Finalists for the 24th Annual Mayor’s Arts Awards demonstrate the wide range of talent the arts community offers in the District of Columbia. The DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities presented the Mayor's Arts Awards on Monday, March 23, 2009 at 6 pm in the Kennedy Center Concert Hall.
In the tradition of the Academy Awards, winners were announced for the first time during the ceremony hosted by award-winning journalist Cyneé Simpson, weekend evening anchor for ABC 7/WJLA-TV. Throughout the evening the audience was treated to a diverse range of performances including The Washington Ballet, Coral Cantigas and DC’s own Mambo Sauce.
The Mayor’s Arts Awards are 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. Both Mayor Adrian M. Fenty and First Lady Michelle Fenty attended the ceremony. Special invited guests included America’s leading jazz spokesperson Dr. Billy Taylor; Marcus Johnson, jazz pianist; Janice Hill, executive director, Lincoln Theater; Victor Reinoso, deputy mayor for education, Government of the District of Columbia; and Councilmember At-Large Kwame R. Brown presented awards.
“Washington’s arts community has made an indelible impact in its contribution to the world-class city we call home,” said Gloria Nauden, Executive Director of the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities. “The Mayor’s Arts Awards represents our appreciation for the core of our contribution to the rich cultural vitality of our city.”
The 2009 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 Artists and Mayor’s Award for Arts Teaching. 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.
Additionally, during the ceremony, the first Mayor’s Award for Visionary Leadership in the Arts will be presented to Septime Webre, Artistic Director, The Washington Ballet and Joy Zinoman, founding artistic director, Studio Theatre.
Since 1968, the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities has supported community development through the arts by promoting artistic excellence. Legends such as Leonard Slatkin, Roberta Flack, Shirley Horn and Peggy Cooper Cafritz are past recipients of the Mayor's Arts Award.
The 24th Annual Mayor’s Arts Awards is a Millennium Stage presentation. The Millennium Stage was created and underwritten by James A. Johnson and Maxine Isaacs to make the performing arts accessible to everyone in the fulfillment of the Kennedy Center’s mission to its community and the nation.
The ceremony was free and open to the public. For additional information on the Mayor’s Arts Awards or other DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities programs call (202) 724-5613.
Winners for the 24th Annual Mayor’s Arts Awards:
Excellence in an Artistic Discipline
Excellence in Service to the Arts
Andy Anas Shallal
Innovation in the Arts
Arts in Foggy Bottom
Outstanding Contribution to Arts Education
Joy of Motion Dance Center
Outstanding Emerging Artist
Jason Garcia Ignacio
Mayor’s Award for Visionary Leadership in the Arts
Mayor’s Award for Art Teaching
Samuel L. Bonds
Duke Ellington School of the Arts
Haewon Moon, PhD
Duke Ellington School of the Arts
Oyster - Adams Bilingual Elementary School
M. Kamel Igoudjil
School Without Walls
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