The Kentucky Center for the Performing Arts
This award honors an organization that has demonstrated and leveraged a significant impact in the Louisville community through the arts — the Kentucky Center for the Performing Arts. The Kentucky Center for the Performing Arts serves Greater Louisville and the Commonwealth by leading and enriching the artistic, educational and economic vitality of the region, and providing unparalleled programming and cultural events. The organization hosts the Kentucky Opera, Louisville Ballet, Louisville Orchestra and many other arts groups. The center also provides for underserved communities through programs such as ArtsReach, Arts in Healing and the Governor’s School for the Arts. The center’s vision is to inspire, educate and entertain while building lifelong relationships with the arts.
This award is presented to someone who is fueling innovative works in the arts — Teddy Abrams. Abrams serves as Music Director of the Louisville Orchestra and recently garnered national attention from the Wall Street Journal and NPR. In less than three artistic seasons with the Louisville Orchestra, Abrams has had a transformative impact on the landscape of Greater Louisville with collaborations with the Louisville Ballet and Speed Art Museum. He conducted the Louisville Orchestra in front of thousands on Louisville’s Waterfront and is providing the soundtrack for the 2016 Thunder over Louisville spectacle. Abrams uses his classical background and passion for all styles of music to create musical experiences that are relevant for the community as a whole.
StageOne Family Theatre
This award recognizes an organization that is helping to educate and inspire Louisville’s children through the arts — StageOne Family Theatre. As Louisville’s oldest professional theater company, StageOne Family Theatre has served as a gateway to the performing arts for more than 3 million area children in its nearly 70-year history. StageOne’s Spring 2016 production of ‘Harold of the Purple Crayon’ is the first of its kind to utilize tablets to create an interactive audience experience. The mission of StageOne is to inspire and educate children and families by opening the doors to the imagination, opportunity and empathy.
This award honors someone who has demonstrated lifetime achievement in the arts in Greater Louisville — Ed Hamilton. A skilled sculptor, Hamilton has created some of Louisville’s most esteemed works, including the Abraham Lincoln Memorial at Waterfront Plaza. His artwork has been displayed locally at the Speed Art Museum, in addition to many national galleries and landmarks, from Connecticut to Washington, D.C. Hamilton is a leader in the African American community and received a Black Achiever award for his artistic and cultural impact. As a Louisville native, he spends much of his time giving back to the Louisville community.
Jecorey “1200” Arthur
This award celebrates an artist who has excelled in his discipline early in his career — Jecorey “1200” Arthur. A hip-hop artist known on stage as “1200,” Arthur is a musician, music teacher at Hite Elementary School and universal collaborator. He is both a rapper and trained classical musician. Arthur is Louisville’s newest hip-hop artist, and is dedicated to making a difference on and off stage. The young rapper recently took home a Louisville Music Award and is a leader in the West Louisville Community.
This award honors an artists who has achieved national prominence for her work- Wendy Whelan. Wendy Whelan was born and raised in Louisville, Kentucky, where at the age of three she began taking dance classes with Virginia Wooton, a local teacher. At age eight she performed as a mouse with the Louisville Ballet in its annual production of The Nutcracker. She was invited to become a member of the New York City Ballet corps de ballet in 1986 and was promoted to principal dancer in 1991. In 2007, Whelan was nominated for an Olivier Award and a Critics Circle Award for her performances with Morphoses/Wheeldon Company. She has been a guest artist with The Royal Ballet and with the Kirov Ballet. She received the 2007 Dance Magazine Award, and in 2009 was given a Doctorate of Arts, honoris causa, from Bellarmine University. In 2011, she was honored with both The Jerome Robbins Award and a Bessie Award for her Sustained Achievement in Performance.
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Louisville’s Awards in the Arts was established to celebrate the extraordinary arts community in the Greater Louisville region and the arts tremendous contribution to our unique cultural landscape and quality of place. But most of all, Louisville’s Awards in the Arts were established to celebrate the artists themselves, their talent and passion, to create, produce and present transformative and inspiring works of arts, in and for our community.
Louisville’s Awards in the Arts will be presented at an event at Churchill Downs on April 29, 2017. Award recipients and a guest will be provided tickets to the awards event. Videos featuring the award recipients may be shown throughout the night and awards may be presented in the Paddock and the Winner’s Circle.
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