Arts Awards and Recognition
Office of Raleigh Arts
Image above (l to r): Gifts of Gold 2017 Best in Show - Julia Parks, Triplets; Piedmont Laureate logo; Raleigh Medal of Arts
Piedmont Laureate 2019 - David Menconi
David Menconi, a Raleigh-based writer of creative non-fiction, has been selected as the region's 2019 Piedmont Laureate. During 2019, Menconi will appear at workshops, reading programs and speaking engagements throughout Wake, Durham and Orange counties. The new Piedmont Laureate has been a music critic and arts reporter at the News & Observer in Raleigh since 1991. He has also written for Rolling Stone, Spin, Billboard, New York Times and salon.com. His books include the 2012 biography "Ryan Adams: Losering, A Story of Whiskeytown" (University of Texas Press), and his next book will be a history of North Carolina music for UNC Press.
Menconi will be officially recognized as the 2019 Piedmont Laureate at the State of Arts and Culture in Wake County at the North Carolina Museum of History on Jan. 29. This event is free and open to the public. A schedule of the Laureate's 2019 activities will be posted on the sponsoring agency websites and on the Piedmont Laureate website.
Gifts of Gold Visual Arts Celebration
More than 100 Wake County students ranging from kindergarteners to high school seniors are represented in the Gifts of Gold arts celebration each March. A visual component of the Pieces of Gold performing arts extravaganza, Gifts of Gold is a collaboration between the Office of Raleigh Arts, Wake County Public Schools and the Wake Education Partnership.
Two- and three-dimensional student artworks submitted by Wake County art teachers are showcased at a temporary art gallery in the lobby of Memorial Auditorium at the Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts, with an awards ceremony taking place in the same location.
2018 Gifts of Gold Awardees
Best in Show
Athens Drive High School
Ms. Hilton, Teacher
|Elementary School - Special Recognition|
Linda B. Carbajal
The Fabulous Fishbowl!
Autumn Wall & Katherine Southern
(3D) Rachel Proctor
Van Gogh's Raccoon
(3D) Kayli Brock
|Middle School - Special Recognition|
|High School - Special Recognition|
Silk Road Illumination
Medal of Arts
The City of Raleigh Arts Commission has selected six individuals and two organizations to receive the 2018 Raleigh Medal of Arts, the City's highest arts honor, the Office of Raleigh Arts announced today.
The City of Raleigh Arts Commission selected six individuals and two organizations to receive the 2018 Raleigh Medal of Arts, the City's highest arts honor.
The individual awardees are:
Mr. Davis has been at the artistic helm of the Burning Coal Theatre Company for 22 years. He led the $1.5 million effort to transform the Murphey School Auditorium into a permanent home for the Burning Coal Theatre Company.
In the last year, he produced a full season of female directors, ran a fundraiser for Equality North Carolina featuring the reading of The Laramie Project which raised $110,000 and produced a Shakespeare marathon in honor of the 400th anniversary of the playwright's death streamed from the North Carolina Museum of History with 38 companies involved nationwide. Mr. Davis also presented more than two dozen world premieres providing Raleigh audiences with stimulating new works by local, national, and international playwrights.
Mr. Davis always projects an exemplary inclusiveness for participants and a sincere goal of giving theatre meaning and value for all audiences. He has allowed artists to take risks in presenting shows, resulting in compelling productions that linger in the memory.
Mr. Gelb arrived in Raleigh in 1979, straight from his graduation from Boston's Berklee College of Music, a center of jazz studies. His first teaching position here was at West Millbrook Middle School and he continued to teach and direct student bands in the Wake County Public School System until 1989.
In 1991, he created the Heart of Carolina Jazz Orchestra/Society (as part of his outreach as Visiting Artist for the North Carolina Community College System) which continues a regular performance schedule to this day. As a gifted composer, he was the recipient of the 1900 Jazz Composers Award from the North Carolina Arts Council.
One of his most notable and major accomplishments is as director of the Triangle Youth Jazz Ensemble, since 2010, which functions under the aegis of the Philharmonic Association. In that time, close to 500 young musicians of high school age have come under his instruction, influence and mentorship – an experience they will carry for a lifetime.
Freddie Lee Heath
A veteran dance educator for almost three decades, Freddie-Lee Heath took over the role of Senior Administrator K-12 Arts for the Wake County Public School System in 2016. Working with more than 500 arts instructors of all disciplines in more than 160 elementary, middle and high schools is a task requiring incredible skills in human relations, arts and problem-solving in the largest possible measure.
From 1992 to 2015, Mr. Heath worked as the dance teacher in seven Wake County elementary, middle, and high schools. He kept dance current and relevant to the needs of his students while developing a new curriculum for Wake County Public Schools including Swing Dance, Dance in the Media, Video Dance, and Twist and Tone.
Martha Needels Keravuori
In her role as Executive Director of the North Carolina Theatre Conference (NCTC) (1985 – 1997), Mrs. Keravuori was a national trailblazer with her inspiring, inclusive vision bringing theatres, K-12 and college drama education programs together under the NCTC umbrella, coalescing the statewide theatre community into a powerful cultural force in our state.
