The JAHC has announced the 2023 recipients for the annual Kathy Kolkhorst Ruddy Awards for the Arts. These prestigious awards recognize individuals and organizations who have made outstanding contributions to the arts, stewardship, culture, and the environment in our community.
We are pleased to announce the following recipients for the 2023 Kathy Kolkhorst Ruddy Awards for the Arts:
- Exceptional Artist – Lisa Phu
- Leadership in the Promotion of Oral Traditions – Victoria Johnson
- Leadership in Environmental Health and Sustainability – Rachael Juzeler
- Excellence in Arts and Cultural Education – Wayne Price
- Business Leadership in the Arts – Sealaska Heritage Institute
- Innovation in the Arts – Chloey Cavanaugh
- Patron of the Arts – Amy Dressel
- Lifetime Achievement in the Arts – Molly Smith
- Advancement of Community, Equity, and Stewardship by an Elected Official – Maria Gladziszewski
The Juneau Arts and Humanities Council (JAHC) released a call for nominations to the public on May 15, 2023. Community members were encouraged to submit nominations for this annual awards program through June 30, 2023. The JAHC has added a number of new award categories this year, including Leadership in Environmental Health and Sustainability, Advancement of Community, Equity, and Stewardship by an Elected Official, and Leadership in the Promotion of Oral Traditions.
Victoria Johnson will be presented with the award for Leadership in the Promotion of Oral Traditions, and was nominated by Laura Tapley.
“Victoria leads culturally responsive pedagogy for preschool aged children in the community. Each week, she visits our preschool program and leads songs and stories in Tlingit. Our children go home singing the songs and repeating the vocabulary words they learned with her. Victoria is warm and caring with all children and deeply committed to bringing Indigenous pedagogy to children in Juneau. She is a bright light in our community, as a knowledge bearer and an educator,” states Talpey, describing Johnson’s impact in the community.
Maria Gladziszewski was granted the award for Advancement of Community, Equity, and Stewardship by an Elected Official, and was nominated by Benjamin Brown.
“Maria Gladziszewski has shown constant and reliable belief in the value of local government support for arts and culture for the entirety of her nine years of service on the City & Borough of Juneau Assembly. In the process of supporting the arts, Maria has also recognized and spearheaded initiatives of community, equity, and stewardship in her careers as an elected official. Maria is conscientious in considering the effect of public policies including funding choices and passage of various pieces of legislation on all elements of the community,” describes Brown’s nomination of the award recipient.
Rachel Juzeler will be presented with the award for Leadership in Environmental Health and Sustainability, and was nominated by Rachel Riley.
Riley, friend and admirer of the artist, states, “Rachael has contributed to the arts community in Juneau for over 25 years. She has always used ‘garbage’ and other recycled materials, and has continually incorporated public education and outreach in her projects. She has founded and inspired numerous local events that have become staples, such as the Fall Harvest Festival and Where The Water Meets The Road. The latter is a newer project that supports the annual city-wide cleanup and encourages the community to salvage materials for use in arts and crafts.”
We would like to extend our heartfelt congratulations to all the winners for their exceptional work and significant impact to our community. Their dedication, creativity, and commitment to excellence serve as an inspiration to others in their field and beyond.
More information about the Kathy Kolkhorst Ruddy Awards for the Arts can be found on our website: https://www.jahc.org/awards-for-the-arts/
Please join the Juneau Arts & Humanities Council by celebrating this year’s recipients on Thursday, July 27th from 4:30-8:30pm at the Sealaska Heritage Arts Campus. This awards ceremony will be incorporated into the JAHC’s 50th Anniversary Celebration, which will include music, food vendors, and live performances. This free event is open to the community, and all ages are welcome to attend. More information about the event can be found here.