2016 St. Louis Arts Awards
Celebrating its 25th anniversary, the St. Louis Arts Awards is the area’s preeminent event honoring individuals, organizations and businesses who achieve a legacy of artistic excellence and enrich St. Louis’ arts and cultural community. The 2016 St. Louis Arts Awards will be held Monday, January 25, 2016 at the Chase Park Plaza beginning with a cocktail reception at 5:30 p.m., followed by dinner and awards at 7 p.m. The 25th Annual St. Louis Arts Awards will be chaired by Jim and Stacey Weddle. Proceeds from the event benefit the Arts and Education Council’s annual giving campaign which provides financial support, professional development, incubator space and collaborative opportunities for nearly 70 arts and arts education organizations throughout the 16-county, bi-state region.
Agnes Wilcox, Prison Performing Arts
Agnes Wilcox is a longtime activist, professor, actor and director. She founded and directed The New Theatre, a traveling troupe, for 14 years. Originally a sub-project of The New Theatre, Agnes also founded Prison Performing Arts (PPA). Wilcox recently retired from her role as PPA’s Artistic Director after 22 years. In addition to founding the New Theatre and PPA, Ms. Wilcox has also taught at NYU, the Eugene O’Neill Theatre Center, Webster University and Washington University and served as Theatre Director at the Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts. Prison Performing Arts program sites include a juvenile detention center, two men’s prisons and one women’s prison; with a mission to inspire intellectual curiosity and personal development in incarcerated youth and adults through workshops, classes, rehearsals, and performances of classic and contemporary plays. Agnes Wilcox and Prison Performing Arts have also been featured on WBEZ Radio’s weekly program, This American Life, in which an inmate described the impact of PPA and Wilcox’s programming: “It was one of the best feelings I've ever felt. It was like the day my daughter was born. And it made me want to be better. Not just in acting. I mean, it just opened up a whole world for me.”
Arthur and Helen Baer Charitable Foundation
The Arthur and Helen Baer Charitable Foundation was established in 1985 by Arthur and Helen Baer. Mr. Baer served as CEO of Stix Baer and Fuller retail stores for many years. The Foundation supports community betterment and arts programs that enhance the lives of children and adults in the St. Louis area. For decades, the Baer Foundation has given back to the community through significant investments in local organizations and programs. The Foundation’s support has brought education and enjoyment of music, dance, theatre, and visual arts to thousands of children and adults in St. Louis and surrounding communities. Organizations that have recently benefited from the Baer Foundation’s dedicated support for arts and arts education include: the St. Louis Public County Library Foundation’s reading program, KETC/Channel 9’s capital campaign, Jazz St. Louis’s “JazzU” after school jazz program; the Arts and Education Council of Greater St. Louis’s crowdfunding platform; the Center for Contemporary Arts’ gallery and visual arts programs; the Marian Middle School for Girls fine and performing arts programs; endowment support for Whitfield School’s visual arts programs; Craft Alliance’s “Art Smarts” program; Sherwood Forest’s creative and performing arts programs; St. Louis University’s arts acquisition fund; and many, many more.
The Bosman Twins
The Bosman Twins are nationally- and internationally-renowned multi-woodwind instrumentalists and jazz recording artists. Dwayne and Dwight Bosman are routinely recognized by the Jazz community for their sophisticated, polished, dynamic and explosive stage performances. Their passion for jazz was inspired by their father, Lloyd A. Smith, a sideman in Count Basie’s and Duke Ellington’s orchestras. By age 14 the twins were performing professionally and have since shared their talents, love of jazz and the performance stage with entertainment legends Freddie Cole, Branford Marsalis, Roy Ayers, Fontella Bass, Lester Bowie and more. True ambassadors of music, The Bosman Twins have traveled the world as entertainers, music directors, and champions of youth music education. These distinguished, talented gentlemen are writers, composers and performing artists who share the legacy and tradition of great jazz through education, creativity and innovation.
