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Artists, teachers, and supporters of the arts gathered yesterday evening to celebrate and honor DC’s creative community at the 33rd annual Mayor’s Arts Awards. Mayor Muriel Bowser kicked off the festivities by welcoming the crowd gathered at the Lincoln Theater, saying emphatically, “When you want your city to be a world-class city, you don’t hesitate to invest in the arts.” In 2016 the Bowser administration launched 202Creates to help engage residents and artists through the creation of unique events and activities across all eight wards of the city.
The Mayor’s Arts Awards are the most prestigious honors conferred by the city on artists, teachers, nonprofit organizations, and patrons of the arts and humanities. In addition to recognizing a number of artists and supporters of the arts, the evening also celebrated an important milestone: the 50th anniversary of the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities.
Last night’s awards included presentation of the Lifetime Achievement Award, which went to the musicians of Rare Essence, who also performed during the evening; the Visionary Leadership award to C. Brian Williams, founder and president of Step Afrika; and the Distinguished Honor Award, presented to Allyn Johnson, Director of Jazz Studies at the University of the District of Columbia.
Michael Marshall Design was a finalist in the “Excellence in Creative Industries” category, alongside DC Jazz Festival and DC Independent Film Festival. Though DC Jazz Festival ultimately took home the honor, Michael reflected on his pride on the nomination: “It is such a profound honor to be recognized, and to be in the company of these great Washington institutions.”
Jan Bigas, MMD Art Director, spoke passionately about attending the event with members of the MMD design team, “What a surreal experience to be surrounded by such incredible creative minds, who have drawn, shaped and written our city into a truly vibrant creative hub. I’m honored to work in this industry, specifically in the Creative Capital of the World.”
Read the official press release for the event here.