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2021 Arts & Culture Award Recipients Announced!

THE DEPOT FOUNDATION ANNOUNCES 2021 ARTS & CULTURE AWARD RECIPIENTS

DULUTH, MN (June 28, 2021) –

For over 20 years, The Depot Foundation has been honoring local artists, historians and community leaders that contribute to artistic and cultural venues by celebrating their achievements through an annual Arts & Culture Awards event held in October at the Historic Union Depot. The awards provide a rare opportunity to recognize and celebrate community leaders, artists and organizations who have made significant contributions to the Duluth community. Nominations are solicited throughout the year from the community, and a committee comprised of community members and Depot Foundation board members then selects recipients. “Each year the Depot Foundation endeavors to recognize individuals and organizations that have a profound impact on the arts, culture or heritage of our region. This year the selection committee has developed a list of outstanding nominees,” says committee chair Dennis Lamkin. “Having served on the committee for a number of years now, I am pleased at how many wonderful candidates we are presented with.” The 2021 Depot Foundation Arts & Culture Award recipients represent a diverse array of fields including: dance, art, historical preservation and community development.

It has been a very difficult year for arts and culture organizations, and the Depot Foundation is looking forward to a celebration. Development Director, Jessica Lind Peterson, says, “I am absolutely thrilled that the foundation is bringing well-deserved recognition to these individuals and organizations. Especially now, on the heels of the pandemic, artists and community leaders have worked tirelessly to keep their art, their organizations and their services alive. We are looking forward to throwing a big party and celebrating their hard work, commitment and vital contributions to our Duluth community.”

This year’s celebration will be held in person on October 21st at the Historic Union Depot. The 2020 Awards were postponed due to the pandemic. 2019 recipients include: Emily Ford, Nathan Bentley, Patricia Burns, Jack and Jay Seiler, & Jeffrey T. Larson.

2021 Depot Foundation Arts & Culture Award Recipients:

Artist Award: Leah Yellowbird
Lifetime Artist Award: Ann Aiko Bergeron
Community Enrichment Award: Lee Stuart & CHUM
Historic Preservation Award: Milissa Brooks-Ojibway
Community Initiative Award: Zeitgeist

Artist Award: Leah Yellowbird
Leah Yellowbird identifies strongly with her First Nations Algonquin-Metis and Anishinaabe heritage. At a young age, Yellowbird learned from her aunt how to follow traditional beading patterns and has been working in this medium her entire life. This knowledge, combined with her creative eye and exploration of color, has spilled over into the realm of painting, and she is now well-regarded for her work in all mediums. Yellowbird had the first solo exhibit at the American Indian Community Housing Organization (AICHO) in 2013 and has since had her work on display at a variety of prominent spaces, including the Macrosite Art Center, Plains Museum of Art, and the Tweed Museum of Art. She was the Grand Rapids Arts artist in residence from 2015 until 2016. There her studio was open to the public and she created some of her most popular pieces to date. Recently, she was commissioned to design the floor of the new government building in Virginia, Minnesota. Ms. Yellowbird’s work — originals and reproductions — can be seen at Indigenous First Art & Gift Shop in the AICHO Building on Second Street in Duluth.

Lifetime Artist Award: Ann Aiko Bergeron
Ann Aiko Bergeron is a Morse-Alumni Distinguished Professor of Theatre at UMD. She teaches courses in jazz and tap dance as well as movement for actors and acting, and directing courses. Ms. Bergeron is a two-time Fulbright-Hays Seminar awardee, representing American dance and theatre educators both in the People¹s Republic of China and later, in India. Her directing, choreographing, teaching, guest workshops, and performances, have taken her across the U.S.A. as well as to China, Australia, England, Finland, Hungary, India, Taiwan, Romania, Italy, Greece and Turkey. In her career as a dance/theatre artist, Ann has choreographed over 35 concert dance works, and directed and/or choreographed over 60 plays and musicals.

Community Enrichment Award: Lee Stuart & CHUM
CHUM provides emergency shelter for families and individuals, food shelves in three Duluth neighborhoods, the CHUM Center, permanent supportive housing, a clinic, and outreach and support to people in Duluth who are experiencing homelessness, hunger and social isolation. Their food shelf provides more than 300,000 pounds of food for thousands of people per year, and the shelter houses guests who are homeless, many of whom struggle with disability, mental illness or substance abuse. Lee Stuart has been leading the organization since 2013, and has announced her retirement. She will leave CHUM in strongest financial shape in the organization’s 47-year history and well-poised to meet the needs of the changing world of homelessness and poverty in the region. Stuart’s leadership, with the assistance of her staff of over 30, has been instrumental in the development of CHUM services and programs over the past seven years.

Historic Preservation Award: Milissa Brooks-Ojibway
Milissa Brooks-Ojibway worked for the St. Louis County Historical Society for 15 years, most of those as either registrar or collections manager, starting as collections manager at Glensheen in 2015. Milissa served on the Historic Resources Advisory Committee,  is currently on the Friends of the Duluth Public Library Board and also serves on the American Association of State and Local History Awards Committee as the representative for Minnesota. Milissa is also a board member of the Minnesota Alliance of Local History Museums.

Community Initiative Award: Zeitgeist
Zeitgeist’s commitment to social change and their creative and collaborative approach to community enhancement deserves to be recognized and celebrated. Led by Executive Director, Tony Cuneo, the organization includes a theatre, a restaurant, a movie theatre and an art gallery, and through their diverse and inclusive programming, the organization truly stives to make positive changes in our Duluth community. Recent initiatives include Healthy Hillside, a program that works to address health disparities and resource needs, which was developed to help Hillside residents and stakeholders get through the pandemic as successfully as possible.

For more information, please visit: depotfoundation.org

 

 

 

 

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