The DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities is pleased to announce the awarding of special Mayor's Arts Award for Lifetime Achievement to legendary film producer and director George Stevens, Jr. and African Heritage Dancers and Drummers Founding Artistic Director Melvin Deal at the 27th Annual Mayor's Arts Awards, held on Thursday, September 13, 2012 at the Historic Lincoln Theatre. The night was also highlighted with a Mayor's Arts Awards for Visionary Leadership to Anthony A. Williams and Mayor’s Arts Awards of Special Recognition to Paul Jorgensen.
Winners in five arts categories and three teaching categories were honored with the most prestigious award of the DC Arts community. Award winning recipients include Art Enables, Atlas Performing Arts Center, Bohemian Caverns Jazz Orchestra, Free Minds Book Club & Writing Workshop, StepAfrika! Inc., Washington Performing Arts Society, Kenneth Dickerson, Koye Oyediji, and Jennifer Sonkin.
"This year, the Mayor's Arts Awards was a wonderful evening marked by an amazing celebration of the outstanding contributions to the arts and culture in our city. The work demonstrated by our awardees are a true representation of world class artistic excellence" said Judith Terra, Chair of the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities.
The 27th Annual Mayor's Arts Awards included performances by the Poem-cees, Nistha Raj, Christylez Bacon, Tiempo de Tango, Jones-Hayward School of Dance, Urban Artistry, Rev. Nolan Williams, National Hand Dance Association, and the African Heritage Dancers and Drummers
The Mayor's Arts Award is the highest honor conferred by the District of Columbia in recognition of artistic excellence and service among artists, arts organizations, and arts patrons in the city.
"The Honorable Mayor Vincent C. Gray and the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities congratulates this year's winners, honorees and finalist for their extraordinary service to this great city," says Executive Director, Lionell Thomas, DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities. "We recognize the importance of a strong cultural community and salute each of the winners for displaying extraordinary leadership to the residents and patrons of Washington, DC."
This year's awards were presented in the following categories: Excellence in an Artistic Discipline, Excellence in Service to the Arts, Innovation in the Arts, Outstanding Contribution to Arts Education, Outstanding Emerging Artist and Mayor's Award for Arts Teaching (Visual, Performing and Language Arts). Finalists were chosen by the Mayor's Arts Awards Advisory Jury comprised of prominent members of the District's arts community with expertise in dance, music, theatre, literary arts, visual arts and arts education.
Winners for the 27th Annual Mayor's Arts Awards:
- Art Enables - Innovation in the Arts
- Atlas Performing Arts Center - Excellence to Service in the Arts
- Bohemian Caverns Jazz Orchestra - Outstanding Emerging Artist
- Free Minds Book Club & Writing Workshop - Outstanding Contribution to Arts Education
- StepAfrika! - Excellence in An Artistic Discipline
- Washington Performing Arts Society - Excellence in Service to the Arts
- Kenneth Dickerson, Roosevelt Senior High School - Mayor's Arts for Teaching, Performing Arts
- Koye Oyediji, Duke Ellington School of the Arts - Mayor's Arts for Teaching, Language Arts
- Jennifer Sonkin, Cesar Chavez Public Charter School - Mayor's Arts for Teaching, Visual Arts