Hall of Fame Inductees to be Announced at Annual Celebration of the Arts Dinner

October 6, 2011

A new group of individuals will be inducted into the Frederick County Arts Hall of Fame at a special celebration sponsored by the Frederick Arts Council.  The sixth annual Celebration of the Arts Dinner, scheduled for Wednesday, October 19th, will be held at Ceresville Mansion.  The event is open to the public, although tickets must be purchased in advance.


The Frederick County Arts Hall of Fame was created to recognize persons, living or deceased, who have made significant contributions to the arts in Frederick County either as performing or practicing artists in individual disciplines.  Last year’s inductees included Francis Scott Key, Joyce Michaud, Helen Smith, Bobby Steggert, and Richard Troxell.  Nominations for the 2011 class were submitted by members of the general public and a committee of arts and community leaders reviewed and scored all nominations.  The group inducted this year will be announced at the dinner.


In addition to the hall of fame announcement, keynote remarks will be given by Randy Cohen.  Cohen is Vice President of Research and Policy at Americans for the Arts, the nation’s advocacy organization for the arts.  A member of the staff since 1991, he is among the most noted experts in the field of arts funding, research, policy, and using the arts to address community development issues.  Cohen publishes The National Arts Index, the annual measure of the health and vitality of arts as well as the two premier economic studies of the arts industry—Arts & Economic Prosperity, the national impact study of nonprofit arts organizations and their audiences; and Creative Industries, an annual mapping study of the nation’s 760,000 arts establishments and their employees.  He led the development of the National Arts Policy Roundtable, an annual convening of leaders who focus on the advancement of American culture, launched in 2006 in partnership with Robert Redford and the Sundance Preserve.  In the late 1990’s, Cohen collaborated with the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities to create Coming Up Taller, the White House report on arts programs for youth-at-risk; and the U.S. Department of Justice to produce the YouthARTS Project, the first national study to statistically document the impact of arts programs on at-risk youth.  Cohen is a sought after speaker who has given speeches in 48 states, and regularly appears in the news media—including the Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, and on CNN, CNBC, and NPR.


Cohen has been a policy specialist for the National Endowment for the Arts, founded the San Diego Theatre for Young Audiences and served as its managing director, as well as worked in medical research for Stanford University and Scripps Clinic and Research Foundation. He was Chairman of the Takoma Park Arts & Humanities Commission for three years, during which time the Commission completed a cultural plan, established the city’s Poet Laureate and public art programs, and a million dollar conversion of the city council chambers into a performing arts space.


Attendees will also be treated to a performance by local musician Rick Hill.  Hill is truly passionate about music and the role it plays in our society.  He enthusiastically engages his audiences in singing along with songs old and new. His infectious energy quickly transforms a moment into an experience, a simple song into a celebration, rhythms and rhymes into heartbeats and dreams. Hill believes that “Music, more than any other art form, has a way of reaching down and stirring your soul.” His writing influences include such careful wordsmiths as Paul Simon, Bob Franke and Dylan Thomas.


Hill has been playing guitar since the age of ten learning Peter, Paul and Mary songs, then turning to groups like Crosby, Stills and Nash and Simon and Garfunkel. “See what You Wanna See,” his first CD, are his reflections on the ups and downs of life. He has performed for churches, schools, clubs and coffeehouses up and down the East Coast playing a variety of original, contemporary folk and traditional music.  Hill released his second CD, Everything Changes in November, 2009. The songs speak about the hardships and tragedies of life, but point to a hopeful future. He wrote most of the songs but borrowed a song from Bob Gibson (Tomorrow) and Phil Ochs (The Bells).  Rick is currently the President of F.A.M.E. (Frederick Acoustic Music Enterprise) an organization to nurture, promote and preserve original and traditional acoustic music of all genres in Frederick and Frederick County through live music, education and community outreach.


And finally, another focal point of the dinner each year is the announcement of the Community Arts Development (CAD) grant recipients.  It is expected that the Frederick Arts Council will distribute over $36,000 to nineteen different arts organizations and nonprofit agencies with arts projects and programming this fiscal year. 


“There will be a lot happening at this event,” said Frederick Arts Council Executive Director Shuan Butcher.  “We are thrilled at how the program has come together and attendees will be in for a treat,” he said.


The Celebration of Arts Dinner provides an opportunity for arts organizations, artists, and arts patrons to come together to celebrate the arts.  The dinner and program will begin at 7:00 p.m. and a reception with cash bar will start at 6:00 p.m.   The dinner is open to the public, but limited seating is available and reservations must be made in advance.  Individual tickets for the dinner are available at a cost of $50 per person, or $40 for members of the arts council.  Reservations should be made by Friday, October 14 by calling 301-662-4190.  Dress code for the evening is business attire.