Bach Society of Saint Louis
The Bach Society of Saint Louis will celebrate its 75th Season in 2015-16 and is St. Louis’s oldest continuously performing chorus. Founded by William B. Heyne in 1941, the Bach Society preserves and performs the choral music of Johann Sebastian Bach and other composers in a wide range of concerts, education and outreach programs designed to educate, entertain and enrich the lives of the people in the St. Louis region. The Bach Society also engages and attracts new and younger audiences by performing works from up-and-coming composers, commissioning new pieces of music and collaborating with local, talented arts organizations. The Bach Society is committed to furthering music education and has operated a Young Artist Program for career-oriented soloists under the age of 30 since 1989. Established to provide performance experience and professional training to local singers after completing their undergraduate degree, the program has assisted 56 young singers to-date, some of whom now perform in concert halls and opera houses across the country.
Dr. Tim and Kim Eberlein
Dr. Tim Eberlein is a surgeon and the Director of Siteman Cancer Center. Kim Eberlein is the Vice Chairman of the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra Board of Directors and co-chair of the symphony’s Leadership Circle Committee. Despite their demanding personal and professional schedules, the Eberleins support the arts in St. Louis through a range of forward-thinking projects. They founded “Sing for Siteman” in 2010, which has grown every year, drawing an array of opera singers from around the country to perform and donate their time for Siteman Cancer Center. The Eberleins have also issued and rallied the community around two successful $25,000 challenge grants for the St. Louis Symphony. Additionally, Kim worked to revive the St. Louis Visionary Awards honoring women working and contributing to the arts. She is also on Opera Theatre of St. Louis’s Board of Directors serving as Chair of the Corporate Sponsorship Committee as well as serving on the Executive Committee and Community and Engagement task force.
Doug Erwin, Ferguson-Florissant School District
Doug Erwin has been a fine arts educator for 24 years and is currently Director of Theatre at McCluer High School and K-12 Fine Arts Content Leader for the Ferguson-Florissant School District. For the past four consecutive years, Erwin has applied for and been awarded a Maritz Arts and Education Fund for Teachers grant to help off-set expenses related to the school district’s annual high school musical. Participants in these musicals often receive valuable college scholarships that have compounded the impact of the Maritz grants ten-fold. While at McCluer High School, Erwin built the largest High School African American Theatre program in the State of Missouri. Under his leadership, the McCluer Thespian Troupe rose to the top 2% in the state. McCluer theatre students have performed internationally and were recently selected to represent the United States at the “International Fringe Festival” in Edinburgh, Scotland. Erwin also works to unite the greater community through special projects, including: an “All District Musical” involving students from 23 schools; directing four school district choir participants in Ferguson’s Children: Our Voice concert in the wake of the Ferguson unrest; co-founding the “Fine Arts Regional Consortium” professional learning network; and acting as the District representative and sponsor to the “Student Summit on Race.” Erwin’s work reflects his belief that all students are exceptional and the teacher’s role is to find where each individual student can shine. At the time of this release, Mr. Erwin is also pursuing is PhD and is conducting studies on the positive impact of arts education in student academic achievement, improving school attendance and involvement, and engendering tolerance and appreciation for ethnic and cultural diversity among youth.
Dr. Jacquelyn Lewis-Harris, University of Missouri-St. Louis
Jacquelyn Lewis-Harris is Director of the “Connecting Human Origin and Cultural Diversity” program (CHOCD) at the University of Missouri-St. Louis as well as an Associate Professor in the Anthropology department and in the College of Education. A former assistant curator at the Saint Louis Art Museum, Dr. Lewis-Harris also consults for several national and international museums as an independent curator and project advisor. In her position as Director of the CHOCD program, she has integrated her past roles of educator, writer, artist, anthropologist and curator to address the important issues of cultural diversity and social segregation by organizing exhibits and facilitating collaboration between the University of Missouri-St. Louis programs, community groups and regional artists. The CHOCD program’s learning laboratories have worked with students of all ages, including incarcerated youth, ESL students, alternative education students and adult groups. It collaborates with many St. Louis school districts, the Missouri Arts Council, St. Louis ArtWorks, St. Louis Science Center and professional development programs. Dr. Lewis-Harris is also a very active member of the art community, merging the social sciences with art to create important collaborations that often support at-risk children.
Nancy and Ken Kranzberg
Lynne and Jim Turley
Alison and John Ferring
Fox Family Foundation
Past Arts Awards
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!