Arts Awards Recipients Announced
Mayor John Hickenlooper is pleased to announce the recipients of the annual Mayor’s Awards for Excellence in the Arts. Honored this year are musician and arts activist Kathleen Aylsworth Brantigan, Colorado Children’s Chorale, and Denver artist Jess E. DuBois. More information on the honorees is included below.
The ceremony will be held on Monday, January 26, 2004, at 5:30 p.m. in Boettcher Concert Hall at the Denver Performing Arts Complex. The public is invited to attend this free city event, and a sign language interpreter will be present.
The Mayor’s Awards for Excellence in the Arts were established by Mayor Federico Peña in 1986 and are intended to recognize individuals, organizations, businesses, philanthropies and educational entities that have made a significant and lasting contribution to the arts in the City and County of Denver. This year, 40 nominations were submitted by the public and were reviewed by a panel composed of previous award winners and members of the Mayor’s Commission on Art, Culture and Film.
Kathleen Aylsworth Brantigan
As founder and executive director of The Denver Brass, Kathleen Aylsworth Brantigan has matched her accomplishments as a talented musician with her vision and initiative as a leader in the cultural community. Brantigan has helped to guide The Denver Brass and Aries Brass Quintet to great achievement in performance excellence, and her creative talents of collaboration with many other musical genres has attracted a broad audience. Both groups have represented Denver both nationally and internationally through their touring and recordings.
Brantigan's leadership extends beyond The Denver Brass and her own music. She gives tirelessly of her skills to the Scientific and Cultural Facilities District (SCFD) Bear Fairs and reauthorization drives, the Save Denver’s Historic Auditorium campaign, Historic Denver, Citizens for Arts to Zoo, the arts component of the Denver Comprehensive Plan and other community organizations. Of particular note is her leadership and early work toward the upcoming reauthorization of the SCFD. Kathy Brantigan’s willingness to serve in any capacity that will strengthen the arts has made her a significant and lasting influence on the arts in Denver.
Colorado Children’s Chorale
Celebrating their 30th Anniversary Season, the Colorado Children’s Chorale continues to provide the highest level of excellence by the Chorale’s 400 young singers. Performing an average of 35 concerts in Denver each year, the Chorale has garnered national and international acclaim in such distinguished venues as The White House, Royal Albert Hall in London and St. Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican.
Providing high quality performances is only a part of the history of the Chorale. Since 1994, the Chorale has been bringing Chorale training to under-served Denver neighborhoods. Each school year they provide weekly sessions in six to eight DPS elementary schools, enriching the music programs of targeted schools and providing, in effect, a nine-month master class for each school’s music teacher. In addition they provide school shows, annual Youth Performances at Boettcher Hall and other outreach activities. Thanks to the Chorale, every year 400 children and their families become active participants in the Denver performing arts community, laying the groundwork for future life-long commitment to, and participation in, the performing arts.
Jess E. DuBois
Often described as a quiet, humble man, Jess E. DuBois is a native of the Five Points neighborhood where he still lives and paints everyday. In a testimony to the cultural diversity that has long defined Colorado, he creates the artistry that reflects his Cherokee and African American roots. Working in mediums ranging from oils, to pastels, to bronze sculpture, to glass -- art is the most important thing in Jess DuBois’ life.
Although Mr. DuBois’ subject matter ranges from landscapes to still life to portraits, it’s his ability to see the personal, individual qualities of people that make his portraitures so special. He finds subjects whose faces capture the spirit of the West today -- a spirit which is multiracial, multilingual and as diverse as the Indian, Spanish and pioneer cultures from which the region derives its heritage. Jess DuBois feels strongly about art as a positive influence in young people’s lives, and four decades of his art has inspired, enriched, mentored and motivated many young Denver artists.
# # #