Santa Monica Arts Leadership Awards Program Winners Recognized

Sunday, 3 Mar 2013, 9:46:00 AM

Mitch James

Inaugural Santa Monica Arts Leadership 2013 Honorees and Mayor Pro Tempore Terry O’Day. From left: Abby Sher, Arts Patron Award;, Bruria Finkel, Special Recognition; Jon Swihart, Artist in the Community/Bruria Finkel Award; Wayne Blank, Creative Community Innovator; Mayor Pro Tempore, Terry O’Day.
Photo by Fabian Lewkowicz
Inaugural Santa Monica Arts Leadership 2013 Honorees and Mayor Pro Tempore Terry O’Day. From left: Abby Sher, Arts Patron Award;, Bruria Finkel, Special Recognition; Jon Swihart, Artist in the Community/Bruria Finkel Award; Wayne Blank, Creative Community Innovator; Mayor Pro Tempore, Terry O’Day.

A handful of Santa Monica community leaders were honored as part of

the first annual Arts Leadership Awards program on Thursday with an

awards ceremony at the Fairmont Miramar Hotel.

Mayor Pro Tempore Terry O’Day and members of the Santa Monica Arts

Foundation recognized the contributions of local leaders instrumental in

making Santa Monica a vibrant arts community.

The honorees were:

-- Wayne Blank — Creative Community Innovator

An individual or small or mid-size commercial creative business

contributing to making Santa Monica’s arts and culture sector ‘cutting

edge’ through experimentation, design, or cultural sustainability

-- Abby Sher — Arts Patron

An individual or business leader providing extensive support for the arts in Santa Monica

-- Jon Swihart — Artist in the Community/Bruria Finkel Award

An artist who has contributed significantly to Santa Monica’s arts community through activism, patronage, and/or volunteerism

Also honored was artist Bruria Finkel in recognition for her lifetime

of leadership in making Santa Monica a place that values artists and

the arts. The Artist in the Community award was named in her honor.

“Volunteers, philanthropists, and creative entrepreneurs are

essential to Santa Monica’s extraordinary arts community,” said George

Minardos, Foundation Chairperson. “These awards highlight the importance

of their contributions.”

Honorees of the nonmonetary award received a signed lithograph by

artist Lita Albuquerque, a widely renowned artist Santa Monica artist. 

Assemblymember Richard Bloom, representing the 50th Assembly District,

also presented the honorees with State Certificates of Recognition

expanding the reach of the award from city to state level.

The Arts Leadership Awards program was launched this past November by

the Santa Monica Arts Foundation to celebrate leadership and recognize

the breadth of efforts that support Santa Monica’s artistic, creative,

and cultural community.

A selection committee of Santa Monica Arts Foundation board members

and representatives of the local arts and business communities met in

December to review nominations and make the final selections based on

the award guidelines.

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