Evanston Arts Awards

Nominate a Business for the 2013 Arts & Business Committee Leadership Award

The Evanston Arts Council’s Arts & Business Committee is seeking nominations for its seventh annual Leadership Award to be presented at the Mayor's State of the City luncheon on Friday, March 7, 2014. Nominations must be received no later than 5 p.m. on Monday, January 20, 2014. See link below.

Please nominate an Evanston business that has supported your organization in a way that allowed you to do something you might not have been able to do without that support –
OR nominate a business that has significantly supported other arts organizations. 
The award is designed to honor Evanston for-profit businesses.

Leadership Award Nomination Form (Word)

Upcoming Mayor's Award for the Arts

The next Mayor's Award for the Arts will be presented in fall 2014. Nomination forms will be posted on this page this winter. Please check back for updates or subscribe to the "Arts News in Evanston" eNewsletter here.

2012 Mayor's Award for the Arts

(presented in 2013)


Penny Rotheiser, left, co-chair of the Evanston Arts Council's Arts & Business Committee, and RHINO Poetry have been announced as winners of the 2012 awards. The awards were presented at the Annual State of the City Address and Mayor’s Award for the Arts Luncheon on March 8, 2013.

RHINO POETRY image web.jpg

2011 Mayor's Award for the Arts Winners

(presented in 2012)

Group by Genie Lemieux web.jpgYoung Evanston Artists (YEA!) received the arts organization award and this year two people were selected to win the individual award: Dr. Stamata Blanas and Jill Brazel. The awards were presented at the Annual State of the City Address sponsored by the Evanston Chamber of Commerce and NorthShore University HealthSystem.

Young Evanston Artists (YEA!) is a nonprofit volunteer-driven organization that gives Evanston children an opportunity to display their artwork, sing, play instruments and perform in the Dempster/Chicago shopping district each spring. YEA! was founded by Harvey Pranian, who will accept the award.

Award recipients shown in photo above, from left: Harvey Pranian, Dr. Stamata Blanas, Hecky Powell and Jill Brazel. Photo courtesy of Genie Lemieux.

Dr. Stamata Blanas is the founder and chairperson of the Faces of Evanston, an annual photography and video contest. She has been the driving force behind the Faces of Evanston for the last seven years. Blanas also is a past president of the Kiwanis Club of Evanston, which supports the Faces of Evanston. Submitted photographs are displayed in a traveling exhibition throughout Evanston and also are available online and through social media.

Jill Brazel served on the Evanston Arts Council for six years and served as chair of the council for three years. During her tenure, she established Art Under Glass, the displays of artwork placed in vacant Evanston storefronts to brighten up the streetscape. A professional photographer, she often volunteers to cover events or create graphics for local nonprofit organizations.

Previous Mayor's Award for the Arts Winners

Bill Campbell and the Evanston Children's Choir were presented with the 2010 Mayor’s Award for the Arts. Previous award recipients include The Actors Gymnasium; Karen Thomson, founder of "Literature for All of Us;" Richard Halstead; Open Studio Project; Béa Rashid of Dance Center Evanston; Eve Alfille of the Alfille Bijoux d’Art; Art Encounter; Chie Curley and Barbara Goldsmith (curators of the Noyes Gallery); Mitchell Museum of the American Indian; Light Opera Works; Northlight Theatre; Gus Giordano; North Shore Choral Society; Evanston Art Center; Evanston Symphony Orchestra; Barbara Blades; Ron Isaacson of Mindscape Gallery; Susan A. Manning; the Music Institute of Chicago; John Szostek; The Musical Offering; Margherita Andreotti; and Shorefront.

2012 Leadership Award

(presented in 2013)

The sixth annual Evanston Arts Council's Arts & Business Committee Leadership Award will be presented to The Autobarn Ltd. of Evanston. The award recognizes a business that has supported the arts in Evanston, or an individual representing a business who provided support with the direct backing and involvement of the business. The award will be presented at the Annual State of the City Address and Mayor’s Award for the Arts Luncheon, scheduled to be held on March 8, 2013.

2011 Arts & Business Leadership Award

(presented in 2012)


Hecky’s Barbecue was chosen as the 2011 recipient of the Evanston Arts & Business Committee Leadership Award. The annual award acknowledges Evanston businesses and organizations that have provided leadership in arts and cultural support, either financially or through in-kind services, or both.

The Arts & Business Committee, a subcommittee of the Evanston Arts Council, encourages businesses of all sizes to support the arts in whatever way they can. “We are excited to have several strong nominations and are proud to be recognizing Hecky’s Barbecue this year,” said Lara Allison, co-chair of the Arts & Business Committee. Hecky’s has provided support to several Evanston arts-related events and organizations, including Fleetwood-Jourdain Theatre, The Actors Gymnasium, Evanston Township High School Jazz Band, and Youth and Senior Theatre Ensemble Project (YSTEP).

Tim Rhoze, artistic director of Fleetwood-Jourdain Theatre and member of the Arts & Business Committee, has witnessed first-hand the many generous meals that Hecky’s has provided for student-related arts events. Hecky Powell, owner of Hecky’s Barbecue, was honored to be receiving the award, and said that the reason that he supports the arts in Evanston is “because they don’t always get the funding they need” and “it is just the right thing to do.”

The award itself was crafted by Evanston metalsmith and jewelry artist Nancy Sickbert-Wheeler, who also provided the design for last year’s award. The Arts & Business Committee created the Leadership Award five years ago. It reinforces the committee’s primary mission of bringing together local business leaders and arts organizations into a mutually enhancing relationship. This award recognizes the business leaders for their support of the arts, but as most business leaders know, a community with a thriving cultural scene is good business. The committee is currently co-chaired by Paul Giddings and Lara Allison.

Previous Leadership Award Winners

2010:    First Bank & Trust
2009:    Jim Nash
2008:    Romano Brothers
2007:    Whole Foods