Missouri Arts Council Selects Honorees of 2018 Missouri Arts Awards

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Missouri Arts Council Selects Honorees of 2018 Missouri Arts Awards

The Missouri Arts Council has selected the recipients of the 2018 Missouri Arts Awards. Honorees were recognized for their profound and lasting contributions to the artistic and cultural legacy of the state in the categories of Arts Education, Arts Organization, Creative Community, Individual Artist, Leadership in the Arts, and Philanthropy.

The awards will be presented in a public ceremony on February 7, 2018, in the Capitol Rotunda in Jefferson City.

Arts Education | Jeff Sanquist, Rolla

A force for the arts in Rolla and across the state in 1983 as a classroom music teacher, choral director, program designer, policy developer and advocate, and leader of professional organizations including his current chairing of the Missouri Alliance for Arts Education

Arts Organization | Ragtag Film Society, Columbia

Champion of independent media art, each year offering 3,000-plus screenings at Ragtag Cinema, producing the globally renowned True/False documentary Film Fest, and partnering vigorously with fellow nonprofits, educational organizations, media outlets, civic groups, and businesses

Creative Community | The Delmar Loop, University City and St. Louis

Mile-and-a-half stretch of Delmar Blvd. teeming with arts organizations, art galleries, one-of-a-kind shops and restaurants, and entertainment venues from music clubs to an arthouse cinema—rich in social, ethnic, and cultural diversity—a community convening place

Individual Artist | Solomon L. Thurman, St. Louis

Artist, researcher, and teacher whose three-decade body of work brings art, history, and community together through paintings, drawings, and sculptures that tell stories of the African diaspora in America, drawn from historical events and his own family’s past

Leadership in the Arts  | Sharon G. Kosek, St. Joseph

Inexhaustible volunteer dedicated for four decades to every facet of the arts in her community, from chairing fundraising campaigns for the Allied Arts Council, to designing banners for the Saint Joseph Symphony, to weeding the gardens at the Albrecht-Kemper Museum of Art

Philanthropy  | Tom and Cathy Sakiyama, Chesterfield

Mainstay of several regional theatre companies especially STAGES St. Louis: donating substantial funds, sponsoring performances, providing resources for underserved students, underwriting meals for cast and staff, hosting out-of-town actors, doing hands-on volunteer work

Since founding the Missouri Arts Awards in 1983, the Missouri Arts Council and the State of Missouri have honored 207 people, organizations, and communities throughout the state.

Awards recipients are selected from public nominations by an independent panel of Missourians representing the arts community throughout the state. These panelists selected the 2018 honorees:

  • Marie Nau Hunter, chair, Columbia | member, Missouri Arts Council and Trust Board
  • Evelyn Craft Belger, Kansas City |  director, Belger Arts Center and Belger Crane Yard Studio; president and CEO, Belger Cartage Service (2017 Philanthropy Co-Honoree)
  • Jerry Ford, Cape Girardeau | director, The Jerry Ford Orchestra (2017 Individual Artist Honoree)
  • Sharon Gray, St. Joseph | vocal arts teacher and arts volunteer
  • Jack Lane, St. Louis | executive producer, STAGES St. Louis (2016 Arts Organization Honoree)
  • Diana Moxon, Columbia | executive director, Columbia Art League (2015 Arts Organization Honoree)
  • Jo Mueller, Joplin | retired executive director, George A. Spiva for the Arts (2016 Leadership in the Arts Honoree)

About the Missouri Arts Council

The Missouri Arts Council is a division of the Missouri Department of Economic Development. The Council provides support to nonprofit organizations through grants that meet strategic goals:

  • Engage people in meaningful arts experiences
  • Grow Missouri’s economy using the arts
  • Strengthen Missouri education through the arts

The Missouri Arts Council awards grants to organizations to stimulate the growth, development, and appreciation of the arts in Missouri. This funding makes possible quality arts programming to communities throughout the state. In addition to financial assistance, the council provides expertise in community development, fundraising, marketing, grant writing, arts education, artistic disciplines (visual arts, music, literature, theater, dance, festivals, and film/media), and more. 

For more information, visit www.missouriartscouncil.org

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