By Sara Dudley Brown, Theatre Editor
From an original pool of over 350 nominees, the Virginia Commission for the Arts, the state arts agency, has selected Alexandria’s own Arts on the Horizon to receive one of its prestigious “50 for 50 Arts Inspiration Awards” in the category of Emerging Artists and Organizations. Arts on the Horizon, as you may remember, presented the delightful and engaging “Drumming with Dishes” production which I reviewed glowingly on October 9, 2017.
The “50 for 50 Arts Inspiration Awards” were conceived and designed by the Commission as a 50th anniversary tribute to 50 examples of programs, individuals, and organizations critical to the arts in Virginia. The designated “Arts Inspirations” may have played a critical role in the last 50 years, serve as today’s leaders and exemplars, or may be tomorrow’s visionaries, leading the way to a culturally vibrant future.
Following a statewide call for nominations, nominees for the awards in all categories were accepted for two months this spring. A panel comprised of former commissioners and arts leaders reviewed the nominations this past summer and recommended a slate to the full Board which adopted the final roster this fall. To ensure impartiality, no former commissioners and no state-elected officials were selected for the roster.
Award recipients will be honored with other state arts leaders and supporters at a special reception this fall for a Celebration of the Arts at the Executive Mansion with Governor Terry McAuliffe and First Lady Dorothy McAuliffe.
On Wednesday, January 31, 2018 from 1:00-5:00 p.m. the Commission will hold a 50th Anniversary Program for arts organizations across the state at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. That afternoon Arts on the Horizon will be officially recognized for its achievements. A reception will follow in the Marble Hall.
Commission Chair Shelley Kruger Weisberg (Williamsburg, VA) commented: “The entire Commission applauds the 50 for 50 Arts Inspiration Award recipients whose work is representative of the transformative power of the arts in our Commonwealth”. She added, “The impressive array of arts leaders, arts organizations, pinnacle events and artists are a testament to the extraordinary diversity and vitality of the arts in every corner of the state”.
Each of the five nomination categories represents a different element of the arts in time and focus. For the Emerging Artists and Organizations category awarded to Arts on the Horizon, the criteria were the following:
Winners must have been in existence under ten years, have demonstrated a benefit to the economic and or social health of the community, have demonstrated artistic excellence, outreach to underserved populations, embraced diversity, and taken a visionary or innovative approach to their work.
Congratulations to everyone at Arts on the Horizon from the herd over here at The Zebra!