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Winners announced for 2016 Mayor’s Arts Awards

Winners announced at Mayor’s Arts Awards ceremony on Friday, Sept. 2 at 12 p.m.

SEATTLE (Sept. 8, 2016) — Mayor Ed Murray is proud to announce the recipients of the 2016 Mayor’s Arts Awards. The award honorees represent categories ranging from Seattle’s cultural legacy to innovation in the field. The Seattle Arts Commission recommended the recipients from a pool of more than 350 public nominations.

“Every year it is my pleasure to recognize the people and organizations that make Seattle a city that values arts and culture at its core,” said Mayor Murray. “This year’s award winners embody the spirit, ingenuity and creativity that make Seattle one of the most exciting and interesting places to live in the U.S.”

The 2016 winners are:

  • Cultural Ambassador: Kabby Mitchell, III
  • Arts & Innovation: Hedgebrook
  • Philanthropy Award: Huong Vu
  • Legacy Award: Annex Theatre

The Mayor’s Arts Awards recognize the contributions of artists, creative industries and cultural organizations who contribute to Seattle’s reputation as a hub of creativity and innovation. The winners were announced at the Mayor’s Arts Award Ceremony on Friday, September 2 at 12 p.m. at Seattle Center, just prior to Bumbershoot opening. Winners were presented with an original glass award by local glassblower, Ali VandeGrift.

The Mayor’s Arts Awards are presented in partnership with Bumbershoot and One Reel with media sponsor City Arts and event sponsors The Boeing Company and Chihuly Garden and Glass.

For more information about the Mayor’s Arts Awards, including past recipients, visit 

ABOUTH THE 2016 Mayor’s Arts Award Winners  

kabby-mitchell-1Kabby Mitchell, Cultural Ambassador Award Winner Kabby Mitchell, III is a choreographer, educator and performer. Mitchell is currently a professor at Evergreen State College where he teaches dance and African studies. He frequently contributes his time to help programs that support the development of young urban dancers, and is a supporter of local art and theatre companies whose goals are to serve the underserved community through the arts. 



hedgebrook-1Hedgebrook, Arts & Innovation Award Winner

Hedgebrook is a global community of women writers and people who seek extraordinary books, poetry, plays, films and music by women. A nonprofit, their mission is to support visionary women writers whose stories and ideas shape our culture now and for generations to come. 


huong-vu-sso-photoHuong Vu, Philanthropy Award Winner

For the past two decades, Huong Vu has been a philanthropy manager and curator. She is currently the Community Investor-Arts, Culture and Civic Engagement, Global Corporate Citizenship-Pacific NW Region at The Boeing Company. Vu leads Boeing Commercial Airplane’s Pacific Northwest Region arts, culture, and civic engagement grants portfolio. Her personal passions center on immigrant refugee rights, social justice, equity, and mentoring the next generation of leaders.


annex_isdyAnnex Theatre, Legacy Award Winner

Celebrating its 30th anniversary, Annex Theatre is a democratic collective of theatre artists dedicated to creating bold new work in an environment of improbability, resourcefulness, and risk. For the last three decades, Annex has been an accessible laboratory for new writing and performance work in Seattle, generating dozens of world premiere plays and providing crucial early-career development for hundreds of artists.