Awards presented at the annual Arts Awards Banquet by High Point Arts Council

"At the annual Arts Awards Banquet on July 22, the High Point Arts Council presented the Arts Award for Corporate Support of the Arts, Individual Support of the Arts, Arts Teacher of the Year, and recognized outgoing board members and officers. The banquet was held at the Centennial Station Arts Center and featured performances by the High Point Ballet. Debbie Lumpkins, Executive Director, kicked off the event with the invocation, A Prayer for Artists.

Each year, the Arts Council sponsors the Arts Awards for those whose contributions to the arts make its mission possible. The Awards Committee, chaired by Joe Gray, selected the award winners from nominations made from patrons of the arts. Joe Baker, High Point Community Theatre actor, presented the awards.

This year’s winner of the Arts Award for Corporate Support of the Arts went to High Point University for their extraordinary commitment to the arts. On and off campus, HPU has invested in the arts and culture of our city. On campus, the Hayworth Fine Arts Center is known for its theatre that hosts local, national and international arts performances. Off campus, the university has invested in a permanent arts center for the community at Centennial Station.

The Arts Award for Individual Support of the Arts went to Lucille Duncan for her passion for the arts and for sharing that passion with others. She is known as the Social Director and always recruits a group to go with her to arts events. Not only does she support the arts with her presence, but also with her presents. She also invested in the Centennial Station Arts Center by purchasing the naming rights of the Engineer's Office in memory of her late husband, Bob.

The recipient of the Arts Award for Teacher of the Arts, Sarah Johnson, was recognized for going above and beyond teaching music at Northwood Elementary. In addition to her regular music classes, she formed the Northwood Noteables, an auditioned choir for 4th and 5th graders. She also led the United Arts Fund Drive at her school this past year and had the highest percentage of participation by teachers in all of the High Point area schools.

The High Point Area Arts Council has sponsored the Mayor’s Arts Awards since 1984. The actual awards were designed by the late George Kosinski and finished by Harris House Furniture. The shape of the award is a treble clef modified to indicate the arts. The arrowhead at the top signifies looking out to the future.

In addition to the Arts Awards, the Arts Council's board of directors nominate one of their own as the Star Board Member of the Year. Mary Bogest was recognized for her commitment to the arts even while handling the stress of being a caregiver during her husband's illness. Her original painting of the Centennial Station Arts Center hangs in the lobby and signed and numbered prints are available for purchase.

The new Spike Award was presented by Jim Morgan, Immediate Past Chair, to Linda O'Briant and Carlos Olvera for serving two 3-year terms. The Spike Award recognizes that board members are the spikes that keep the tracks secure so that the Arts Council train can stay on track! Morgan also presented Sarah Bomberger, Janice Bowman, Travis Compton and Debbie Lumpkins with Shining Star awards for the Arts Council's staff stepping up and taking on additional responsibilities with the acquisition of the arts facility.

Incoming chair, Janette McNeill, presented Jim Morgan with a plaque recognizing him for his outstanding leadership during a time of transition for the Arts Council and heading up the capital campaign for the Centennial Station Arts Center. She also read an original poem that celebrated Jim's service to the arts. Also, an anonymous donor repaired the Trainmaster's Clock on the front of the building in gratitude for Jim's POSITIVITY and that plaque will hang on the front porch.

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