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2019 LIZ STRATTON ARTS PATRON: AIM Strategies is honored for their support of arts in schools, in our community and for dedicating considerable resources to the support of artists through their commitment to making the arts a part of their business model and believing the power of the arts to ensure the future success of Topeka.

2019 LEGACY AWARD: The Rocha Family Artists, Joseph “Joey” Rocha, Sr., Pat Rocha, Sr., Luke Rocha & Patrick Rocha, Jr. are recognized for their immense contributions to the arts in Topeka as well as their significant contributions to the catalog of works of contemporary American art.

COMMUNITY ARTS AWARD

  • Creations of Hope Gallery: Honored for their work to combine the arts and healing through a downtown gallery run by artists who struggle with mental illness.

  • Leaping Llamas: Honored for their support of local artists, art programs for children and promotion of the creative class in Topeka and NE Kansas.

  • Kaw River Rustics: Honored for their support of large scale works of art in the NOTO Arts District.

LITERARY ARTS AWARD

  • Kiora Brooks: Honored for her immense talent as a rising star in the poetry world both in Topeka and nationally having recently been awarded the Maya Angelou Award for Spoken Word in the 2019 Penguin Random House Creative Writing Awards for her poem “The Misinterpretation of Dark Skin.”

  • Darren Canady: Honored for his considerable body of work as a playwright and educator. Canady is a graduate of Topeka High School, Julliard and New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. Currently serves as a faculty member at the University of Kansas.

  • Speak Easy Poetry Open Mic: Honored for their support and fostering of poetry and spoken word in Topeka, this open mic night organized by poets Annette Billings and Sue Edgerton have offered a microphone and stage to writers and poets from all walks of life for six years, creating an important support network for creatives in our community.

PERFORMING ARTS AWARD

  • Poetry for Personal Power: Honored for their work locally through artists Matt Spezia and Corinna West, P3 works to offer peer support in the community and improve healthcare outcomes by utilizing the unique properties of artists working in spaces usually reserved for traditional health providers to achieve better outcomes for individuals through the arts.

  • Dane Shobe: Honored for his work as a stage actor and supporter of the performing arts in Topeka through Topeka Civic Theatre, Washburn University Theatre and Ad Astra Theatre Ensemble and by using his immense talents to support other artists in our community.

  • Suki Willison: Honored for her life-long dedication to the promotion and performance of live music in Topeka through the Topeka Blues Society, more than a decade of programming the stage at Uncle Bo’s and her leadership and support of musicians in Topeka and nationally.

VISUAL ARTS

  • Keith Horinek: Honored for being the “spotted guy” as he attends community events which has created a photographic history of our community events, activities and people.

  • Amused Gallery: Honored for the important role that this gallery has played in supporting emerging artists and offering space to show artwork, sell artwork and a positive environment that helps these artists to thrive.

  • Rosemary Menninger: Honored for her decades of work as a prolific watercolor artist, art teacher for artists of all ages and abilities as well as her dedication to preserving the archive of her family’s legacy in our community.

PEOPLE’S CHOICE

  • 39 West Gallery - 909 N Kansas Ave

  • Clover GEAR Reclaimed Art - 1001 NW Central

  • SouthWind Art Gallery - 3074 SW 29th