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Washingtonians To Be Honored at Mayor's Arts Awards

Four Washingtonians who have made significant contributions to the arts in the city will be among those honored by the D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities at the Mayor’s Arts Awards at the Historic Lincoln Theatre on Thursday, September 13.

The honorees are former D.C. mayor, Anthony A. Williams and now CEO of the Federal City Council; writer, director and producer, George Stevens, Jr.; Melvin Deale, executive director of the African Heritage Dancers and Drummers; and lawyer, Paul C. Jorgensen, who provides ongoing pro bono legal services for community civic and arts groups.

Alt Film Guide
Alt Film Guide

“This year’s honorees are cultural icons in their own right. And we – the nation’s capital – are richer because of their commitment to excellence and the indelible impact that they’ve made,” said Judith Terra, chair of the D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities (DCCAH). “Their life’s work goes beyond the stage. They have spent years influencing lives through their contribution to the arts.”

In addition to revealing the winners in five arts and three teaching categories, the program will feature performances by acts including the Poem-cees, Nistha Raj,Christylez Bacon, Rev. Nolan Williams, National Hand Dance Association, and the African Heritage Dancers and Drummers.

The Mayor's Arts Award is the highest honor conferred by the District of Columbia in recognition of artistic excellence and service among artists, arts organizations, and arts patrons in the city.

"The diversity of artistic excellence displayed in this year’s nominees highlights our city's rich artistic and cultural heritage," said Lionell Thomas, DCCAH’s executive director.

This year’s awards will be presented in these categories:

Excellence in an Artistic Discipline, Excellence in Service to the Arts, Innovation in the Arts, Outstanding Contribution to Arts Education, Outstanding Emerging Artist and Mayor's Award for Arts Teaching (Visual, Performing and Language Arts). Finalists were chosen by the Mayor's Arts Awards Advisory Jury comprised of prominent members of the District's arts community with expertise in dance, music, theatre, literary arts, visual arts and arts education.

The event, which begins at 6:30 pm, is free and open to the public. Reservations are not required but encouraged. Seating is on a first come, first served basis. To reserve seats, visit Lincoln Theatre is at 1215 U Street NW. For more information on the Mayor's Arts Awards or other DCCAH programs, please visit or call 202- 724-5613.

As an aside, the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities is moving on Friday, September 21 from Columbia Heights to Canal Park in the Capital Riverfront neighborhood (200 I Street SE).

Finalists for the 27th Annual Mayor's Arts Awards:

  • Excellence in Artistic Discipline
    • DC Jazz Festival
    • Embassy Series
    • Step Afrika
    • The Phillips Collection
    • Thomas Circle Singers
  • Outstanding Contribution to Arts Education
    • Capitol Hill Arts Workshop
    • Capitol Letters Writing Center
    • Critical Exposure, Inc.
    • Free Minds Book Club & Writing Workshop
    • The Washington Ballet
  • Outstanding Emerging Artist
    • Bohemian Caverns Jazz Orchestra
    • Cultural Development Corporation
    • John Moletress
    • The Studio Theatre
    • Tommy Taylor
  • Excellence in Service to the Arts
    • Atlas Performing Arts Center
    • Environmental Film Festival in the Nation’s Capital
    • The Dance Institute of Washington
    • Washington Performing Arts Society
    • Washington Project for the Arts, Inc.
  • Innovation in the Arts
    • Art Enables
    • FotoDC
    • Life Pieces to Masterpieces
    • Post-Classical Ensemble, Inc.
    • Speakeasy DC
  • Mayor’s Awards for Arts Teaching
    • Daniel Foley
    • Dawn Johnson
    • Jennifer Sonkin
    • Jose Cuevas
    • Kenneth Dickerson
    • Koye Oyedeji
    • Miriam Cutelis
    • Premila Mistry