Five individuals and organizations earned the local arts community’s biggest honor last week.
The Spokane Arts Awards are given every year by the Spokane Arts Commission. Here are this year’s winners:
Individual artist, Kendall Feeney: classical pianist, Eastern Washington University teacher and the founder and artistic director of Zephyr.
Arts organization, Connoisseur Concerts Association: the group that presents the Northwest Bach Festival, the Mozart concerts in Manito Park, and many other classical events.
Individual benefactor, Rosemary Selinger: an arts patron who serves on the boards of the Spokane Symphony, Cheney Cowles Museum, WAMPUM and Foundation Northwest, and who has worked on behalf of many other groups.
Business benefactor, WAMPUM: an organization of 200 volunteers whose auction raises $110,000 annually for 21 beneficiaries.
Arts in education, Spokane Symphony Society: an organization which organizes free concerts for students, and which provides visiting musicians at schools.
These awards will be presented in a ceremony at the opening of the Spokane City Council meeting Monday at 6 p.m.
The Katherine Award
Another big arts award was presented recently: the Katherine Gellhorn Award.
This is the Interplayers Ensemble’s award for outstanding service from a volunteer, named after the late Spokane arts patron.
This year’s recipient is Don Moeller, retired businessman and well-known arts supporter.
Bob Welch, co-founder of Interplayers, told this anecdote about Moeller:
“Once he came up to me and said, ‘You need to have your lobby painted,’ and I said, ‘Yes, but we can’t afford it.’ And he said, ‘Well, I’ll do it,’ and he painted the entire outer lobby for us.”
Moeller has also served as board member and president, and he runs the Interplayers’ Silent Auction, which raises $5,000 per year.
Barry Manilow might be right up there with Neil Diamond on the Guilty Pleasures Meter, but apparently he isn’t quite such a huge draw at the box office.
The show is selling well, but plenty of tickets are still available for Manilow’s Nov. 7 concert at the Spokane Arena. Diamond sold out the Arena in four hours last year.
Manilow isn’t even using the full Arena. The Arena will be in its partially-curtained-off configuration, which means there are about 7,000 seats instead of 10,000 or so.
Good deeds from Jay and Kevin
Jay Daniels and Kevin James, the funny and popular morning team at KNFR-FM (The Frog, 96.1), camped out at Riverfront Park for 96 hours recently and collected over 12,000 pounds of food and $7,500 for the Spokane Food Bank.
Good theater start
The Spokane theater season has gotten off to a fast start with “The Importance of Being Earnest” at Interplayers and “The Wizard of Oz” at the Spokane Civic Theatre.
Both are playing to near sell-out audiences.
“We’re kind of amazed that a play that exceeds 100 years old has had a waiting list every weekend,” said Welch, about Oscar Wilde’s “Importance of Being Earnest.” The show has sold out all of its weekend performances so far.
Over at the Civic, “The Wizard of Oz” has already sold out all of its matinees until the end of the run, as well as a number of evening performances.
Tickets are still available for a number of upcoming performances of both shows, but don’t wait too long.