska Literary Heritage Association selected the Literary Heritage Award winner, and the Urban Design Committee of the Lincoln-Lancaster County Planning Commission selected the Enersen Award winner.

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