A veteran group of artists and art advocates were recognized last month for making Wichita a better place to live — and a more prosperous one, too.
“It’s obvious that our city benefits from the aesthetic beauty and cultural enrichment derived from artistic pursuits, but what you may not realize is that the arts are an important economic engine in our community,” City Council Becky Tuttle said in introducing winners of the Arts Council’s 53rd annual awards.
Ann Garvey was named to the council’s Hall of Fame for 30 years involvement in Ballet Wichita, Music Theatre Wichita, the Tallgrass Film Festival, The Kansas African American Museum, Symphony in the Hills and other organizations.
“Ann’s efforts underscore two of her foundational beliefs: that investing in the arts can transform a community, and that Wichita artists, performers, writers and musicians are worth celebrating,” Tuttle said.
Martha Dooms received the arts educator award. Dooms has taught theatre in Wichita Public Schools for 34 years, producing hundreds of shows.
Sheila Kinnard was given the individual artist award. Kinnard, who recently retired from teaching drama at Mayberry Cultural Arts Fine Arts Magnet Middle School, directed TKAAM’s recent production of “Canaan.”
Rick Bumgardner, artistic director at Roxy’s Downtown, received the individual arts advocate award for his long involvement in Wichita’s theatre scene.
Designing Women were given the group arts advocate award for helping support Mark Arts since 1990. Last year, their Holiday Tables event raised over $120,000 for visual arts programs at Mark Arts.
Tim Jones, associate concert master for the Wichita Symphony Orchestra and associate professor at Wichita State University, was given the individual music award.
Other honorees included:
Youth award — Athalia Altit, an East High senior, artist and summer intern at Mark Arts.
Chris Cherches award — Chester I. Lewis Reflection Square Park.
Special project award — Woolsey Hall, home of Wichita State’s Barton School of Business, for its architecture and art collection.