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Abilene Cultural Affairs Council announces 2021 Abilene Art Award winners

The awards honor outstanding volunteers for local arts groups.
Credit: ACAC

The Abilene Cultural Affairs Council hosted the annual Celebrate the Arts in Abilene luncheon at the 201 Mesquite Event Center downtown. The event was originally scheduled for Oct. 6, but was postponed.

According to an  ACAC press release, the event combined the annual HeARTS for the ARTS membership luncheon and the 2021 Abilene Art Awards. The awards honor outstanding volunteers for local arts groups. In addition, the ACAC presented the Outstanding Individual of the Year Award to Justin Crowe for his contributions to the arts. The Outstanding Organization of the Year Award went to The Excelsior Foundation, which has provided support for many art organizations and other nonprofits.

Grants are given for local arts programming for children and special populations. This year, the ACAC is investing $151,650 in HeARTS and Community & Visitor Development Grants that enrich our community.

Costumed characters and table decorations reflected the 2022 Children’s Art & Literacy Festival honoree Sophie Blackall, who won the 2016 Caldecott Medal for “Finding Winnie: The True Story of the World’s Most Famous Bear.” Her original art will be on display at the National Center for Children’s Illustrated Literature next summer.


Tim Adcock, Abilene Community Band

Dr. Jami Adams, Abilene Community Theatre

Amy McAdams, Abilene Education Foundation

Naomi Wood, Abilene Performing Arts Company

Todd Wilson, Abilene Philharmonic Association

Pat Nelson, Abilene Star Chorus

Kay Talley, Abilene Writers Guild

Dr. Christopher McNair, Abilene Zoological Society

Nicole Wiedemann, Celebration Singers

Michael Derrick, Center for Contemporary Arts

Sharon Kelley, Debbie Langford & Nancy Wilkinson, Children’s Art & Literacy Festival

Jill Bertsch, Children’s Performing Arts Series

Tim & Pam Smith, Chorus Abilene

Dr. Tim Lillick, Friends of the Abilene Public Library

Carol Walt, The Grace Museum

Belinda Southall, Junior League of Abilene

Erica Hall, National Center for Children’s Illustrated Literature

Dr. Kim Hardin, Young Audiences of Abilene

Outstanding Individual of the Year: Justin Crowe

Outstanding Organization of the Year: The Excelsior Foundation