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creative:impact-Philanthropy In The Arts With Bob And Marina Whitman

On January 29th, The Arts Alliance will hold its annual event dedicated to honoring those making contributions in the creative sector.  In this week's "creative:impact," you'll hear from the recipients of the 2018 "Excellence in Philanthropy Medal." 

Deb Polich is President and CEO of The Arts Alliance and WEMU's lead content partner for creative:impact on 89.1 WEMU. She joins 'Morning Edition' host David Fair each Tuesday for an exploration of the creative sector in Washtenaw County and the impacts it has on our quality of life. 

Resources for this week's show: 

"The pARTy: The Arts Alliance annual awards ceremony recognizing Creative Distinction

Debbie & John Dingell, Bob & Marina Whitman and Linda Yohn

to receive The Arts Alliance Medals for Arts, Sciences & Humanities 2018

In its tradition of annually recognizing the extraordinary contributions and accomplishments of Washtenaw County artists and creatives, individuals, businesses and organizations in Washtenaw County, the board of The Arts Alliance announced The Arts Alliance Medal for Arts, Science & Humanities medals for 2018.  Medalists are celebrated for long-term exemplary achievements in advancing and increasing public awareness of the creative sector in the greater Ann Arbor area.  Through their actions, leadership, philanthropy and body of work, medalists set the standard for excellence and serve as an example for others to follow.

The 2018 medalists will be celebrated during a ceremony at THE pARTy! 2018, The Arts Alliance's signature celebration and fundraiser begins at 5:15 p.m. with a private reception for honorees and sponsors followed by THE pARTy! at 6:15 p.m. on Monday, January  29, 2018 at Mélange Bistro, 312 South Main Street, Ann Arbor, Mich.  For ticket information, go to https://a2tix.com/events/THE-pARTy-2018-The-Arts-Alliance or call 734.213.2733

John and Debbie Dingell

  §  Outstanding Service Medal 2018The Honorable Debbie Dingell & The Honorable John Dingell

The Outstanding Service Medal recognizes outstanding civic leadership and significant contributions made in furthering the field of arts, sciences and humanities in Washtenaw County and beyond.

Debbie & John Dingell, through their personal and public service, have long been champions for the arts, creative industries and historic preservation. John Dingell represented Michigan in the U.S. House of Representatives from December 13, 1955 to January 3, 2015, serving for more than 59 years, the longest uninterrupted Congressional tenure in U.S. history.  He supported the establishment of and continues to be an advocate for the National Endowments for the Arts and Humanities. He helped bring federal investment to arts, cultural and historic venues in Washtenaw County and throughout his district.  Congresswoman Debbie Dingell represents Michigan’s 12th District in the U.S. House of Representatives.  She is the sponsor of the CREATE Act legislation in Congress and has been a strong advocate for the arts since before she was an elected official. While serving as president of the General Motors Foundation, she helped to partner with filmmaker Ken Burns (an Ann Arbor native) on a number of documentary films.  Debbie Dingell continues John Dingell’s tradition of sponsoring the Congressional high school art competition in their respective districts and being a member of the Congressional art and STEAM caucuses.

Drs. Bob and Marina Whitman

  §  Philanthropic Excellence Medal 2018Drs. Robert F. & Marina v. N Whitman

The Philanthropic Excellence Medal recognizes the phenomenal history of civic leadership and philanthropy to the arts, science and humanities in Washtenaw County and beyond.

Upon moving to the Ann Arbor area more than 30 years ago, Drs. Robert (Bob) and Marina v. N Whitman became immediately ensconced in the local arts community.  Their stewardship and generous investment of talent, time and treasure has guided the Great Lakes Performing Artists Associates, the Michigan Theater, Artrain, the Sterns Collection and many other organizations at various stages of development.  They are also avid consumers of the arts frequenting theater, music, film, art and other events many times a week.  Bob Whitman is professor emeritus of English at the University of Pittsburgh with a specialty in drama. Marina v.N. Whitman is professor emerita of business administration and public policy at the University of Michigan. From 1979 until 1992 she was an officer of the General Motors Corporation, first as vice president and chief economist and later as vice president and group executive for public affairs, which included the economics, environmental activities, industry-government relations and public relations staffs. She also serves or has served as a director of several leading multinational corporations.


89.1 WEMU's retired music director and jazz host, Linda Yohn

Lifetime Achievement Medal 2018Linda Yohn, Music Director, WEMU 89.1 FM

The Lifetime Achievement Medal recognizes a lifetime of outstanding contributions and achievements within his or her field of the arts, creativity, sciences or humanities.

Since 1987, Linda Yohn has been the music director at WEMU 89.1 FM, a National Public Radio station located at Eastern Michigan University in Ypsilanti, Michigan.  Linda was named the 2017 National Jazz Presenter of the Year by JazzWeek magazine, the award recognizing a jazz broadcaster with exceptional presentation and communications skills hosting and/or producing a jazz program.  She has been named National Jazz Programmer five separate times since 2008 and was awarded the Duke Dubois Jazz Humanitarian Award, Willis Conover/Marian McPartland Award for Jazz Journalism (Jazz Journalists Association) and National Jazz Presenter of the Year (Jazzlz).  Yohn is a founding member of Southeast Michigan Jazz Association and Riverside Arts Center.

An addition has been made to the list of honorees to be recognized at THE pARTy! 2018, The Arts Alliance’s board of directors has named Jermaine Dickerson to receive its 21st Century - Tamara Real Emerging Leader Award 2018.

Jermaine Dickerson

Dickerson, a 2016 graduate of Eastern Michigan University, is a graphic designer who lives and owns Jermaine- Design & Illustration, based in Ypsilanti. He is the founder of Hero Nation, an organization that believes that everyone has a hero inside of them deserving to be celebrated.  Its goal is to amplify the voices of marginalized and underrepresented people of all ages—including people of color, the LGBTQ community, those with disabilities and women – through empowering and inclusive experiences with programming, workshops, tournaments, events, and more.  The first free and family-friendly comic convention Hero Nation-Ypsilanti was held in September 2017. 

The Tamara Real Emerging Leader Award is named for the late Tamara Real who served as The Arts Alliance’s first executive director from 2002 – 2011. Among her many initiatives, she championed young leadership development.  Real died on Nov. 17, 2017 of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). In her honor, the Emerging Leader Award is presented to an individual or team with the promising potential to advance the arts, sciences and humanities in Washtenaw County for many years to come.

For tickets and more information about the medalists, THE pARTY! and The Arts Alliance, go tohttps://a2tix.com/events/THE-pARTy-2018-The-Arts-Alliance, call 734.213.2733 or email info@A3Arts.org.  For sponsorship information, contact deb.polich@a3arts.org

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— David Fair is the WEMU News Director and host of Morning Edition on WEMU.  You can contact David at734.487.3363, on twitter @DavidFairWEMU, or email him at dfair@emich.edu

Contact David: dfair@emich.edu
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