The Everett Cultural Arts Commission and Everett Mayor Ray Stephanson will honor the winners of the 2013 Richard Wendt Award and Mayor’s Arts Awards during a celebration at 5 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 21, at Everett Station’s Weyerhaeuser Room, 3201 Smith Ave. The names of the winners have already been announced. Here’s the rundown provided by the City of Everett…
Richard Wendt Award of Excellence
Diane Wright, freelance writer and former arts and entertainment reporter for the Everett Herald and the Seattle Times, is the winner of the prestigious Richard Wendt Award of Excellence for her extraordinary commitment to the arts scene in Everett. Wright’s insightful, well-researched writing helps bring attention to local artists, performers and events.
“She paints with words,” said Patti Matson and Casey Hall, who nominated Wright for the award. “She is a passionate advocate of everything art and we can’t think of a person more deserving of this award.”
2013 marks the 21st year of the Richard Wendt Award of Excellence, given annually to a person or organization who has demonstrated outstanding support of the arts throughout their lifetime. The award is named for Dr. Richard Wendt, who passed away in 2007. Wendt was a long-time promoter of the arts in Everett and helped found the city’s Cultural Arts Commission and the 1% for the Arts program.
Mayor’s Arts Awards
In recognition of Everett’s growing arts scene, the Cultural Arts Commission in 2010 created the Mayor’s Arts Awards to honor art educators, artists in the community and young artists who demonstrate commitment to the Everett arts community.
This year’s Mayor’s Arts Award winners are:
- Arts educator: Ann Morgan
- Artist in the community: Duane Kirby Jensen
- Young artists: Aaron Coughlin and Bryan Bradley of I Will Keep Your Ghost
Ann Morgan has been instrumental in building the art education programs for the Everett School District and Schack Art Center, and represents the art community on a variety of local boards and committees. She has taught at Cascade High School for 13 years and helped start the Schack’s art docent program for Snohomish County.
“Ann is a diligent, resourceful and supportive teacher,” said Judy Tuohy with the Schack Art Center. “She is always looking for new ways to support her students.”
Duane Kirby Jensen, a local artist and poet, is a vocal supporter of Everett’s growing poetry scene. Jensen currently hosts Everett Poetry Nite and promotes the weekly event through social media and face-to-face outreach. A published poet and a painter, Jensen has been instrumental in bringing out-of-town voices to Poetry Nite.
The nomination highlighted “his support and promotion of all artists and poets and his love of community building.”
Aaron Coughlin and Bryan Bradley formed the band I Will Keep Your Ghost in 2009. They describe their music as “groovesynth,” and count among their influences Neon Indian, Bear in Heaven, Discovery and “a massive amount of 70s Italian disco.” They’ve already developed a dedicated fan base in western Washington.
“With several shows in Everett and Seattle under their belt, the electro-rock duo has managed to create a full sound that has made quite a splash in the last year,” said Ryan Crowther, founder of the Everett Music Initiative. “With an album due out by the end of 2013, these two are sure to put Everett on the map in a major way.”
In addition to developing their sound and their following, Coughlin and Bradley are committed to participating in and nurturing the Everett arts and music scene.
“Not only do they invest time, resources and creative energies into producing their own art, they engage with the ripening arts culture within the city,” said Kimberly Williams, cultural arts commission member. “Aaron and Bryan support local artists and bands by attending shows and events, all the while infusing their contagious positive personalities into vibrant discussions about art, life and culture.”
The Everett Cultural Arts Commission is composed of volunteer commissioners who are appointed by the Mayor. The mission of the commission is to initiate, sponsor, organize and promote cultural and artistic programs and services for the enrichment and enjoyment of the Everett community.