Over the years, countless individuals have, in one way or another, made significant contributions to the local arts. Each year, the Arts Council of Southeast Missouri honors two of those individuals, and the winners this year of the Otto F. Dingeldein Award and the Jeff Maguire Award are most deserving. The awards will be presented at a reception tonight at Southeast Missouri University's River Campus for the visual and performing arts before a performance of the musical "Big River."
The Dingeldein Award is named for the founder of the arts council. This year's recipient is Vicki Outman of Jackson, a landscape artist and former educator who was nominated by Saxony Lutheran High School art teacher Brenda Seyer for her passion for promoting the arts.
The Maguire Award is named for a longtime arts patron and recognizes support for the arts and for the arts council's efforts. This year's recipient is Jerry Ford, whose 50-year career as a musician has made his one of the most familiar musical names in the area. In addition to the many performances by Ford's orchestras and combos, he has also selflessly nurtured young performers. He was nominated by Narvol Randol Jr., a banker and musician.
Congratulations to these two deserving recipients and to the arts council for its efforts to make the arts such a significant part of the communities it serves.