2015 St. Louis Arts Awards
Presented since 1992, the St. Louis Arts Awards is the preeminent award ceremony honoring individuals who achieve a legacy of artistic excellence, and organizations and businesses that enrich St. Louis’ arts and cultural community. The St. Louis Arts Awards will be held Monday, January 19, 2015 at the Chase Park Plaza beginning with a cocktail reception at 5:30 p.m., followed by dinner and awards program at 7 p.m. The St. Louis Arts Awards will celebrate its 24th year of recognizing excellence in the arts and will be chaired by Jim and Lynne Turley. Proceeds from the event benefit the Arts and Education Council’s annual giving campaign, which funds nearly 70 arts and arts education organizations throughout the 16-county, bi-state region.
Jill McGuire, Regional Arts Commission
In announcing her retirement, Michael Scully, chairman of the Regional Arts Commission (RAC), said, “Jill McGuire has been a visionary for the arts and for the community during her tenure. The Commission is grateful for her leadership and innumerable contributions to RAC over the past 29 years.” Indeed, it’s hard to imagine the organization without McGuire, who has been the executive director of RAC since it was created in 1985. Under her leadership, RAC has awarded more than 5,000 grants, totaling $65 million.
Ken and Nancy Kranzberg
Thanks to the Kranzbergs, more than 500 civic, social and arts organizations have benefited from the Kranzbergs’ philanthropy. Through their dedicated service and generosity, they have built an important legacy of community involvement and collaboration, which will have an enduring impact on the region. Their passion and leadership created the Kranzberg Arts Center in Grand Center and through the Kranzberg Arts Foundation, the Northside Workshop. They led the successful capital campaign for Laumeier Sculpture Park that will add an education laboratory for art and a fine arts center. Additionally, the dynamic duo has provided board leadership and financial support to organizations such as A&E, Regional Arts Commission, Grand Center, Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, Dance St. Louis, Jazz St. Louis, Saint Louis Art Museum, KDHX 88.1 FM and many more.
Warner Baxter and Tom Voss, Ameren
Ameren, its leaders and employees have been longtime champions of the arts in the St. Louis region, raising over $2.7 million for the Arts and Education Council’s Workplace Giving Campaign over three decades. Both Tom Voss, who retired in July as Chairman, President and CEO, and Warner Baxter, who succeeded Voss, personify apassionate commitment to the arts. Ameren’s support of our cultural community is broad and deep; and helps ensure that the St. Louis area’s legacy of artistic excellence will continue to provide adults and children with exceptional art and culture experiences for generations to come. Ameren’s outstanding support for organizations such as the St. Louis Symphony, Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, COCA, Craft Alliance, Circus Flora, The Black Rep, DanceSt. Louis, Jazz St. Louis, Shakespeare Festival of St. Louis, The Muny and many more, ultimately strengthensthe neighborhoods and communities where we live, work and play.
In a career that spans over two decades, Denise Thimes has become one of the most cherished voicesof modern jazz.An accomplished performer, she has toured America, Europe and Asia with numerous critically acclaimed productions. She has performed with some of the biggest names in jazz, including Tony Bennett, Clark Terry, James Moody and Cyrus Chestnut. Since 1997, Thimes has headlined a special Mother’s Day show at the Sheldon Concert Hall to raise money for the organization she started in her mother’s name, the Mildred Thimes Foundation for Pancreatic Cancer.
Shakespeare Festival St. Louis
Founded in 1997, Shakespeare FestivalSt. Louis staged its first free production, “Romeo and Juliet,” in Forest Park in 2001. Since the initial two-week run that attracted 33,000 audience members, the Festival has grown into a year-round institution producing over 250 public performances annually and growing beyond Forest Park to the schools and streets of St. Louis. In 2014, the Festival took on its most ambitious project to date, staging two Shakespeare productions, “Henry IV” and “Henry V,” running consecutive nights, and entertained 640,000 patrons. Today, the Festival is recognized as an arts and culture leaderand one of the foremost Shakespearefestivals in the United States.
Jim McKelvey and Doug Auer, Third Degree Glass Factory
Jim McKelvey and Doug Auer established Third Degree Glass Factory in 2002 not only to bring attention to the fine art of glass blowing, but also to create a neighborhood hub. They took a dilapidated 1930s auto dealership and service station and turned it into a state-of-the-art glass facility/community arts center. Today, Third Degree makes the tradition of working with glass available for all artistic levels by offering classes and free, monthly open houses where attendees watch glass-blowing demonstrations, hear live music and discover art created by local and regional artists.
Winifred Crock, Parkway Central High School
Winifred Crock has been a beloved music educator for more than 25 years. Currently, she is the orchestra director at Parkway Central High School, and maintains a private violin studio in suburban St. Louis. Her guiding belief is that every child can learn and deserves excellence, and she is committed to ensuring those high standards are honored and respected. In 2004, the Parkway Central High School Music Department received a Grammy Gold Signature Award as one of the top ten high school music departments in the country. Mrs. Crock has worked tirelessly to promote quality music education for all children. As a member of the Suzuki Association of the Americas, she has raised awareness of the need for and value of quality music education in the public school setting.
Steward Family Foundation
Ken and Nancy Kranzberg
Lynne and Jim Turley
Lynne and Jim Turley
Alison and John Ferring
Each year, the Arts and Education Council recognizes arts leaders, celebrates corporate partnerships, and honors collaborations with sister arts organizations. Thank you for your generous support that keeps art happening!