City of Lincoln
2020 Media Releases
- February 10, 2020
- Media Contact:
- Diane Gonzolas, City Communications, 402-441-7831
- Troy Gagner, Lincoln Arts Council, 402-434-2787
Winners of Mayor's Arts Awards Announced
The Lincoln Arts Council (LAC) today announced the individuals and organizations to be honored at the 42nd annual Mayor's Arts Awards Tuesday, April 14 at Pinnacle Bank Arena. This year's theme, "An Ode to Joy," pays tribute to the 250th birthday of that song's composer, Ludwig van Beethoven.
The event is open to the public and includes a reception with an artistic hors d'oeuvres buffet and signature "Ode to Joy" cocktail at 5:30 p.m., the awards presentation at 6:30 p.m., and the Winners' Reception following the program. Reservation information is available at artscene.org. The Presenting Sponsors are Ameritas and Avery Woods.
Local artists are creating work based on the "Ode to Joy" theme. The pieces will be on display at the event and available for purchase to benefit LAC. Each award winner will receive an original art piece by Lincoln glass artist Marc Kornbluh. Returning as emcee is DeWayne Taylor, a teaching artist, beat boxer and KFRX radio host.
Mayor Leirion Gaylor Baird has selected Kathleen Grossman and Down Under Pottery to receive the Mayor's Choice Award. Grossman and her pottery students have produced over 14,400 bowls for the annual Empty Bowls luncheon, helping to raise over $1.1 million for the Lincoln Food Bank. The Mayor's Choice Award is sponsored by Doug and Mary Campbell. Other honorees and sponsors are:
- Outstanding Event Award: Vision Maker Media, a Native-run nonprofit based in Lincoln presents the Vision Maker Film Festival to focus on Native American storytelling and film. Sponsored by Kathy and Marc LeBaron.
- Outstanding Arts Organization: Fiendish Plots, an exhibition space co-directed by artists Charley Friedman and Nancy Friedemann, was recently featured in the USA Today newspaper. Sponsored by Davis Design
- Artistic Achievement Award - Performing Arts: Musician and educator Kim Osborne Salistean has been the first violinist for Lincoln's Symphony Orchestra since 1976 and for the Omaha Symphony since 1980 and appears on many recordings. Sponsored by K & Z Distributing Co., Inc.
- Artistic Achievement Award - Visual Arts: Robert Esquivel has had dozens of art shows in local and regional galleries and is also involved in local theatre and music. Sponsored by Joe and Judye Ruffo.
- Artistic Achievement Award - Youth: Lincoln High School student Natalie Leininger specializes in mixed-media portraiture and has won several local art competitions. Sponsored by FES.
- Artistic Achievement Award - Literary Arts: Writers and teachers Lucy Adkins and Becky Breed co-authored the book "Writing in Community," and have presented numerous workshops. Sponsored by Commercial Investment Properties
- Gladys Lux Education Award: Robert Henrichs has been the Director of Theatre at Lincoln Southwest High School since its opening in 2002 and has directed three Pinewood Bowl musicals. Sponsored by the Gladys Lux Foundation.
- Legacy of the Arts Award: Visual artist and educator Joe Ruffo served as the Chair of the Art and Art History Department at UNL and is a former President of the Lincoln Arts Council. Sponsored by Legacy Estates.
- Heart of the Arts Award: Doane University associate professor Eric Stearns is known for his outreach to students across the region. Sponsored by Runza® Restaurants.
- ArtScene Backstage Award: Kathryn Cover, has been a costume designer, props master and director at area theaters for more than 30 years. Sponsored by Susan Stuart.
- Benefactor of the Arts Award: Jack and Sally Campbell have supported many arts and humanities organizations in Lincoln and Nebraska. Sponsored by BVH Architecture.
- Lincoln Community Foundation Arts for Kids Award: The Girl Scouts artVenture program matches small groups of Girl Scouts with professional artists for a collaborative arts education experience. Nearly 1,500 Nebraska Girl Scouts and 100 artists were part of the program in 2019. Sponsored by the Lincoln Community Foundation.
- Larry Enersen Urban Design Awards: The City's Urban Design Committee chose the Lumberworks Block (bounded by Canopy, 8th, "O" and "N" streets), the "N" Street Bikeway and the BikeLNK bike share program. Sponsored by The Clark Enersen Partners.
The event will also honor the recipients of the Kimmel Foundation Emerging Artist Awards - visual artist Sophia Kay Ruppert and writer Amy Keller. Each award includes a $1,000 stipend and a two-week residency at the Kimmel Harding Nelson Center for the Arts. The awards are sponsored by the Richard P. Kimmel and Laurine Kimmel Charitable Foundation.
Tickets are $80 and are available from the LAC at 402-434-2787 or artscene.org. The reservation deadline is March 28. Corporate tables and sponsorship opportunities are also available. Those interested in receiving or sponsoring scholarship tickets, should contact the LAC. Other sponsors of the event are Pinnacle Bank; Letheby Group RBC Wealth Management; Farmers Mutual of Nebraska; Union Bank and Trust; Merrill Lynch Roper Bennett Team; Lincoln First Realty; and Southeast Community College.