Arts Council announces 2017 Community Arts Award Recipients

The Arts Council of Greater Kalamazoo is pleased to announce the recipients of the 2017 Community Arts Awards.


Community Medal of Arts

Elizabeth Kerlikowske

Nina Nelson

Business Arts Award

Encore Magazine

Epic Award

K’zoo Folklife Organization

Adam F. Carter Young Artist Award

Egypt Trinity Wilder

Gayle Hoogstraten Arts Leadership Awards

Arts Administrator – Joan Herrington

Arts Educator – Jeff Mitchell

2017 Community Arts Award Recipients

Back row:  June Rucks*, Chuck Rysenga*, Marie Lee, John Speeter*, John West*, Nancy Cyrus*

Middle Row:  Nina Nelson, Joan Herrington

Front Row:  Jeff Mitchell, Elizabeth Kerlikowske

Missing from photo:  Egypt Trinity Wilder

*Members of K’zoo Folklife Organization


To Learn More about the 2017 Recipients click here

The Awards were presented on Sunday, August 27th at the Sunday Concerts in the Park at First United Methodist Church.  The Copacetiks, Face Off Theatre and Who Hit John performed.  A reception followed the Concert and Presentation at the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts.  

“Art is a celebration of life, and so it is fitting that we celebrate the outstanding accomplishments of our 2017 Community Arts Awards Recipients.  Our community is certainly richer and more enjoyable because of their contributions to both our artistic successes but also our quality of life.” states Kristen Chesak, Executive Director of the Arts Council of Greater Kalamazoo.


Community Medal of Arts

The CMA recognizes an artist who is a leader in their field, has a significant body of creative activity, who has received local and/or national acclaim, and has impacted on our community through art. This award encompasses all art forms, including but not limited to visual, musical, theatrical, literary, performing, multi-media, architecture or design.

Business Arts Award

The Business Arts Award is presented to honor businesses in Kalamazoo County for their leadership commitment and vision in developing exemplary alliances with the arts and arts organizations. The award recognizes a business for creating outstanding initiatives with the arts and arts organization, furthering the educational development of youth, enhancing the economic vitality of the community and enriching the quality of life in our community.


Adam F. Carter Young Artist Award

The Adam F. Carter Young Artist Award is designed to recognize and encourage the next generation of artists in our community. The winner is a student who has had an impact both in their field of study and in our community and is nominated by their arts teacher, director, or a community member. This award is generously supported by the Mary and Brooks Godfrey Family.


Epic Award

The Epic Award recognizes a non-profit organization or program within Kalamazoo County that is of high artistic quality and serves to enhance life in our community through the arts. The award pays special attention to both long standing programs and organizations that have played a consistent role in the community and new organizations and programs that meet a previously unmet community need or focus area.


Gayle Hoogstraten Arts Leadership Award

The Arts Leader is an arts educator or arts administrator. The nominee is a recognized leader in the arts and/or the education community with an impact beyond his/her job description, a strong impact on the community through art, and positive and productive relationships in the community outside of his/her institution.

For more information on the Community Arts Awards and the Arts Council of Greater Kalamazoo, please contact Beth McCann at or call 269.342.5059.


The Arts Council of Greater Kalamazoo was founded in 1966.
Its mission is to enrich and engage the Kalamazoo community through the Arts.


Previous Community Arts Awards Winners

Questions regarding the nomination and selection process may be directed to Beth McCann, Deputy Director at or 269.342.5059.


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Thank You to our Partners for Supporting our Programs


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