She is a founding board member of Arts Access, a ground-breaking organization in our state, focusing on inclusion for all artists, organizations and audiences. Mrs. Keravuori served the City of Raleigh Arts Commission for multiple terms, working with many of the city's arts partners and serving as the chair of the committee that created the inaugural City of Raleigh Medal of Arts program. As the commission's liaison to the organization Creative Exchange, she helped guide and transform that organization into the United Arts Council of Raleigh and Wake County.
Dr. Jonathan C. Kramer
Since coming to North Carolina in 1983 to perform as cellist with the North Carolina Symphony, Dr. Kramer has exemplified the public roles of artist, scholar and teacher. After two seasons with the North Carolina Symphony, Dr. Kramer joined the music faculty at North Carolina State University, first as a visiting artist, and then as a faculty member. There he served for ten years as Director of Orchestral Activities and he has taught nearly twenty undergraduate and graduate courses, many of his own creation.
For years, Dr. Kramer organized the Price Music Center Lectures, which brought numberous musicians to Raleigh from distant cultures to share their music in performance, along with lectures on how this music came into being, and how it fits and functions within a given society, all with tremendous impact on the musical life of Raleigh and Wake County.
It is a musical resource unlike any other in the Triangle, also only possible because of Kramer's knowledge, connections, and respect within the world musical community. He also organized local concerts in support of various humanitarian efforts, including support for victims of natural disasters in the Philippines, Nepal, Haiti, Pakistan, and Cambodia.
Dr. Fran Page
For more than three decades, Dr. Fran Page has shaped the lives of the youth in the greater Raleigh area as well as young women from around the United States. She is considered a pioneer in her field – balancing the demand of leading a college music program with creating one of the finest girls choir programs in the country. She oversaw a three-choir program with a has a busy performance schedule around the world.
When Dr. Page arrived in Raleigh, she discovered that the Raleigh Boychoir and several other groups performed in the European tradition of choral music, but there was no opportunity for girls who wished to do the same. Fast forward to 2018 and Raleigh is now the home of one of the top 10 choral education experiences for girls in the country. Membership in the choir is open to all girls in the greater Raleigh area. The program is accessible to everyone – something that Page has emphasized since creating the program 30 years ago.
Dr. Page leads fundraising efforts each year to fund scholarships and travel with the goal that the choirs should reflect the diverse make-up of Raleigh.
The Dorothea Dix Park Conservancy
This outstanding group of civic leaders worked closely with the City of Raleigh to acquire the Dorothea Dix Hospital property from the State of North Carolina.
This 325-acre park is the former home of the Dix Hospital. At the time the hospital was established, it was a trailblazer in field of mental health. Dorothea Dix strongly believed that having a large natural area was essential to the recovery of her patients.
Continuing this tradition, the Dix Conservancy and the City of Raleigh obtained the property to preserve a green space and create an urban park to provide numerous outlets for the citizens of Raleigh as well as visitors from across the United States and the world. This Conservancy works closely with the City of Raleigh to guide the design development, allocate funds, and provide a vision of the park and park activities. They have supported many art activities ranging from popular pop-up classes to the immensely successful public art installation "Light the Woods with Sound."
PineCone - The Piedmont Council of Traditional Music
Founded in 1984, Pinecone is a non-profit organization that has always made its home in Raleigh. In preserving, presenting, and promoting all forms of traditional music, dance, and other folk performing arts, they present music found in a variety of North Carolina's cultural communities, including blues, gospel, country, old-time bluegrass, Irish, Klezmer, Moravian, Canadian, Native American, Indian, Latin music, and more. Pinecone's promotion of performers and music extends beyond "just" concerts. After performance discussions help artists explain their motivations and background; consultation services to help new performers "learn the ropes" of the music business; jam sessions all musicians of all levels to play together, to meet and to exchange ideas.
Their newsletter is specifically for artists to share calls for performers, grant opportunities, master classes, and other opportunities that can help careers. Youth jams and youth programs continue to grow, introducing an appreciation for roots music to the next generation. Pinecone has worked tirelessly to bring Wide Open Bluegrass to Raleigh, and then to produce the annual IBMA festival as the local host. This has brought much excitement, positive attention and fabulous performers to Raleigh.
The medals for extraordinary achievement in the arts by an organization will be presented to The Dix Park Conservancy, a nonprofit that exists to support the creation and long-term success of Dorothea Dix Park, and Pinecone, The Piedmont Council of Traditional Music.
The City of Raleigh Medal of Arts Awards, featuring special guests and performances, will be held on Nov. 13 in the Fletcher Opera Theater at the Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts. Details will be announced at a later date.
The Raleigh Medal of Arts is awarded for extraordinary achievement in the practice or support of local arts. Based on the National Medal of Arts program, the Raleigh award was inaugurated in 1984 by the Raleigh Arts Commission so that excellence in the arts could be given special recognition. Over the past 34 years, 152 medals have been awarded.
The Piedmont Laureate Program, co-sponsored by the City of Raleigh Arts Commission, Durham Arts Council, Orange County Arts Commission, and United Arts Council of Raleigh and Wake County, has as its primary goal "to promote awareness and heighten appreciation for excellence in the literary arts throughout the Piedmont region."
The Piedmont Laureate is appointed for one year. Each year, the program is open to writers creating work in a selected literary genre such as poetry, novels, plays and more. The Laureate's activities include readings, workshops and other public appearances.
Applications for the Piedmont Laureate 2019 - Creative Non-Fiction are being accepted until Oct. 5, 2018.