LT. GOVERNOR MITCH LANDRIEU AND THE LOUISIANA DIVISION OF THE ARTS ANNOUNCE THE 2006 GOVERNOR'S ARTS AWARDS -- 11/01/2006
Office of Cultural DevelopmentFOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Division of the Arts
November 1, 2006
LT. GOVERNOR MITCH LANDRIEU AND THE LOUISIANA DIVISION OF THE ARTS ANNOUNCE THE 2006 GOVERNOR'S ARTS AWARDS
New Orleans Youth Orchestra wins Arts Education, William Goldring wins Art Patron of the Year, George Rodrique wins Lifetime Achievement, Offbeat Magazine, Jonathon Ferrera, and Michael Presti honored
BATON ROUGE, La. - Twelve winners of the 2006 Governor's Arts Awards and ten individual artist fellowship winners will be honored at the Manship Theatre at the Shaw Center on Wednesday, November 8, 2006 from 5:30 pm to 8:00 p.m. These individuals and organizations have all made outstanding contributions to the arts and to the quality of life in our state.
"At the Governor's Arts Awards, we honor those that have improved the lives of Louisianans through their contribution to the arts. We recognize that art and culture not only have intrinsic value, but in Louisiana culture means business, accounting for 144,000 jobs," Lt. Governor Landrieu said.
The annual Arts Awards recognize Louisiana's artists, arts educators, businesses, and arts organizations. Winners are chosen on the basis of the significance and magnitude of their contributions, the benefits of those contributions to Louisiana's citizens, and innovation and commitment to the arts in Louisiana. The winners were selected by a committee of the Louisiana State Arts Council from nominations submitted by private citizens, various organizations and public officials.
New Orleans area winners include:
Arts Education, Organization, Greater New Orleans Youth Orchestra (GNOYO)
Filled with the desire to see more musical training opportunities for New Orleans area youth, the Greater New Orleans Youth Orchestra (GNOYO) was founded in 1994 by local music teachers, area parents, and musicians of the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra. Since its foundation, GNOYO has succeeded in nourishing the hearts and minds of young musicians through challenging and rewarding orchestral experiences. GNOYO is comprised of five orchestras (Northshore Sinfonia and Sinfonia, Northshore Philharmonia and Philharmonia, and Symphony), the Summer Festival, and Outreach Programs. GNOYO students receive weekly group instruction with highly trained conductors in addition to sectional instruction with professional musicians. GNOYO demonstrates its commitment that all young people should have the opportunity to develop their talents by giving out more than $18,000 in scholarships and fee waivers. Maintaining its role as a leader in the community, GNOYO's Endangered Instruments Program (EIP), provides musical instruments and subsidized private lessons to underserved members of the community.
Lifetime Achievement, George Rodrigue
With the overwhelming popularity of the Blue Dog, Rodrigue has reached national and international success. The Blue Dog is based on the Cajun legend of the loup-garou, a ghost dog that lurks in cemeteries and sugar cane fields. It-as well as all of Rodrigue's work-has strong ties to Louisiana heritage. In recent years, Rodrigue's philanthropy has become as widely known as his art. He has used his fame and his art to raise money and awareness for international, national, and local causes close to his heart. In 2003, Rodrigue conducted a weeklong workshop at the National Mall in Washington, D.C., for children from 100 countries and all 50 states. Combining the children's artwork with his infamous Blue Dog, Rodrigue designed a print that raised $400,000 for the International Child Arts Festival. Following September 11, Rodrigue raised $500,000 for the American Red Cross through the sale of prints-this time from his painting "God Bless America." At Red River Revel, his sell-out posters raised money for children's art programs in the Shreveport area. Following Hurricane Katrina, through the sales of his relief prints, Rodrigue raised more that $500,000 for the Southeast Louisiana Chapter of the Red Cross and $130,000 for the New Orleans Museum of Art Hurricane Recovery fund. In addition, he created a campaign for levee protection, "To Stay Alive We Need Levee 5," sending posters, bumper stickers, buttons, and t-shirts to every member of Congress reminding them of Louisiana's need for category five levees. Following the storm, Rodrigue showed his appreciation to organizations outside the state such as the Helen Woodward Animal Center in San Diego (which rescued thousands of shelter dogs from the New Orleans area, finding new homes for all of them).
