Recipients of the 2022 WEA Awards & Grants Celebration
On the evening of Friday, May 20th, the Arts Community of Windsor-Essex gathered together in the Vision Corridor to REUNITE and REVITALIZE our region’s arts and cultural sector, and to CELEBRATE this year’s recipients of the 5 WEA Arts Leadership Awards, 11 WEA Arts Grants, and 3 Windsor Mayor’s Arts Awards.
The WEA Board thanks all of the performers, presenters, and recipients who came on stage and contributed to the MAGIC of the celebration. It was an experience none of us will soon forget.
WEA ARTS LEADERSHIP AWARDS
COMMUNITY ARTS LEADERSHIP AWARD
Dr. Clara Howitt
Superintendent of Education, Greater Essex County District School Board
Nominated by Karen McClellan and Dr. Bernadette Berthelotte.
Dr. Clara Howitt is a former elementary teacher and principal, who is currently a Superintendent of Education with the Greater Essex County District School Board. Throughout her career she has advocated, supported and championed the Arts in learning.
Through Dr. Howitt’s leadership, the Arts have become a priority and defining feature of the public Board. In 2019, Dr. Howitt and the Board were recognized nationally by the Canadian Network for Arts and Learning as a GOLD STANDARD in their support for the Arts.
Even in these challenging years, Dr. Howitt remained committed to providing enriching arts opportunities for ALL students, in partnership with local arts organizations such as Arts Can Teach, Art Windsor-Essex, WEA, and the WSO.
Dr. Clara Howitt was bestowed this award in recognition and celebration of her outstanding efforts to nourish the learning and lives of students through the Arts.
Photo credit: Anna Millerman
LITERARY ARTS LEADERSHIP AWARD
Literary Arts Windsor president, Bookfest Windsor organizer, All Write in Sin City podcaster
Nominated by Irene Moore Davis and Marty Gervais.
Sarah Jarvis has had a long and diverse career devoted to literature and literacy. She has owned a bookshop in Amherstburg, held management positions at several publishing houses, worked at the Windsor Public Library, started a freelance communications business, taught English at Académie Ste Cécile International School and St. Clair College, and launched the podcast All Write in Sin City with Kim Conklin and Irene Moore Davis.
However, it is as a very dedicated volunteer that Sarah has provided leadership within our local literary community most notably as Author Coordinator and Co-Chair and then Chair of BookFest Windsor. In 2019, Sarah was elected President of Literary Arts Windsor, the umbrella organization responsible for BookFest.
In all of these positions, she has championed English language and literature, and worked tirelessly to elevate writers in the Detroit River Border region.
Photo credit: Anna Millerman
PERFORMING ARTS LEADERSHIP IN MUSIC AWARD
Bar and Live Music Venue owned by Tom Lucier
Nominated by Madeline Doornaert and Austin Di Pietro.
Phog Lounge has been serving as a cultural arts hub in the core of Windsor since 2004. It’s an artistic incubator that hosts live music every night from all genres, along with poetry, visual arts, and other community arts events. EVERYONE is welcome at Phog.
When the doors of Phog Lounge were forced closed in 2020, its owner Tom Lucier and his business partner Ian Phillips of Meteor Lounge created the GRAVY TRAIN initiative that offered live mini-concerts on driveways and porches and provided audience members with poutine and craft beer. Many local musicians toured our region to play up to ten musical sets a day and got paid a flat rate plus generous tips from their thankful audiences.
These outdoor mini-concerts not only provided a lifeline to musicians in our region, but to hundreds of other musicians in Ontario and beyond, where the GRAVY TRAIN concept was replicated over the past two years.
Photo of Ian Phillips and Tom Lucier, May 29th, 2022
PERFORMING ARTS LEADERSHIP IN THEATRE AWARD
Michael K. Potter
Managing Director of Post Productions and Co-Owner of The Shadowbox Theatre
Nominated by Fay Lynn and Moya McAlister.
During the last six years, Michael K. Potter has founded Post Productions, The Shadowbox Theatre, The Windsor-Essex Playwriting Contest, The Theatre Skills Education Program, the PostScripts Newsletter, and The Edele Winnie Women’s Monologue Competition. He’s also written several articles for 519 Magazine, highlighting not only his own company’s productions but the Windsor-Essex theatre community.
Michael has spent countless hours researching, networking, and promoting local work with the goal of building a stronger, more collaborative artistic industry in Windsor-Essex. He was instrumental in collaborating with ACWR to organize the first meeting in 2020 of what is now known as the Windsor-Essex Theatre Alliance (WETA). His efforts have resulted in dozens of local performing artists being paid for their work, and what’s more, he’s done all this while battling several health issues. But do you think that stopped him? No. Michael’s resilience is what makes him a well-loved arts leader in our community.
In recognition of his energetic nature, for pushing theatrical boundaries, and by being a major advocate for paying local artists for their talent he was bestowed this award.
Photo credit: Nora Harvey
VISUAL ARTS LEADERSHIP AWARD
Retired director & curator of Thames Art Gallery, educator, and mentor
Nominated by Susan Gold Smith and Sigi Torinus. *Susan was the first recipient of the WEA Visual Arts Leadership Award in 2010.
