Saturday, September 17, 2016

31st Annual Mayor's Arts Awards special honorees and finalists

Mayor Muriel Bowser and the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities (DCCAH) have announced the special honorees and finalists of the 31st Annual Mayor's Arts Awards.

My good bud, printmaker and visual artist (and DMV treasure) Lou Stovall will receive the Mayor's Arts Award for Lifetime Achievement. Stovall is the founder of Workshop, Inc., and it a master printmaker who has been commissioned to print works of such noted artists as Josef Albers, Peter Blume, Alexander Calder, Elizabeth Catlett, Sam Gilliam, Loïs Mailou Jones and others.

Theatre producer Julianne Brienza will receive the Mayor's Arts Award for Visionary Leadership. Brienza is a founder and current president and chief executive officer of Capital Fringe, which connects multi-disciplinary artistic experiences to over 40,000 audiences annually and has grown to become the second largest unjuried Fringe Festival in the United States.

Poet and literary activist E. Ethelbert Miller will receive the Mayor's Arts Award for Distinguished Honor. Miller is the author of several collections of poetry, and his anthology "In Search of Color Everywhere" was awarded the PEN Oakland Josephine Miles Award in 1994. He has been the editor of Poet Lore, the oldest poetry magazine in the United States, and was founder and director of the Ascension Poetry Reading Series, which presented African American poets and poets of color to the general public.

"Our three special honorees represent some of the brightest, most accomplished talents in the District of Columbia," said Arthur Espinoza, Jr., Executive Director of the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities. "The impact of their work is felt locally, nationally and internationally. They, along with all this year's award finalists, represent the incredible richness and depth of our city's creative communities."
In addition to the special honorees, awards will be presented to DC-based individual artists and organizations in the following categories: Outstanding New Artist, Excellence in the Humanities, Outstanding Student, Excellence in the Arts. Excellence in Arts Teaching and Excellence in the Creative Industries.

The 2016 Mayor's Arts Award finalists are: Story District, Michael Janis, DC Jazz Festival, Washington Improv Theatre, Environmental Film Festival in the Nation's Capital, Washington Performing Arts, DC Shorts, Pan American Symphony Orchestra, Post Classical Ensemble, Cory L. Stowers, Falun Dafa Association of Washington, Carolyn Malachi, One Common Unity, Sandy Bellamy, Washington Area Lawyers for the Arts, Dance Metro DC, Stone Soup Films, Leron Boyd, DC SCORES, Project Create, Amanda Swift, LifePieces to Masterpieces, Washington Performing Arts, Dawn Johnson, Inner City-Inner Child, Young Playwrights' Theater, Split This Rock, Max Tyler Gibbons, Tara Campbell and Maverick Lemons.

My bet is on Michael Janis... of course!

The 31st Annual Mayor's Arts Awards will be presented on Thursday, September 22 at 7:00 PM at the Historic Lincoln Theatre, 1215 U Street NW, Washington, DC. Admission is free and open to the public. This year, the annual awards are presented as part of 202Creates, a new initiative of Mayor Bowser's that showcases the diversity of the District's creative economy. For more information, visit or call 202-724-5613.