Arts Education, Individual, Michael Presti, Covington
For over fifty years, Michael Presti has brought quality vocal instruction to performers in the New Orleans area. Presti received his formal vocal training in New York where he attended the Julliard School of Music until the outbreak of WWII. After serving his country as a pilot in both Germany and Japan, Presti returned home to begin teaching. Presti has been described as a voice "builder," focusing his teaching methods on growth and strength. He enables his students to maximize concentration on acting and communicating the emotional intent of each piece. Presti displayed his dedication to his students' pursuit of excellence repeatedly through selfless acts. For students preparing for an operatic or musical theatre role, Presti attended the performances to give critical feedback, or likewise, if a student had a concert performance, Presti would provide a warm-up-both at no charge. Some of the talents that Presti has helped to shape have gone on to perform at such prestigious places as the Metropolitan Opera.
Business/Corporate, Small, OffBeat Magazine
Since 1988, OffBeat Magazine has played a key role in promoting Louisiana music regionally and internationally. OffBeat provides the local community with accurate and informative content including reviews of new releases, listings of musical and cultural events, and profiles of upcoming and established musicians and groups. With 60,000 total monthly distributions popping up everywhere from Greece, to Brazil, to Thibodeaux, Louisiana, OffBeat's readership is widespread and diverse. In addition to its monthly magazine, other popular OffBeat publications include: "Jazz Fest Bible," "The Best of the Best Awards," and the Louisiana Music Directory. Further establishing itself as an information clearinghouse, OffBeat hosts its own website. OffBeat not only provides information to interested patrons, it goes beyond simply reporting to actively supporting the careers of some of New Orleans favorite musicians. Through the generosity of OffBeat magazine, musicians such as Ingrid Lucia and The Iguanas have been showcased at music festivals as South by Southwest, Austin, Texas. In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, OffBeat continued to work to see that the New Orleans musical heritage is preserved, recorded, and information disseminated to the public. Offbeat not only continued to bring its magazine to the public, but also aided numerous members of musical groups to locate one another and helped enhance communication between groups and venues.
Leadership in the Arts, Jonathan Ferrara
Jonathan Ferrara arrived in New Orleans in 1992, as a corporate fundraiser with the United Way. He entered the arts arena in 1995 as a co-founder of Positive Space, an artist collective on Magazine Street in the Lower Garden District. Acting as artist, gallery owner, director, and publicist, he was instrumental in the creative and economic renaissance to this area, which continues to thrive in a Post-Katrina reality. For The Art Exchange Show (1997-1998), an international exhibition of more than 40 galleries from the U.S. and Europe, Ferrara brought the artworks of 20 Louisiana artists to the office buildings of Wall Street. Following a successful exhibit in St. Louis of New Orleans artists' work, Ferrara opened his gallery in the New Orleans Arts District in 1998. Today, the Jonathan Ferrara Gallery presents innovative and exciting artwork by emerging as well as established local artists, and represents 15 professional artists. Since 1999, Ferrara is acting president of the board for ARTDOCS (Artists Receiving Treatment - Doctors Offering Crucial Services), a non-profit medical program for artists without health insurance-the first of its kind in the country. In cooperation with Dr. Vince Morelli of the Family Practice Department of Kenner Regional Medical Center, ARTDOCS has treated over 500 artists-patients and organized a referral network of volunteer specialists to treat artists in the Greater New Orleans area. In the months following Hurricane Katrina, Ferrara coordinated New Orleans Artists in Exile, a traveling exhibit to help artists affected by the hurricane and its aftermath. This exhibition provided these artists with a market to sell their works and use the funds to rebuild their homes and studios, thus, allowing our artists to continue to live, work, and create in our city and state.
Arts Patron of the Year, William Goldring, Jefferson
Recently named "Outstanding Philanthropist of the Year" by the Association of Fundraising Professionals, William Goldring is the owner of several wine, spirit, and beer companies based in New Orleans. Having spent 40 years in the alcohol beverage business, he is recognized as a leader in the industry. He is chairman to two foundations: The Goldring Family Foundation and the Woldenberg Foundation, a foundation formed by his father's former business partner. Working of behalf of those foundations Goldring has provided tens of millions of dollars in financial support to several hundred charities over many years, most especially artists and art organizations. Goldring's foundations provided the cornerstone gift, which made possible the Ogden Museum of Southern Art building. Today, the building bears the name of William's father, Stephan. The naming gift was also donated by Goldring for the Goldring-Woldenberg Art Center on the Tulane campus. This refurbished building provides multiple art studios, teaching space, and a larger exhibition room. Goldring has been a long-time supporter of the New Orleans Museum of Art as well as numerous arts organizations throughout the state. One notable example is the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra. Being one of the first and largest donors to NOJO, the Goldring family recognizes the jazz art form as an essential part of New Orleans culture.
Other Award recipients include:
Artist fellowship recipients include:
Maritza Mercado-Narcisse - Dance