Announcing the Winners of the 34th Mayor’s Arts Awards

Mayor Muriel Bowser during the 34th Annual Mayor’s Arts Awards at Union Market’s Dock 5 on November 6, 2019. (Photo by Salah Djimbanaou, OCTFME)

Mayor Muriel Bowser presented the 34th Annual Mayor’s Arts Awards this week to honor artists and organizations and celebrate the District’s arts, humanities, and creative communities. For the first time, D.C. residents voted for award winners via online polling for 11 categories, including four new categories to help make the Awards more inclusive.

For her part, Bowser presented her Awards for Distinguished Honor to Busboys and Poets’ Andy Shallal: “The Mayor’s Arts Awards allows us to showcase and celebrate the artists and makers who shape our hometown flavor and dedicate themselves to sharing their gifts with our community,” she said. “I am particularly delighted to award this year’s Award for Distinguished Honor to Andy Shallal, who has built Busboys and Poets into hubs of creativity across the region that uplift and empower our artists and performers.”

Brandon Hill, second from left, and Peter Chang of No Kings Collective present the award for Excellence in Visual Arts to winner Katie Burk (Photo by Adrienne Picciotto and James Canty, OCTFME)

The winners of the 34th Annual Mayor’s Arts Awards were:

  • Mayor’s Arts Award for Distinguished Honor: Andy Shallal
    • The Mayor’s Arts Award for Distinguished Honor is a merit award given to an individual, group, nonprofit organization, or private entity whose contributions to Arts and Culture in the District of Columbia have been substantial and consistent, with achievements spanning 20 years or more with local, regional and national impact. Mayor Bowser selects this award recipient.
  • Award for Excellence as a Community Arts Advocate: Vernard Gray
      • The Award for Excellence as a Community Arts Advocate honors an individual, group, nonprofit organization, or private entity that has made significant contributions as a community advocate for the arts or creative culture in the District of Columbia.
    Midori Amae, left, and Bahamian Ambassador Sidney S. Collie present the Award for Excellence in Arts Education to the winner from DC Scores (Photo by Antonio Hernandez, OCTFME)
    • Award for Excellence in Arts Education: DC Scores
      • The Award for Excellence in Arts Education honors an individual, group, nonprofit organization, or private entity that has made significant contributions in Arts Education in the District of Columbia by supporting the development of imagination and creativity in young people, and demonstrating the value of the arts as essential to education. Honorees may include, but are not limited to: teachers in DC Public Schools, public charter schools, and independent arts education programs or practitioners.
    • Award for Excellence in Media Arts: The Content Farm
      • The Award for Excellence in Media Arts honors an individual, group, nonprofit organization, or private entity that has made significant contributions in Media Arts in the District of Columbia, through the direct practice and/or production of their artistic work. Media Arts disciplines honored may include, but are not limited to: film, television, radio, podcasting, content creation, augmented reality/virtual reality production, game design, and other creative tech. This award is open to media artists age 14 and older.
    • Award for Excellence in Performing Arts: Models Inc. Performing Organization
      Vinoda Basnayake, left, Marc Barnes, Dave Mays and Ms. District of Columbia pose together after Barnes’ win for the Award for Excellence in the Nightlife Economy (Photo by Adrienne Picciotto and James Canty, OCTFME)
      • The Award for Excellence in Performing Arts honors an individual, group, nonprofit organization, or private entity that has made significant contributions in the Performing Arts in the District of Columbia, through the direct practice and/or performance of their artistic work. This award is open to performing artists age 14 and older. Performing Arts disciplines honored may include, but are not limited to: All dance disciplines and styles, including, but not limited to: jazz, tap, ballet, modern, hip-hop, folk, and ballroom. Theatre practitioners, including, but not limited to: actors and directors. Music community and organizations, including, but not limited to: composers, singers, instrumentalists, bands, orchestras, small and large ensembles, and choruses.
    • Award for Excellence in Visual Arts: Katie Burk
      • The Award for Excellence in Visual Arts honors an individual, group, nonprofit organization, or private entity that has made significant contributions in Visual Arts in the District of Columbia, through the direct practice of their artistic work. Visual Arts disciplines honored may include, but are not limited to: ceramics, drawing, painting, sculpture, printmaking, design, photography, and crafts. This award is open to visual artists age 14 and older.
    • Award for Excellence in the Creative Industries: Ian Callender
      • The Award for Excellence in the Creative Industries honors an individual, creative business, nonprofit organization, or group that has made a significant contribution in the creative industries in the District of Columbia, through the direct production of their creative work, and through their leadership in developing the creative economy. Creative industry work and disciplines may include, but are not limited to: design arts, graphic designers, museums, lighting designers, sound engineers, fashion, costume designers, crafters, jewelry designers, makers, food trucks, farmers markets, cosmetology industry, stylists, curators, festival organizers and exhibitors.
    • Award for Excellence in the Humanities: Herta Feely
      • The Award for Excellence in the Humanities honors an individual, group, nonprofit organization, or private entity that has made significant contributions in the humanities in the District of Columbia through the direct practice and/or production of their work. Humanities disciplines may include, but are not limited to: literature, history, language, philosophy, anthropology, archeology, musicality, religion and social science.
    • Award for Excellence in the Nightlife Economy: Marc Barnes
      • The Award for Excellence in the Nightlife Economy honors an individual, group, nonprofit organization, or private entity that has made a significant contribution to the nightlife economy of the District of Columbia through the direct production of events, activities, and establishments in the nightlife industry. The nightlife industry can include, but is not limited to: bars, clubs, entertainment venues, and nightlife promoters.
    • Award for Visionary Leadership: The Kennedy Center
      • The Award for Excellence as a Visionary Leader in the Arts and Creative Industries honors one individual, group, organization, or private entity with distinguished achievements as a leader in the Arts and Creative Industries. The awardee should have demonstrated an equal commitment to their vision, mission, product, or service, and to the development of the creative community in the District as a whole.
    • Emerging Creative Award: Marco Kay Photography
      • The Emerging Creative Award honors an individual, group, non-profit organization, or private entity that, while out of the spotlight, has made a significant contribution to the creative culture of the District of Columbia. Awardee may be from all arts and/or creative industries. Award is open to creatives ages 14 and up.
    • The Larry Neal Writer’s Award: Xemiyulu Tapepechul
      • The Larry Neal Writers Award commemorates the artistic legacy of author and activist Larry Neal and honors an individual that has made a significant contribution in the District of Columbia through the direct practice or production of their work as a writer. Written forms can include, but are not limited to: short stories, dramatic writing, playwriting, nonfiction, and poetry. This award is open to writers age 14 and older.

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