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Paul Barnes, Philip Glass

University of Nebraska-Lincoln piano professor Paul Barnes (left) with the iconic composer and pianist Philip Glass in Glass’s New York apartment. Their close friendship led to a commission and world-premiere in Lincoln as part of the worldwide celebration of Glass’s 80th birthday. The event is a winner at this year’s Mayor’s Arts Awards.

Proudly declaring that Lincoln is a city that supports creativity and growing the arts in our community, the 41st Mayor’s Arts Awards will be held May 9 on the main floor of Pinnacle Bank Arena.

The Mayor’s Arts Awards is a celebration of Lincoln’s rich artistic diversity. The Lincoln Arts Council recognizes achievement in all artistic mediums, from educational excellence to urban design, and from organizational, volunteer and financial dedication to the arts, to outstanding arts organizations and arts events.

Winners are philanthropic supporters of the arts. Art teachers. Creative presenters. Dedicated volunteers. Innovators. They all contribute to the vibrant Lincoln arts community, and we celebrate the best of them.

With more than 500 guests, the event is an annual Lincoln who’s who, with fine food and entertainment in a venue to fit the celebration. Mayor Beutler and the Lincoln Arts Council will pay tribute to the winners, who will each receive an original art piece by internationally renowned Nebraska artist Stephen Dinsmore.

To get your ticket to this year’s gala, email Michele Peón Casanova at, or go to

Corporate tables and sponsorship opportunities are also available.

The 2019 winners:

Outstanding Arts Organization: Capital Jazz Society

Artistic Achievement Award – Visual Arts: Santiago Cal

Artistic Achievement Award – Youth: Sarah Nguyen

Artistic Achievement Award – Performing Arts: Daniel Kubert

Artistic Achievement Award – Literary Arts: Paul Johnsgard

Gladys Lux Education Award: Jack Parkhurst

Legacy of the Arts Award: Tice Miller

ArtScene Backstage Award: Lynn Johnson

Outstanding Event Award: Celebration of Philip Glass

Benefactor of the Arts Award: Pearle Francis Finigan Foundation

Lincoln Community Foundation Arts for Kids Award: St. Elizabeth Foundation & Anna Alcalde

Larry Enersen Urban Design Award: The Mill Coffee & Tea

Kimmel Foundation Emerging Artist Award – Visual: Jon Love

Kimmel Foundation Emerging Artist Award – Literary: Daniel Zebert

Mayor’s Choice Award: The Lincoln Marriott Cornhusker Hotel Artist-in-Residence Program


L Magazine editor

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