PAAC accepting nominations for artist recognitions

February 18, 2013

Joseph Pratt

PDT Intern

The Portsmouth Area Arts Council will add a new event to the Portsmouth scene in 2013 when it hosts “A Town and Its Artists: Awards for Artistic and Creative Excellence” June 8 at Shawnee State University’s Vern Riffe Center for the Arts. The evening will pay tribute to individuals and organizations that have made significant contributions to the Portsmouth community over time.

“When you’re involved in a nonprofit organization and time and resources are so scarce, it is very easy to focus on your agenda and your season and your students and everything that you’re working on, and it is easy to miss other things going on around you,” PAAC executive director Becky Lovins said, when asked about the focus of the planned event. “We have our own programming at the Arts Council, but one of goals from the start was to bring everybody together as an arts community and I think this is going to be a really great thing.”

PAAC invites area residents and groups to submit nominations for awards in four categories designed to recognize artistic excellence, philanthropy, community involvement and contribution and arts education. Nomination forms may be obtained at several sites throughout the community, including banks, the Portsmouth Public Library and its branches, the Southern Ohio Museum, the Boneyfiddle Arts Center, Scioto County schools and online at the Portsmouth Area Arts Council’s website, www.paac4kids.org. Deadline for submission of nominations to PAAC is March 18, 2013. Nominations may be mailed to the PAAC Post Office Box 1258 or emailed to paac@shawnee.edu.

An Individual Artist Award will recognize a Scioto County native who has made a significant impact and shows excellence in his or her discipline. Individual artist nominees may be considered for achievement in the fine arts, music, theatre, dance and literature.

The Patron of the Arts Award will acknowledge an individual, couple, family, business or institution that has sustained and enhanced the arts in the community through contributions of time, effort or financial resources.

An Arts Organization Award will honor an organization that has shown excellence, creativity, and community involvement and contribution through its programming.

The Arts Educator Award will commend an individual or organization that has made important contributions through leadership and creativity in arts education of students and schools.

A fifth award, named for Robert Fuller, a founding member of the Portsmouth Area Arts Council and passionate supporter of the arts community in southern Ohio, may be given at PAAC’s discretion to an individual or organization that embodies Fuller’s spirit and dedication to the arts. Nominations will not be accepted for this category.

The idea of the celebration was put together by the board after it was pitched by member Kay Bouyack . The concept wasn’t too unfamiliar to the council and they built the idea around past models and added in ideas from another award ceremony in Ohio.

“We have done an honorary dinner a few different times throughout the years,” Lovins said. “When it came time to do that again, we began brainstorming about what kind of person or business we would like to honor and we decided to do this. We then kind of modeled this award after the Ohio Arts Council’s Awards of Excellence, which they give out every spring for similar categories. It is a celebration to bring everybody together and celebrate each other’s achievements.”

A panel of community leaders and PAAC board members will make final selection of the four winners who will be honored during the June 8 tribute showcasing the work and talents of local artists, patrons, organizations and educators.

Details on the awards night program and ticket information will be released at a later date. Portsmouth Area Arts Council board has chosen the title “A Town and Its Artists” for the June 8 awards program in memory of the 1968 “A Town and Its Artists” festivities which inspired the formation of PAAC and an explosion of arts activity in Portsmouth that has grown steadily over the past 45 years.

The Portsmouth Area Arts Council was originally founded in 1972 with the goal of bringing together the arts community and celebrating the arts heritage of the Portsmouth area. PAAC has evolved over the years and now focuses primarily on integrating the arts into the lives of children and families through theatre programming.

Further information about “A Town and Its Artists” may be obtained by contacting PAAC Executive Director Becky Lovins at 740-351-3642 or paac@shawnee.edu.