Cultural Alliance names arts award winners

By Kevin Zimmerman

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The Cultural Alliance of Fairfield County (CAFC) has announced the winners of its first 2016 ACE (Arts & Culture Empowerment) Awards, designed to recognize individuals, organizations, and businesses who have “made significant contributions to the Fairfield County community through arts and culture, or who have enriched the arts and culture sector through volunteerism or patronage.”

The winners are:

  • Artist: Westport Artists’ Collective founders Duvian Montoya, Nina Bentley, Miggs Burroughs, Tammy Winser, Helen Klisser During and Jahmane West, “for encouraging the careers and talents of local artists and contributing to our diverse artistic community.”
  • Nonprofit: Lou Ursone, executive and artistic director of Curtain Call, Inc. (Kweskin Theatre/Dressing Room Theatre) in Stamford. “The organization provides a consistent outlet for artistic expression while entertaining the general public and providing a safe and nurturing environment for learning.”
  • Corporate: Bank of America, “a leading supporter of the arts and sponsor of Fairfield County’s Community Foundation Giving Day, in which 24 percent of donations in 2016 went to Arts & Cultural organizations.”
  • Educator: The Bruce Museum in Greenwich, for its “exemplary work in arts and science education” (represented by Deputy Director and Interim Director of Education Susan Ball).
  • Citizen: Richard J. Wenning, executive director of the BeFoundation, a private foundation devoted to dramatic improvement in the educational outcomes of disadvantaged students in Connecticut. Wenning is also co-founder of SpreadMusicNow, an organization dedicated to transforming students’ lives through funding music programs that foster continual learning.

Recipients will be honored at the ACE Award Breakfast, 7:30 – 9:00 a.m. on May 19 at the Shore and Country Club in Norwalk, featuring keynote speaker Arthur Levitt — the twenty-fifth and longest serving chairman of the SEC — with an introduction by Karen Brooks Hopkins, president emeritus of the Brooklyn Academy of Music and current senior fellow in residence at the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Tony Award-winning actor and singer James Naughton will serve as the master of ceremonies. Tickets for the breakfast and raffle are on sale here.

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