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City of Seattle Celebrates 15th Anniversary of the Mayor’s Arts Awards

Nominations now open for the 2017 Mayor’s Arts Awards

SEATTLE (May 1, 2017) — In celebration of the 15th anniversary of the Mayor’s Arts Awards the Office of Arts & Culture will celebrate all recipients past and present at the 2017 Mayor’s Arts Awards Ceremony on Thursday, August 31 from 4-6 p.m. at the Seattle Center Mural Amphitheatre. Nominations for the 2017 Mayor’s Arts Awards are now open, and can be submitted by anyone.


Each year the awards celebrate the arts and cultural community. Categories this year include Cultural Ambassador, Arts & Innovation, and Emerging Leader in the Field. The Seattle Arts Commission approaches the review process through their racial equity commitment, and will utilize a racial equity and social justice lens in decision making.

Since 2003, Seattle has been honoring the artists, individuals, and organizations that have shaped the city’s unique landscape and made it a thriving art center. In 15 years 82 awards have been presented at Seattle Center on labor day weekend, marking the opening of Bumbershoot, Seattle’s music and arts festival.

Each year the community nominates more than 400 extraordinary individuals and organizations to be recognized for their profound contributions to the region. Recipients selected from the nominations are local and national luminaries whose work and influence shape our growing city.

Congratulations to all of the Mayor’s Arts Award recipients through the years.

2016: Hedgebrook, Huong Vu, Annex Theatre, Kabby Mitchell

2015: Dr. Robin K Wright, Akio Takamori, Densho, Seattle JazzED, Daniel Brown

2014: Alan Chong Lau, MOHAI & Leonard Garfield, Path with Art, Snoqualmie Indian Tribe, Stephen Stubbs, Teen Tix

2013: 826 Seattle (now called Bureau of Fearless Ideas), Preston Singletary, Barbara Earl Thomas, Seattle Repertory Theatre, Frye Art Museum, Pongo Teen Writing Project

2012: Freehold Theatre Lab/Studio, KEXP 90.3 FM, Li Hengda, Lucia Neare’s Theatrical Wonders, Seattle Arts & Lectures, Buster Simpson, Three Dollar Bill Cinema, TilibSedeb (Singing Feet), The Vera Project, Olivier Wevers.

2011: Donald Byrd, Spectrum Dance Theater; Jack Straw Productions (now called Jack Straw Cultural Center); Quinton Morris; On the Boards; Pratt Fine Arts Center; Tết in Seattle.

2010: Juan Alonso; Book-It Repertory Theatre; Dennis Coleman, Seattle Men’s Chorus & Seattle Women’s Chorus; Reel Grrls; Sergei Tschernisch, Cornish College of the Arts; Velocity Dance Center.

2009: Artist Trust; Jesse Higman; Speight Jenkins, Seattle Opera; Northwest Tap Connection; Seattle Youth Symphony Orchestras.

2008: 14/48: The World’s Quickest Theater Festival; Marybeth Satterlee and Coyote Central; Hugo Ludeña; Nonsequitur; Cathryn Vandenbrink, Artspace Projects; Wing Luke Asian Museum.

2007: Clarence Acox, Garfield High School; John Gilbreath, Earshot Jazz; Jean Griffith, Pottery Northwest; Longhouse Media’s Native Lens Program; Massive Monkees; Richard Hugo House (now called Hugo House); Mimi Gardner Gates, Seattle Art Museum.

2006: Linda Hartzell, Seattle Children’s Theatre; Michael J. Herschensohn, Northwest Folklife; Rainier Vista Cambodian Youth Program; Gerard Schwarz, Seattle Symphony; A Family of Visual Artists: Michael Spafford, Elizabeth Sandvig & Spike Mafford; Reggie Watts.

2005: David Brewster and Town Hall; Peter F. Donnelly; Sara Liberty-Laylin, Adams Elementary School; Alden Mason; The Tsutakawa Family: Gerard, Deems, Marcus and Mayumi; Pastor Patrinell Wright, Total Experience Gospel Choir.

2004: Central District Forum for Arts & Ideas, The Seattle Foundation, Tim Summers, Sub Pop Records, Kent Stowell and Francia Russell.

2003: The Paul G. Allen Family Foundation, Arts Corps, Vinson Cole, Consolidated Works