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The St. Louis Arts Awards was held on Monday, January 21, 2013 at the Chase Park Plaza. Watch last year's celebration here.
2013 St. Louis Arts Awards
Michael Weisbrod, President of the Board of the Arts and Education Council (left) joined Cynthia Prost, President of A&E, to present legendary singer Chuck Berry with the Lifetime Achievement in the Arts award at the 2013 St. Louis Awards at the Chase Park Plaza. Guitarist Billy Peek performed some of Berry's classic songs, including "Maybellene," "Roll Over Beethoven," and "Johnny B. Goode," as part of his tribute to the famous performer. Berry still performs monthly at the Duck Room at Blueberry Hill in University City. Photo credit: Suzy Gorman
The 2013 St. Louis Arts Awards kicked off the Arts and Education Council’s 50th anniversary year and was chaired by Ken and Nancy Kranzberg. Proceeds from the event benefited the Arts and Education Council’s annual campaign which funds nearly 70 arts and arts education organizations throughout the 16-county bi-state region.
Those honored in 2013 were: Chuck Berry, Lifetime Achievement in the Arts, PNC Bank, Corporate Support of the Arts; Judy and Jerry Kent, Excellence in Philanthropy; Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, Excellence in the Arts; Michael Uthoff, Excellence in the Arts; St. Louis Public Radio | 90.7 KWMU, Champion of the Arts; and Duane Martin Foster, Art Educator of the Year.
“These honorees represent the breadth of the arts community and the exceptional creative work happening across the St. Louis region,” said Cynthia A. Prost, president of the Arts and Education Council. “We are honored to recognize their achievements and welcome the community to join us in celebrating their contributions to St. Louis and the world.”
Extended Information on the Honorees:
Lifetime Achievement in the Arts – Chuck Berry
As a singer, songwriter, and guitarist, Chuck Berry has been one of the most influential artists in the history of rock music. From the world of rhythm and blues, the rock and roll sound was born, and Mr. Berry was its “founding father, the first important rocker to write, play and sing his own songs (The Washington Post).” Chuck Berry’s music has transcended generations. He blended the various styles of the different music he heard growing up – boogie woogie, country, swing, big band, pop, and blues – and created the sound that has dominated popular music for five decades. He was one of rock’s first great lyricists and is known as the poet laureate of rock and roll. Born in St. Louis, Mr. Berry had many influences on his life that shaped his musical style. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1986 and received a Kennedy Center Honor in 2000. Click here to watch a video on impact of the “Father of Rock and Roll.”
Corporate Support of the Arts – PNC Bank
PNC Bank is being honored for its innovative program, PNC Arts Alive, a two-year, $1-million program that challenges visual and performing arts organizations to put forth their best, most original thinking in expanding audience participation and engagement. Since its inception in 2010, the program has granted 33 funding opportunities to arts organizations in the St. Louis region. Click here to watch a video about PNC's support of the St. Louis arts community.
Excellence in Philanthropy – Judy and Jerry Kent.
Both Judy and Jerry Kent have strong ties to the St. Louis community, which is reflected in their volunteer engagements. Mrs. Kent serves on the board of trustees for Stages St. Louis and TouchPoint Autism Services. Mr. Kent, chairman and CEO of Suddenlink and CEO of Cequel III, serves on the Board of Trustees and Executive Committee of Washington University. He is Chairman of the Boards of Directors for The Magic House/St. Louis Children’s Museum and the Regional Justice Information Service. He is also a member of the Boards of Directors for the Saint Louis Zoo and Kenrick-Glennon Seminary, among others. Mrs. Kent is also a Broadway producer, investing in the Broadway production of “Driving Miss Daisy,” a limited run, which starred Vanessa Redgrave and James Earl Jones. Click here to watch a video tribute to Judy and Jerry Kent.
Excellence in the Arts – Opera Theatre of Saint Louis
Opera Theatre of Saint Louis was founded in the spring of 1976 by Richard Gaddes with a small group of opera lovers who were determined to bring festival-quality opera to the St. Louis area. As of 2012, Opera Theatre has presented 22 world premieres and 23 American premieres, perhaps the highest percentage of new work in the repertory of any U.S. company. Described byThe Sunday Times of London as “one of the few American companies worth the transatlantic fare,” and by Opera Today as “the leading summer opera destination in the United States,” Opera Theatre of Saint Louis welcomed visitors from 45 states and 12 foreign countries in 2011. Click to watch a video about Opera Theatre of Saint Louis.
Excellence in the Arts – Michael Uthoff
Michael Uthoff currently serves as Artistic and Executive Director of Dance St. Louis. Born in Santiago, Chile, to former dancers, Ernst Uthoff and Lola Botka of the Jooss Ballet and founders of the Chilean National Ballet, Mr. Uthoff started dancing after graduating from high school. He entered the School of Dance of the University of Chile and a year later arrived in New York City with a Rockefeller Foundation Scholarship to attend The Julliard School of Music, The School of American Ballet and The Martha Graham School of Contemporary Dance. Throughout his 30-year career, Mr. Uthoff has led the development of ballet companies into highly regarded institutions throughout the country as well as locally at Dance St. Louis. His originality and passion to bring dance to a wider, highly diverse audience has helped showcase smaller and emerging dance companies. Click to watch a video about Michael Uthoff.
Champion of the Arts – St. Louis Public Radio | 90.7 KWMU
St. Louis Public Radio | 90.7 KWMU has been a consistent champion for the arts community in the St. Louis region through its work online, on-air and in the community. St. Louis Public Radio | 90.7 KWMU provides the St. Louis region with NPR programming – award-winning, in-depth news, insightful discussion and entertaining programs that focus on the issues and people who shape the community. St. Louis Public Radio | 90.7 KWMU reaches nearly 235,000 people each week in the bi-state area. St. Louis Public Radio | 90.7 KWMU is a member-supported service of the University of Missouri-St. Louis. Click here to watch a video about St. Louis Public Radio's commitment to the arts.
Art Educator of the Year – Duane Martin Foster
Duane Martin Foster is the Choir Director for Normandy High School. A native of St. Louis and an alumnus of Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia, Mr. Foster’s career spans from musical theatre and opera to dance and film. He received his dance training and certification from the Alvin Ailey American Dance Center, performed the role of Sportin’ Life in Porgy and Bess at Lincoln Center with the New York City Opera and appeared as Coalhouse Walker, Jr. alongside four-time Tony®-award winner Audra McDonald in the Broadway smash hit musical, Ragtime, which received four Tony® awards. Mr. Foster moved to St. Louis in 2006 and was appointed Theatre/Dance Instructor at Normandy Middle School. In June 2011 he received the Yale Distinguished Music Educator Award and is a recipient of the 2012 St. Louis American Excellence in Education Award. Click to watch a video about Duane Martin Foster.
Follow #STLArtsAwards on Twitter for announcements on the 2014 Arts Awards.
2013 Arts Awards Sponsors
Ken and Nancy Kranzberg