Main Event: Local arts leaders feted in Trust event
It was a night to recognize and celebrate the vibrant arts and cultural scene of our region at The Fete 2014,presented by the Greater Rochester Arts and Cultural Trust,Oct. 21 at Mayo Civic Center.
"Tonight is an opportunity to recognize all facets of the arts," said Bari Amadioof the Trust. "And to celebrate the excellence the arts bring to our lives. There were more nominations this year than last year, which made it very difficult for the judges to make their decision."
The evening began with a keynote address by Nick Mezacapa, followed by emcee Tom Overlie, KTTC-TV news co-anchor, presenting Ardee awards in nine categories. The Ardees were named in recognition of Mayor Ardell Brede'ssupport of arts in Rochester.
"I'm so happy for this evening," Brede said. "Too often, artists work in silence and don't get recognized. This is a way to bring those artists to the stage. A phenomenal group of people here tonight, there are no losers."
"What I love about the Greater Rochester Arts and Cultural Trust," said Gregory Stavrou,executive director of Rochester Civic Theatre, "is that all their events — ARTIgras, Dancing for the Arts, The Fete — are about bringing the community together in celebration."
Stavrou and Kay Hocker,executive director of the Rochester Diversity Council,accepted the Ardee for Arts Collaboration. The two organizations were nominated for their series, "Celebrating Diversity and Inclusivity," now in its seventh year.
"Art is so critical to telling the amazingly diverse stories of Rochester," Hocker said.
Shannon Fitzgerald,executive director of the Rochester Art Center,accepted the award for Excellence in Art Education, "for all the educators at RAC."
The Outstanding Greater Rochester Arts honor was awarded to the Great River Shakespeare Festival,of Winona.
Managing director Lee Gundersheimersaid, "It's nice to get this recognition. We honestly feel a part of Rochester, which has been so supportive. We sincerely hope to bridge the distance between Rochester and Winona. We are a lot closer than we realize."
Other awards presented during the evening included the People's Choice award, which went to Irish Fest,and the Outstanding Youth in Arts award to Honors Choirs of Southeast Minnesota.The Outstanding Volunteer in the Arts award went to Apriland Gary Dahlfor their work in the community, and the Outstanding Artist honor went to Horacio Nuguld,founder and artistic director of Rochester Chamber Music Society. Dr. Rick Kvam,founder of Choral Arts Ensemble,was the recipient of the Leadership in the Arts award.
The Mayor's Award for Public Art was presented to muralist Greg Wimmer.
"This is really phenomenal. It's nice to have the recognition and appreciation," Wimmer said.
Wimmer's indoor and outdoor wall art have become landmarks throughout Rochester. Examples are seen on the KROC radio building and the Reading Center.
"It's a thrill to work on the murals," he said. "I love being out in the public, getting the reactions from people."
The mission of the Greater Rochester Arts and Cultural Trust is "to enrich the greater Rochester area by ensuring the continuity of the celebration, promotion and advocacy of the arts and humanities.
For more information, visit www.RochesterMNArts.com .
On Dec. 23, we'll feature Live and Love Affair, a fundraiser for Seasons Hospice.