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Mayor Vincent C. Gray Joins the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities, Announces 2014 Mayor’s Arts Awards Honorees and Finalists

Thursday, October 9, 2014
Honoring the achievements of Washington, DC’s arts, entertainment and creative industries

Mayor Vincent C. Gray with the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities (DCCAH) announce the special honorees and finalists of the 29th Annual Mayor's Arts Awards. The awards are the highest honors conferred by the District of Columbia in recognition of artistic excellence and service. The event will take place on Wednesday, October 29 from 6:30 to 8:30 pm at the renowned Lisner Auditorium. Andrea Roane, Morning Anchor, WUSA 9, will host the evening’s festivities. The Awards ceremony is free and open to the public. 

Special awards will be given to several individuals and organizations, recognizing their outstanding support to DC’s arts, entertainment, and creative industries. This year's chosen finalists demonstrate the wide range of talent the District of Columbia arts community has to offer. Finalists were selected 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, arts service and arts education. 

Those receiving special recognition are Dr. James Billington, The Librarian of Congress; Cathy Hughes, Chairperson, Radio One and TV One; Maida Withers, founder and artistic director of Maida Withers Dance Construction Company; Victor Shargai, theater advocate and interior designer, Victor Shargai and Associates Inc.; and Rebecca and Hugo Medrano, founders, GALA Hispanic Theatre .

The finalists for the 29th Annual Mayor’s Arts Awards are:

Excellence in an Artistic Discipline

  • Children’s Chorus of Washington
  • DC Jazz Festival
  • The In Series
  • Washington Jewish Film Festival

Excellence in Service to the Arts

  • DC Arts and Humanities Education Collaborative
  • Washington Project for the Arts
  • Women in Film & Video

Innovation in the Arts

  • The Embassy Series
  • Lance Kramer
  • Urban Corps Transatlantic Urban Dance Festival

Outstanding Contribution to Arts Education

  • 826DC
  • DC SCORES
  • Washington Performing Arts Society
  • Young Playwrights' Theater

Outstanding Emerging Artist

  • Tarik Davis
  • Rachel Kerwin
  • Alan Paul
  • Tommy Taylor Jr.

Excellence in Arts Teaching

  • Nakia Espinal
  • Bryan Hill
  • Garwin Zamora

“The District of Columbia is a national and international arts leader largely due to the drive and talents of our city’s artistic individuals and organizations,” said Mayor Gray. “This year’s nominees celebrate DC’s cultural capital and spotlight the significance of our city's vibrant arts and entertainment community. Arts education, artistic service and the myriad contributions of local artists influence our city and make it a great place to create.”

“The Mayor’s Arts Awards celebrates the District’s thriving and diverse arts community,” said Judith Terra, Chair of the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities. “The nominees represent the artists, arts organizations and educators who have made the District a world-class cultural capital.” 

“The Commission is proud to honor the District's premier individual artists and arts organizations,” said Lionell Thomas, Executive Director of DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities. “The District’s arts, entertainment and creative industries are booming, contributing to our sustainability and helping to make the city a better place to live, work and play.”

Since 1968, the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities has supported community development through the arts by promoting artistic excellence. The Commission’s commitment to raising the profile of the arts in the District of Columbia continues through the Mayor's Arts Awards. This year’s awards will be 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 the Mayor's Award for Arts Teaching.

About the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities

The DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities provides grants, professional opportunities, education enrichment, and other programs and services to individuals and nonprofit organizations in all communities within the District of Columbia.

The Arts Commission is supported primarily by District government funds and in part by the National Endowment for the Arts.