2011 City of Spokane Arts Awards
The Spokane Arts Commission presented the 20th Annual City of Spokane Arts Awards on Monday, October 3rd, at 6pm at the Spokane City Council Meeting.
2011's recipients include:
Gregory Spatz is an author, musician and professor of Creative Writing at Eastern Washington University. Greg has been writing and publishing novels for 30 years. His short stories have been published in the country’s most elite literary publications including the New Yorker and the New England Review. He has received numerous awards including the National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship in prose-writing for 2012 and Washington State Book Award. Greg will have two major works published in 2012- his new novel INUKSHUK and a short story collection entitled HALF AS HAPPY. Greg's musical talents have garnered international attention. As a fiddle player in the internationally-acclaimed band “John Reishman and the Jaybirds” and as a bouzouki player in the world music band “Mighty Squirrel.” Greg has traveled extensively and performs frequently in the Spokane area. Greg often donates his time and talents to non-profit and charitable organizations. As a mentor and role model, Greg has instructed and inspired literally hundreds of students. Throughout his 14-year career at EWU, Greg has served as faculty mentor for the Writers in the Community Outreach program which interfaces with area schools, prisons, shelters and nursing homes.
The Arts in Healing program at Sacred Heart Medical Center and Children’s Hospital integrates the creative arts in health care to foster healing and a sense of well being for patients, families and the community. Research shows the profound power of visual art, music, poetry, journaling and expressive movement when used in conjunction with traditional medicine. This program was established, in response to these findings, Music therapists and thanatologists work with children through end-of-life care. There are volunteer lobby musicians, drumming circles, and concerts both for patients and the general public. An artist-in-residence program exhibits by artists, patients and staff, art classes & various workshops have begun,. The program hosted the first Arts in Healthcare Symposium in Eastern Washington drawing participants from eastern Washington, Idaho, Oregon and Montana to share what is being done in their communities and to build a network of support for artists who are working in healthcare systems.
Arts in Education
Spokane Youth Music Consortium brings music organizations together help one another and support music educators. The following member organizations work to create better opportunities for Spokane’s young musicians: Holy Names Music Center, Spokane Symphony, Spokane Youth Symphony, Spokane Area Children’s Chorus, Spokane All-City Jazz Ensembles, and MusicFest Northwest. The Spokane Youth Music Consortium provides great educational experiences for students and young musicians, including coordinating a volunteer program for the public schools. In addition to the artists involved, the Consortium has engaged the general public and brought many additional volunteers into the schools to help music teachers, from taking attendance to tuning instruments. They are expanding their work this year to include paid arts professionals to assist with the Spokane Schools beginning band and strings program.
Betty Kiemle (KIM-ILL-LEE) has been a strong supporter of the arts in Spokane for many years. Together with her husband, Betty has donated significant time and money to the Spokane Symphony for decades. She generously supports the Symphony’s operations the concert sponsorship and annual fund donations, as well as supporting the Symphony’s endowment fund and the restoration of the Fox. A stalwart presence in Spokane’s music scene, she has also support the Chamber Music Association, the Bach Festival and Mozart at Manito, public broadcasting, and others. She has been a long time member of the Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture and other community organizations. Betty deserves recognition for her unwavering support and advocacy.
As part of the update of Spokane International Airport, Spokane Arts Commission and the Spokane Airport Board partnered to create new public art for the airport. This year we completed a multi-year project which included art for the A/B concourse baggage claim area, the rotunda, and adjacent to the passenger screening exit from Concourse C. Art works were created by Tom Quinn, Ken Yuhasz (Yoo-HASS), Steven Vallentyne Adams, and Louise Kodis. ( Would the artists in attendance, please stand). Also as part of this project additional youth art display cases were added to the airport. We would be remiss to not recognize here the other supporters including Sterling Savings, Rotary 21, Washington State Arts Commission, the Inland Northwest Community Foundation, and Spokane Public Schools along with numerous volunteers and individual contributors. This project was a partnership but would not have occurred without the support of the Spokane International Airport Board and staff who not only committed funding but time and energy!
Arts Community Leadership
Janice Abramson is a quintessential volunteer, a richly deserving recipient of this year’s Arts Community Leadership Award. Janice has volunteered at Spokane Civic Theatre for 35 years, producing, stage-managing and performing in well over one hundred productions. A consummate organizer, she brings her great spirit to every production, offering a constant supply good cheer and t-shirts! Janice gets the job done, whether it’s wrangling a crew, planning a party, securing the right prop or furniture piece, or providing moral support. Janice has been instrumental in numerous Galas and fundraisers, and served on Civic’s Board of Directors for ten years. During that time, she helped guide the theatre through rough waters toward a more healthy future. She has volunteered with other non-profit arts organizations including Interplayers, Center Stage and Spokane Children’s Theatre, and assisted in fundraising efforts for Unity Church, Spokane AIDS Network, and Communities in Schools to name a few. Janice fits all this activity around her full-time job with Spokane Public Schools.
Bold Strokes Award
This year, a partnership of community organizers and film professionals developed the 50 Hour Slam. As a competition and exhibition film festival, the 50 Hour Slam challenged both new and veteran filmmakers to write, shoot, and edit a short film in just 50 hours. The organization showcased the award winners theater screenings and on public access television. The 50 Hour Slam hosted an all day seminar provided by members of the Northwest film industry. Forty two teams made up of over 250 filmmakers from the Spokane area signed up to participate. The 50 Hour Slam reached out to local talent agencies which recruited over 100 Spokane based actors to participate and perform in the Slam videos. Our music community was tapped and three local performers joined the festival to create songs and lyrics. The filmmakers featured an art work in the Spokane Sculpture Walk. The 50 Hour Slam connected with businesses, received sponsorships and co-promoted with bars and restaurants who offered discounts to competing Slam teams. We recognize the organizers of the 50 Hour Slam and present them with the Bold Strokes Award: Purple Crayon Pictures, Corp-X Web Development, F.A.V.E.S., Community Minded Television, and The Magic Lantern Theatre.