Carl Lavoy is a visual artist from Windsor but he devoted his career to the Thames Art Gallery in Chatham where he served as director, curator, educator, and mentor until his retirement in 2016.
According to Susan, Carl was a proactive curator. He would visit Windsor’s artists’ studios and exhibition spaces. He produced decades of exhibitions and supported artists beyond the exhibitions, with catalogues, travelling exhibitions, artist’s workshops, performances, residencies, and speaking engagements. He would support artistic development by creating public recognition and making connections for the work in and outside the region.
She says that while taking on the work of emerging talent, Carl continued to follow the work of mid-career and senior artists. He has given opportunities to her colleagues, writers, curators, and students and has been an inspiration to her career and the careers of others in Windsor.
Photo credit: Anna Millerman
WEA EMERGING ARTIST GRANTS
EMERGING ARTIST IN FILM ARTS GRANT
Michael J. Krym
writer, playwright, producer, and film director
The grant will help cover the production and talent costs for his film “The Thousand Colours of the Morning” written by Barry T. Brodie and featuring an all-Windsor-based production team, cast and crew.
Special thanks to the Emerging Artist in Film Arts Grant sponsor University of Windsor Alumni Association.
EMERGING ARTIST IN LITERARY ARTS GRANT
writer, editor, and co-founder of the collaborative writing entity MA|DE
The grant will help complete the drafting and editing of Wallace’s solo sophomore, book-length poetry manuscript, “The Work is Done When We Are Dead.”
EMERGING ARTIST IN PERFORMING ARTS GRANT
Austin Di Pietro
musician, composer, songwriter, and researcher
The grant will aid his research and study on transborder, transnational and border issues, and support the development of original compositions of the same theme in the contemporary jazz style. He plans to release a full-length album titled “BORDERS“.
Photo credit: Kamryn Cusumano
LOIS SMEDICK EMERGING ARTIST IN VISUAL ARTS GRANT
calligrapher and textile artist
The grant will help her complete her project “Inquiry about Forgotten Birds“. The outcome of three years of experiments with fabric and hand stitches, calligraphy, and hand weaving to connect a traditional art form to contemporary art that tells the story of the persecuted people in her homeland Iran.
Special thanks to Katherine Roth for sponsoring this grant.
WEA ARTS INFRASTRUCTURE GRANTS
COMMUNITY ARTS INFRASTRUCTURE GRANT
Leamington Arts Centre (LAC)
The grant will help fund the “Bright Spots” community arts project that will feature works of art from the LAC Collection, and the Municipality of Leamington’s Henry Collection. Selected artwork will be digitally reproduced and printed on outdoor displays in 6 public locations around Leamington.
LITERARY ARTS INFRASTRUCTURE GRANT
Vanguard Youth Arts Collective
The grant will cover the printing expenses of Vanguard’s Spot On! Magazine, a new artist interview series that offers a spotlight for emerging and established local artists who work in various media to discuss and promote their past and current art projects. The magazine will launch in the fall of 2022.
PERFORMING ARTS INFRASTRUCTURE GRANT
4th Wall Music
The grant will help cover the costs of artist fees for the program “It’s You I Like – The Music of Mr. Rogers” celebrating the music of the late Fred Rogers. This family-focused program will feature guest host Kate Reynolds, the “Lavender Librarian,” and will explore Mr. Roger’s contributions to music, education, inclusivity, and autism awareness. They hope to make a recording to release as a children’s album.
The 4th Wall musicians will be joined on stage by the Clifford/Andrews Studio children’s choir and students from WCAA Scenic Design class will be tasked with the set design.
CAROLYNE ROURKE VISUAL ARTS INFRASTRUCTURE GRANT
Paul & Kati-Jane Murray
The grant will help to pay a fair wage to the local performers and stagehands at their first annual “Music ‘n Arts AID Live! The Ultimate BEATLES Tribute” This multi-disciplinary arts event will showcase the talent of visual artist Paul Murray and Canada’s most awarded musicians & singers with a BEATLES tribute all night long. 100% of the ticket and art sales will go to support musicians and visual artists in Windsor-Essex.
Photo credit: Dan Boshart, Eyes on Windsor
NAMED ARTS GRANTS
MORRIS & BEVERLY BAKER FOUNDATION YOUTH GRANT IN THE ARTS
Kasey will be graduating from Walkerville Collegiate Institute this June. She is a violinist with the Windsor Symphony Youth Orchestra. She will use the grant funds to pursue the study of music at the University of Toronto. Her long-term goals focus on securing a chair in a well-respected orchestra and teaching music to youth.
ERIC JACKMAN YOUTH GRANT IN THE ARTS
Raida will be graduating from Riverside Secondary School this June. She is a visual artist born in the city of Homs, Syria. She will receive this $1,000 grant after completing a summer internship at a local arts organization. She is currently a member of the Teen Arts Council at Art Windsor-Essex.
ELIZABETH HAVELOCK GRANT IN THE ARTS
Dr. Russ Macklem
jazz trumpet player, composer and educator, and member of the Windsor Federation of Musicians, Local 566.
The grant will help pay a fair wage for all the performers at his UNITED concert series that will be performed monthly at Meteor Lounge in downtown Windsor and feature world-class jazz musicians from Windsor and Detroit.