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Mayor's Office

2009 Media Releases

April 8, 2009
For More Information Contact:
Diane Gonzolas, Citizen Information Center, 441-7831
Deb Weber, Lincoln Arts Council, 434-2787


Mayor Chris Beutler today announced the winners of the 31st annual Mayor's Arts Awards. The awards will June 3 by the Lincoln Arts Council (LAC) June at the Lied Center for Performing Arts. The Mayor's Arts Awards program formally recognizes artistic contributions and achievements in the Lincoln area. Union Bank and Trust Company will again be the presenting sponsor.

The event begins at 5:30 p.m. with a reception, and the awards begin at 7 p.m. Tickets to the event are $50, and reservations are required. Checks can be sent to LAC at 920 "O" Street, Lincoln, NE 68508. More information is available by calling the LAC at 434-2787or on the LAC Web site at The reservation deadline is May 26.

The honorees:

  • The Arts Organization Award will be presented to the non-profit Lux Center for the Arts, which offers visual arts classes and exhibition space. The award recognizes an arts group that has made significant contributions to Lincoln's arts community over a period of years and is sponsored by Runza.
  • The Artistic Achievement Award - Visual Arts will be presented to wildlife artist Cliff Hollestelle, who is recognized nationally for his wood and bronze waterfowl sculptures. The award recognizes excellence and accomplishment in any of the visual arts and is sponsored by Bob and Marilyn Harris.
  • The Artistic Achievement Award - Performing Arts will be presented to Lincoln's Symphony Orchestra, now in its 82nd season. In addition to its concert schedule, LSO has extensive educational and outreach programs. The award recognizes excellence and accomplishment in any of the performing arts and is sponsored by Farmers Mutual Insurance Company of Nebraska.
  • The Gladys Lux Education Award will be presented to Sandra Williams, an Associate Professor of Art at UNL and a multimedia artist who is actively involved in projects with the Lincoln Public Schools. The award recognizes special initiatives in or dedication to arts education and is sponsored by the Gladys Lux Foundation.
  • Two Heart of the Arts Awards will be presented this year. The recipients are Anne Pagel and Diana Warner. Pagel, an arts journalist and curatorial assistant for Karen and Robert Duncan, was director of the Haydon and a project director for LAC and has served many arts organizations. Warner is a pianist and volunteer for arts organizations including the Musical Art Club, Friends of the Opera and Lincoln's Symphony Guild. This award recognizes individuals or organizations for outstanding volunteer dedication to the arts or for making a major overall impact on the arts in Lincoln. The awards are being sponsored by Talent Plus and Lucy Buntain Comine in memory of Anne Buntain.
  • The Halcyon Allsman Benefactor of the Arts Award will be presented to Steve Wake and Linda Esterling. They have shared their extensive collection of art glass for exhibitions, fund-raisers and other events, and are active in the Lux Center for the Arts, the Haydon and the Sheldon Art Association. The award honors an individual, family, organization or business making significant financial contributions to the arts in Lincoln and is sponsored by Wells Fargo Bank.
  • The Oliva "Arts for Kids" Award will be presented to the Malone Center for its "My World, My Dreams" Summer Art Academy. The award honors an individual or organization from outside of the arts professions whose leadership has enhanced arts activities and experiences for children. It is sponsored by the Giacomo and Dorothy Oliva Family.
  • The Literary Heritage Award will be presented to the late Robert Knoll, an author and longtime English professor who passed away in January. The award recognizes a writer or individual who promotes excellence in writing and literature in Nebraska and is sponsored by the Nebraska Literary Heritage Association.
  • The Larry Enersen Award, which recognizes outstanding urban design in Lincoln, will be presented to two projects. The Harris Overpass is being honored as a public project, and Liberty Village is being honored as a private project. The award is sponsored by Clark Enersen Partners.
  • The Mayor's Choice Award will be presented to Kiechel Fine Art, which has specialized in contemporary and 20th century regionalist art since 1986. The award is sponsored by Cline, Williams, Wright, Johnson and Oldfather, L.L.P.
  • The Kimmel Foundation Award will be presented to Jenni Brant and Erika Navarrete. The award recognizes visual artists and includes two-week residencies at the Kimmel Harding Nelson Center for the Arts and a $1,000 stipend.

Except for the Literary Heritage, Larry Enersen and Mayor's Choice awards, honorees are selected by a panel of arts professionals. This year's award is a metal sculpture created by Adam Loman of Play Creative.

The public is encouraged to submit names of members of the Lincoln arts community who have died since the last awards ceremony in June 2008 for memorial recognition at the awards event.

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