(Editor's note: The following is a news release from the Akron Area Arts Alliance.)
The Akron Area Arts Alliance will honor 13 award recipients this Sunday, Nov. 20, for their outstanding achievement in dance, music, theater and visual arts, as well as outstanding leadership and generous support of our local arts and culture community. The sold-out event takes place at the Stage Door of The University of Akron’s EJ Thomas Hall.
Award winners are:
P.J. Rogers, Visual Artist
Outstanding Artist in Dance
Mia Klinger, Artistic Director of Cuyahoga Valley Youth Ballet
Outstanding Artist in Music
Amy Barlowe Bodman, Violinist and Founder of Akron Baroque Orchestra
Outstanding Artist in Theatre
James Slowiak, Director and Founder of New World Performance Laboratory
Outstanding Visual Artist
Barbara Gillette, Pastel and Monotype Artist
Rising Young Star/ Artist
Josh Rzepka, Classical and Jazz Trumpet
Rising Young Star/Arts Leadership
Benjamin Rexroad, Director and Co-founder of Heads Up Productions
James Horvath, Weathervane Playhouse
Tuesday Musical Association
PNC Bank Akron
Arts Educator Award
Patty Wyman, Old Trail School Visual Arts Teacher and Department Head
County of Summit 9/11 Remembrance Art Project
The Arts Alliance also will celebrate its 20th anniversary Sunday and recognize its founders Ann Amer Brennan and Mary Ann Jackson. Back in 1991, the women observed that area arts organizations were struggling with similar challenges. They believed that fostering understanding and cooperation among the groups would better solve common problems and promote our creative community.
They brought together leaders of 12 arts and cultural organizations and urged them to form a collaborative arts and culture advocacy group. The organizations were Akron Art Museum, Akron Civic Theatre, Akron Symphony Orchestra, Children’s Concert Society, Coach House Theatre, Cuyahoga Valley Youth Ballet, E.J. Thomas Performing Arts Hall, Goodyear Community Theatre, Magical Theatre Company, Ohio Ballet, Tuesday Musical Association and Weathervane Playhouse. Current AAAA membership includes 160 people representing 48 organizations plus artists and arts supporters.
The biennial Arts Alive! Awards Celebration was established in 2001 and features entertainment, dinner, the awards presentation plus the unique Out-of-the-Box Auction of decorative boxes designed by top local artists.
Major event sponsors are the Brennan Family Foundation, Summa Foundation, FirstEnergy Foundation, OMNOVA Solutions Foundation and EJ Thomas Hall. The event chairperson is Andrea Wlaszyn of Kent. Artist Joan Colbert of West Akron chaired the Out-of-the-Box Auction and Pat Sargent of West Akron chaired the selection committee.