Community Arts Awards goes virtual

Sonya Hollins is a recipient of the Gayle Hoogenstraten Arts Leadership Award. Courtesy Arts Council of Greater Kalamazoo

An arts appreciation event originally scheduled for last year instead will be celebrated virtually next week.

The 2020 Community Arts Awards presentation now is scheduled for 7 p.m., Wednesday, April 14.

The event, hosted by Arts Council of Greater Kalamazoo, was previously postponed after it was originally scheduled to be held in person on Dec. 1 of last year at the Wellspring Theater.

The virtual 2020 Community Arts Awards event will feature speeches from award recipients and their nominators, as well as performances by Face Off Theatre Company, Farmers Alley Theatre, Jingqui Liu, Kalamazoo Chinese Academy, Kalamazoo West African Drummers, Last Gasp Collective and Rootead Youth Dance Company.

Award recipients will receive an original piece of art commemorating their accomplishments. The recipient of the Adam F. Carter Young Artists Award will receive a scholarship to support the pursuit of higher education.

“For over 35 years, the Arts Council of Greater Kalamazoo has been proud to recognize the exceptional artists, arts organizations, and arts supporters in the Kalamazoo area through the Community Arts Awards,” said Laura Latiolais, president of the Arts Council board.

“Each honoree brings talents and skills that deepen the artistic richness of our community and we are grateful for their work. Congratulations to the nine winners of the 2020 Community Arts Awards.”

The event will premiere live on the Arts Council’s website at community-arts-awards/.

2020 Community Arts Awards recipients:

  • Andrew Koehler – Community Medal of Arts
  • Sandra Bremer – Community Medal of Arts
  • Dr. Thomas G. Evans – Community Medal of Arts
  • Shelby Alexander – Adam F. Carter Young Artist Award
  • Fortitude Graphic Design – Business Arts Award
  • Crescendo Academy of Music – Epic Award
  • Michelle Stempien – Gayle Hoogstraten Arts Leadership Award
  • Sonya Bernard Hollins – Gayle Hoogstraten Arts Leadership Award
  • Kama Mitchell – Gayle Hoogstraten Arts Leadership Award

Full biographies of each of the recipients and award descriptions can be found on the ACGK website at


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