26th Annual Mayor’s Arts Awards Honors the Best in D.C. Arts
At The Kennedy Center Concert Hall

The Honorable Vincent C. Gray attending ceremony
Hosted by Legendary Choreographer, Dancer, Actor and Director Maurice Robert Hines, Jr.
With performance by special guest: ELEW

Washington, DC (March 25, 2011) — Washington, D.C. looks forward to celebrating the best of the arts community at the 26th Annual Mayor’s Arts Awards.  The D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities will present the Mayor’s Arts Awards on Wednesday, April 20, 2011 at 6:00 p.m. in the Kennedy Center Concert Hall. In addition to revealing the winners in five arts and two teaching categories, the program also features performances by acts including the Manzari Brothers, the Post-Classical Ensemble, and ELEW, creator of “ROCKJAZZ.”  The ceremony is free and open to the public.

The Mayor’s Arts Award is the highest honor conferred by the District of Columbia in recognition of artistic excellence and service among artists, arts organizations, and arts patrons in the city.  A special Mayor’s Award for Visionary Leadership in the Arts will be presented to The Jones Haywood Dance Company.

“For over a quarter of a century, the Commission has had the esteemed privilege of presenting the Mayor’s Arts Awards to honor the District’s premier individual artists, arts organizations and patrons of the arts”, explained Ayris Scales, Interim Executive Director of DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities.  “I am proud of the diversity of artistic excellence being awarded this year. This ceremony celebrates their accomplishments and the amazing impact that they have in the furthering of our City’s rich artistic and cultural heritage.”

The 2011 awards will be presented in the following categories: Excellence in an Artistic Discipline, Excellence in Service to the Arts, Innovation in the Arts, Outstanding Contribution to Arts Education, Outstanding Emerging Artist and Mayor’s Award for Arts Teaching.  Finalists were chosen by the Mayor’s Arts Awards Advisory Jury comprised of prominent members of the District’s arts community with expertise in dance, music, theatre, literary arts, visual arts and arts education.

The 26th Annual Mayor’s Arts Awards is a Millennium Stage presentation.  The Millennium Stage was created and underwritten by James A. Johnson and Maxine Isaacs to make the performing arts accessible to everyone in fulfillment of the Kennedy Center’s mission to its community and the nation.

RSVPs are not required but encouraged. Tickets are distributed on a first come, first served basis.  For more information about tickets and to reserve seats, please contact artsawards@dc.gov.  For additional information on the Mayor’s Arts Awards or other D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities programs, please visit www.dcarts.dc.gov or call 202-724-5613.

Finalists for the 26th Annual Mayor’s Arts Awards

Excellence in Artistic Discipline
DC Jazz Festival
The Shakespeare Theatre
Step Afrika! USA, Inc.
Transformer, Inc.

Excellence in Service to the Arts
Capital Fringe Inc.
Capitol Movement, Inc.
Dance Institute of Washington
Kim Roberts
Mary Hall Surface

Innovation in the Arts
Contemporary Music Forum/VERGE Ensemble
Dakshina/Daniel Phoenix Singh Company
The Double Nickels Theatre Company, Inc.
Solas Nua
The Studio Theatre

Outstanding Contribution to Arts Education 
Capitol Hill Arts Workshop (CHAW)
Critical Exposure
DC Wheel Productions, Inc. (Dance Place)
Joy Zinoman
The Washington National Opera

Outstanding Emerging Artist
Mia Feuer
Brian Wilbur Grundstrom
Natsu Onoda Power
Ryan Richmond
Eleanor Walton
Andrew Wodzianski

Finalists for the 26th Annual Mayor’s award for arts teaching

Excellence in Teaching Performing Arts
Kamil Hazel, Friendships Collegiate Academy Public Charter School
Thomas Pierre, Ludlow-Taylor Elementary School

Excellence in Teaching Visual Arts
Nafeesah Shabazz, Thurgood Marshall Academy Public Charter School
Elizabeth Wyrsch-Ba, J.O. Wilson Elementary School