The Mayor's Arts Award is the highest honor conferred by the District of Columbia in acknowledgement of artistic excellence and service among artists, arts organizations and arts patrons in the city. Winners in six categories were recognized, demonstrating the wide range of talent the District of Columbia arts community has to offer. Award recipients are the Children's Chorus of Washington, Washington Project for the Arts, Lance Kramer, 826DC, Rachel Kerwin, Nakia Espinal, Bryan Hill and Garwin Zamora.
The Commission was pleased to also celebrate special honorees 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 Rebecca and Hugo Medrano, founders, GALA Hispanic Theatre.
The 29th Annual Mayor's Arts Awards included performances by Levine Music, Kendall Isadore, Split This Rock, Chamber Dance Project, the cast of Arena Stage's Five Guys Named Moe and Grammy-nominated recording artist Maysa. Andrea Roane of WUSA 9 was the evening's Mistress of Ceremonies.
"Washington, DC is an international arts and culture destination," says Judith Terra, Chair of the DC Commission on the arts and Humanities. "Our city boasts world class arts, from Maida Withers, a pillar of the District's vibrant arts community, to nominees such as 826C and Washington Project for the Arts, organizations with deep ties to the local arts community."
"The Honorable Mayor Vincent C. Gray and the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities congratulate this year's winners, honorees and finalists for their contributions to the District," says Executive Director Lionell Thomas, DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities. "The Mayor's Arts Awards are a great way to spotlight those who contribute their talents to making Washington, DC a wonderful place to live, work and visit."
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 Excellence in 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.
Winners for the 29th Annual Mayor's Arts Awards:
Excellence in an Artistic Discipline
- Children's Chorus of Washington
Excellence in Service to the Arts
- Washington Project for the Arts
Innovation in the Arts
- Lance Kramer
Outstanding Contribution to Arts Education
Outstanding Emerging Artist
- Rachel Kerwin
Excellence in Arts Teaching
- Nakia Espinal, John Philip Sousa Middle School - Performing Arts
- Bryan Hill, Martin Luther King, Jr. Elementary School - Visual Arts
- Garwin Zamora, DC Bilingual Public Charter School - Visual Arts
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.