51 | The 2020 Art Awards – Less Gala, More Giving

Given the growing concerns around COVID-19, the Arts Council’s Board of Directors made the difficult decision to cancel what would have been the 51st Annual Art Awards. This was a tough call to make – this event is one of our favorite ways to honor deserving artists and art advocates and to celebrate the many ways art impacts the Wichita community, from education to entertainment, economic development, and everything in between.

In lieu of the in-person Art Awards this year, we are committing the budget for our annual event to support local artists during these trying times. In addition, we are thrilled to announce that $25,500 has been pledged as matching funds for the Wichita Creatives Emergency Relief Fund. WCERF provides rapid response, need-based grants to independent artists, musicians, performers and others who work in a creative capacity and whose livelihoods have been impacted by the current public health crisis.

We hope that you will join with the Arts Council in supporting this important effort to aid our creative community. To take full advantage of these matching dollars, we must raise the same by November 5 for a total of $51,000 on what would have been Wichita’s 51st Annual Art Awards!

Local artist Wade Hampton has created a custom illustration (you can see a sneak peek in the “51” above) that may be downloaded with your donation of $50 or more. Wade asked that his fee be donated to WCERF, to get us started off right!

Please consider making a personal or business donation before November 5, 2020 to double your support of Wichita artists.

Arts Council Names 2013 Award Recipients

Each year, the Arts Council honors individuals, foundations and businesses that have made significant contributions to the arts in the Wichita area.  The 2013 recipients are:

Chris Shank — Gordon W. Evans Award given to a patron demonstrating outstanding leadership and special support for the arts.

Joan Cole – Arts Advocate/Individual given to an individual dedicated to furthering the cause of the arts in general through promotional, volunteer, administrative, legislative and professional efforts.

St. James Episcopal Church – Arts Advocate/Group given to an organization dedicated to furthering the cause of an art form specifically through its Guild Hall Players, its After-School Program featuring an arts-based curriculum, its annual Art a la Carte, and its three choirs.

Bluebird Arthouse – Business Award given to a business providing broad-based and continued support of the arts through its operation.

Exploration Place – Special Project Award given for its Star Wars Exhibit.

Aimee Geist – Arts Educator Award given to an individual who has devoted a career to instruction in the arts in an educational environment (the Ulrich at WSU).

Babs Mellor – Special Recognition/Individual Award given for outstanding contributions to the arts through her vast body of work and her instruction in sculpture spanning 40 years.

Theatre League – Special Recognition/Organization Award given for the important economic impact of the presentation of “The Lion King.”

Julianne McLean – Burton Pell Award given to an outstanding individual in music.

Friends of WAM – Arts Organization Award given to a public, not-for profit organization that provides arts opportunities to the Wichita community and region.

Curt Clonts – Individual Artist Award given to an artist actively working in one of the arts who has shown outstanding achievement.

Daniel Debolt – Youth Recognition Award given to a high school or middle school student who has shown outstanding achievement and development in the arts.


MKEC Engineering Consultants, Inc. – Chris Cherches Award given for outstanding work on a public works project.  This award is presented for the Lincoln Street Bridge and Dam project.


 The art awards will be presented at a gala banquet on Thursday, Nov. 7 at the Drury Plaza Broadview Hotel Grand Ballroom, 400 W. Douglas.   A reception and dinner starts at 5:30 p.m. with the awards program beginning at 6:30 p.m.

The public is invited to attend.  Tickets are $50 each or $450 for a table of 10.  Seating is open with the exception of the reserved tables.  Tickets may be ordered through Nov. 4 at www.wichitatix.com or by calling 316-219-4849.