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Mayor's Awards for the Arts recipients announced

Posted: January 26, 2012 - 1:00am

The Juneau Arts & Humanities Council has announced the recipients for the fifth annual Mayor’s Awards for the Arts, to be presented at the Sunday Wearable Arts Extravaganza on Feb. 12 at 3 p.m., at Centennial Hall.

Mayor’s Awards, first given in 2007, are based on nominations from the community, which are then reviewed by members of the Juneau Arts & Humanities Council’s Board of Trustees.

Here are the honorees:

Artist: Dan Hopson, musician, classical guitarist, and music teacher. Hopson has been an integral part of the music community in Juneau since 1970, playing as a soloist, in large and small groups, for weddings and other special events, and touring extensively throughout the state with violinist Linda Rosenthal in the late 1970s. He teaches guitar at the University of Alaska SE, and performs regularly at the Gold Room at the Baranof Hotel. He served on the Juneau Arts & Humanities Council Board of Trustess for six years, as the secretary, and continues as a weekly volunteer. He just released his first CD, “Solo Classical Guitar.”

Arts in Education: The Elementary Art Specialist team of Nancy Lehnhart and Mimi Walker Medenica. Through their work, the elementary art program at the Juneau School District has provided teachers with the tools necessary to integrate the arts into their daily instruction in the classroom. Their goal: “All elementary students in the Juneau School District will experience art as a part of their everyday learning. They will have regular instruction in visual art as a core curriculum subject and they will be given opportunities to learn other curriculum subject areas through integrated art experiences.” The 80 Juneau School District visual art “kits” are spread around the community from preschool to sixth grade, with Mimi and Nancy demonstrating their effective used with students of all ages. Through their dedication to doing as much as possible with limited resources, our children are receiving arts education.

Business Leadership in the Arts: Alaskan Brewing Company. From their use of artwork on their labels to their generous support of arts organizations and other charitable organizations in town, Alaskan Brewing Company epitomizes the ideal corporate citizen in our community. In addition to offering their beers to help raise funds for the arts, the company encourages their staff members to be active volunteers, serve on not-for-profit boards, and participate in arts activities – including developing Wearable Art.

Innovative Application of the Arts: Lucid Reverie is a small local business established in 2002, initially working in video production, web design, and graphic design, serving organizations and businesses across the state. Their work has expanded to include Alaska Robotics short films and comics, development of the Ruby Room Gallery, the Juneau Underground Movie Project and the Alaska Short Forum encouraging Alaskan filmmakers, and collaborations with Smack of Jellyfish. Their entrepreneurial spirit in using original art and design to develop exciting events and products has established them as leaders in the State. Most recently, Pat Race was a featured panelist at the recent Alaska State Council on the Arts “Creative Communities.”

Lifetime Achievement in the Arts: Guy “Buddy” Tabor, musician, singer/songwriter, has been based in Juneau since 1967. A favorite at Alaska Folk Festival for decades, he has nine albums to his credit, and a long list of songs and song lyrics that have moved many, many people through the years. His song “Get Up Dogs” was used in several documentaries and by ABC’s Wild World of Sports. His work appears on NPR stations, and his song “New Fallen Snow” is performed by the Undertakin’ Daddies, a Juno Award-nominated Canadian roots band on their album Post Atomic Hillbilly. His song “Medicated Family” inspired a series of live performances in Folsom Prison over a period of years, performances which Buddy describes as a spiritual calling, and an act of compassion.

Patron of the Arts: Bruce Simonson has demonstrated long-standing, extraordinary commitment to the musical life in Juneau and to our community itself. His heart-and-soul involvement is seen in the time, effort, and money that he has devoted to the many facets of his musical passion. Phrases describing him include “epitome of community activism,” “ a gift to the Juneau Community”, “selfless.” He founded, funded, directs and produces the Juneau Bach Society concerts, performs in the Juneau Symphony, volunteers in the school music programs, and collaborates with the Alaska Youth Choir as well as other arts groups. He designed, funded, built, and helped install the reflective “clouds” at Juneau Douglas High School Auditorium to improve the acoustics there. Highest praise of all: He brings joy to our community.

Volunteer for the Arts: Bing Carillo stops in at the Juneau Arts and Culture Center almost daily to see if anything needs doing, using his expertise as an electrician and builder to help keep things going. He is responsible for the lighting on the outside of the wall. He builds Hit the JACC Putt holes, and passes the bases along to others to use in the future. He helps with the Wearable Art shows every year. In addition to his work for the council he is a long time Big Brother – he and his little especially enjoy fishing, and he shares the catch with neighbors and friends. He is a tireless fundraiser for BBBS. He shovels the neighborhood sidewalks and parking areas: He sees a need and just steps in without being asked. His dedication to the arts, and to his community, as a volunteer and patron is unmatched.

For more information, call Nancy DeCherney at 586-2787.

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