The Arts and Education Council (A&E) will celebrate the region’s vibrant arts community when a diverse lineup of entertainment takes the stage at the 27th annual St. Louis Arts Awards on January 22 at the Chase Park Plaza. With acts ranging from jazz violin to dance to musical theater, the 2018 awards will have something for everyone in the audience to enjoy. 

Award-winning Broadway actor and singer Ken Page will return as emcee of the area’s preeminent event that salutes individuals, businesses and organizations that achieve a legacy of artistic excellence and enrich the city’s arts and cultural community. Taking the stage to perform will be jazz violinist Regina Carter accompanied by acclaimed jazz pianist Peter Martin; the Buddy Boys, as featured in “Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story” at The Muny; Innervision Dance Theatre led by Artistic Director and 2018 Arts Educator of the Year Keith Tyrone Williams of Grand Center Arts Academy; and American-Austrian classical pianist Dr. Stan Ford.

Renowned jazz violinist Regina Carter will make her St. Louis Arts Awards debut in a tribute to Excellence in the Arts honoree Gene Dobbs Bradford, president & CEO of Jazz St. Louis, and Corporate Support of the Arts honoree and enthusiastic jazz supporter World Wide Technology. Considered by some to be the finest jazz violinist of her generation, Carter has released 10 solo albums since 1995, with her most recent being “Ella: Accentuate the Positive.” She also received various honors including being awarded a MacArthur Fellows Program grant and being the first jazz musician and African-American to play Il Cannone Guarnerius, the legendary 18th-century Italian violin that is loaned on occasion to musicians. Acclaimed jazz pianist Peter Martin will accompany Carter. Martin, himself a 2012 Excellence in the Arts honoree, performed on and arranged Dianne Reeves’ Grammy® winning release, “A Little Moonlight” and has performed, toured and recorded with Wynton Marsalis, Chris Botti, Betty Carter, Christian McBride and Joshua Redman. He performed at the White House in 2011 and 2012.

In a nod to Lifetime Achievement in the Arts honoree Dennis M. Reagan, President & CEO of The Muny, the Buddy Boys will perform selections from “Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story,” performed at The Muny in 2015. The group is composed of band leader Kyle Lacy, vocalist and guitarist Andy Christopher, bassist Nathan Yates Douglas and drummer Joe Cogen. The Muny favorites are sure to get the room rocking and rolling with a medley of the rocker’s classics.

Innervision Dance Theatre, led by Artistic Director and 2018 Art Educator of the Year honoree Keith Tyrone Williams, will perform an excerpt of “Let America Be America Again,” choreographed by Williams and inspired by the 1936 Langston Hughes poem of the same title. Dancing in the performance will be both professional dancers and Williams’ current students at Grand Center Arts Academy (GCAA).

Lastly, Lifetime Achievement in the Arts honoree Johnetta Haley will be honored with a performance from her former student, American-Austrian pianist Dr. Stan Ford. The St. Louis native has achieved great career success, receiving a two-year Fulbright scholarship and currently teaching at the Universität Mozarteum Salzburg in Austria.

In addition to Bradford, Reagan, Williams and Haley, this year’s honorees include: Saint Louis Fashion Fund, Arts Startup of the Year; and Art on the Square, Arts Collaboration.

Proceeds from the event benefit the Arts and Education Council’s annual campaign which funds nearly 100 arts and arts education organizations throughout the 16-county bi-state region. Susan Block, founder of the Designing Block, and John H. Russell, senior vice president at Stifel, return as co-chairs of the 2018 event. The 2018 St. Louis Arts Awards presenting sponsor is the Centene Charitable Foundation; stage and entertainment sponsors are Steward Family Foundation and World Wide Technology; principal sponsors are Edward Jones and Emerson.

The event begins at 5:00 p.m. with cocktails; dinner, entertainment and awards will follow at 6:30 p.m. The event is nearly sold out. Click here or call 314.289.4133 to get your tickets today.

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