Nominations now open for the 16th Annual Mayor’s Arts Awards!!!!!

Open now through June 15, 2018

The Seattle Office of Arts & Culture’s (ARTS) Mayor’s Arts Awards celebrates the people and organizations that broaden our horizons and humanize our city and our world.

Based on feedback from last year’s awards we are eliminating categories and are instead asking you to nominate a person or an organization who you think should be recognized and celebrated. Nominations will be evaluated by a panel comprised of Seattle Arts Commissioners and previous award recipients. Four awardees will be recognized from the pool of nominations. The panel will evaluate nominees based on the following aspirations below:

A Mayor’s Arts Award Nominee should ideally embody one or more of the qualities below:

  • A person (all ages and backgrounds) or an organization
  • Furthering for racial equity and social justice
  • Exemplifies artistic excellence
  • A leader in the field
  • Emerging artistic voice
  • Cultural Icon
  • Innovation incubator
  • Fights for arts in education justice

Vivian Phillips, chair, Seattle Arts Commission speaks at the City of Seattle Office of Arts & Culture 15th Annual Mayor’s Arts Awards at the Mural Amphitheatre at Seattle Center on August 31, 2017.
Photo by Marcus R. Donner

2018 marks the 16th year ARTS has asked the community to nominate the people and organizations that represent our city (past and present), our environment and our aspirations. You tell us who should be recognized for their work in community, in education, in the arts landscape and in living out our hopes for a more just and racially equitable society?

Recipients for the 2018 Mayor’s Arts Awards will be announced in July and celebrated on Thursday, August 30 at the Mayor’s Arts Awards Ceremony at Seattle Center.

2005 Mayor’s Arts Awards

2005, the third year of the Mayor’s Arts Awards celebrated six individuals and organizations that have had a tremendous impact on our City. Please help us celebrate David Brewster and Town Hall, Peter Donnelly, Sara Liberty-Laylin and Adams Elementary, Alden Mason, The Tsutakawa Family and Reverend Patrinell Wright and Total Experience Gospel Choir, the 2005 Mayor’s Arts Award recipients.

Nominations are open now and this year’s ceremony will take place on Thursday, August 31 at the Seattle Center Mural Amphitheatre at 4 p.m.

2005 highlights:

Seattle News: Jimi Hendrix’s (1942-1970) childhood home is moved from Seattle’s Central Area to Renton. –September 11, 2005

Top local music: Death Cab for Cutie—Plans; Minus The Bear—Menos El Oso

Top local grossing films: Best Film: Innocent Voices; Best Short: Raftman’s Razor; Best Documentary: Murderball —Seattle International Film Festival (SIFF)

Top Books/best sellers in Seattle: When the Emperor Was Divine—Julie Otsuka —Seattle Public Library

Top TV shows: TV show Grey’s Anatomy (set in Seattle) premiered. —March 27, 2005


Celebrating the 2005 Mayor’s Arts Award recipients:

David Brewster and Town Hall—Cultural Catalyst

Town Hall Seattle is a vibrant artistic and civic hub located in the heart of Seattle. Annually, they engage 100,000+ people at more than 425 events and educational programs. Their mission is to level the cultural playing field and amplify the voices of diverse communities.

David Brewster is a longtime journalist and civic entrepreneur in Seattle. He is also the founder, creator, and former executive director of Town Hall Seattle. Since coming to Seattle, Brewster has founded and led several organizations, such as: Seattle Weekly and Sasquatch Books. Currently Brewster is the President of The Seattle Athenaeum.

Peter Donnelly—Tour de Force

The late Peter Donnelly was a key figure in the Seattle artistic community for more than 45 years. During his 21-year tenure with the Seattle Repertory Theatre he served as the managing director and later the producing director. Donnelly also co-founded the Seattle Arts Commission, served as Vice-Chairman of Americans for the Arts and was the President and CEO of ArtsFund until retiring in 2005. He served on the Board of Directors for many arts organizations as well.

Sara Liberty Laylin and Adams Elementary School—Innovation in Integrated Arts Education

Adams Elementary, located in the heart of Ballard, is a holistic school that provides an engaging, arts-integrated education. Teachers use the arts to expand learning opportunities in all subjects and every student, including bilingual and special education children, receive hands-on instruction in visual and performing arts.

Sara Liberty‑Laylin has been an educator for over 29 years; she has taught Pre-k through high school. Liberty-Laylin served as the principal at Adams Elementary School, creating their integrated Arts curriculum. Sara truly believes that the arts will teach humanity and as a result students will be better able to cope with the diversity offered in Seattle.

Alden Mason, Northwest Legacy—Visual Art

The late Alden Mason was a Pacific Northwest artist, painter, leader and mentor; he dedicated himself to the arts community for over 50 years. As a teacher at the University of Washington School of Art, Mason brought his own artistic vision to the classroom, inspiring his students to ‘paint what you feel.’ Mason’s work has been featured in numerous galleries and museums in the Pacific Northwest, San Francisco and Wisconsin.

The Tsutakawa Family: Gerard, Deems, Marcus and Mayumi—A Generation of Artistic Inspiration & Leadership

The sons and daughter of Ayame Iwasa Tsutakawa and the late sculptor and painter George Tsutakawa have individually made significant contributions to the artistic and cultural landscape in Seattle and, together, serve as models and inspiration for a generation of Asian American and other artists and musicians. Each has earned accolades in their chosen discipline: Gerard is a sculptor; Deems is a jazz pianist; Marcus is a composer and teacher; and Mayumi is arts administrator, curator and editor.

Reverend Patrinell Wright and Total Experience Gospel Choir—Soul of the Community

Total Experience Gospel Choir is a nationally and internationally known gospel singing group; they are hailed as one of the Pacific Northwest’s finest soulful ensembles. They perform at schools, penal institutions, festivals, public events, political events, churches and religious establishments as well as performing on radio and TV. The choir has engaged in spiritual pilgrimages, educational ventures and tours in 38 states, 5 continents and 22 countries.

Pastor Patrinell Wright is the founder and director of the Total Experience Gospel Choir. Her music career is quite extensive and she has received numerous awards, including: the Washington State Governors Ethnic Heritage Award for helping to preserve Black gospel music in our state; the Martin Luther King, Jr. Humanitarian Award; and Edwin Pratt Award from the Urban League of Greater Seattle.