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.
2021 ABILENE ART AWARD WINNERS:
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