Special Edition - The Arts Alliance's Medals for Arts, Sciences & Humanities 2019
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Recognizing Creative Distinction in the Greater Ann Arbor Area

Bill Bolcom & Joan Morris, Aaron P & Afa S. Dworkin, and Bill & Mary Kinley

 The Arts Alliance Medals for Arts, Sciences & Humanities 2019

Ann Arbor, MI – 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’s board announces The Arts Alliance Medal for Arts, Science & Humanities medals for 2019.

Awarded annually, The Arts Alliance Medals for Arts, Sciences & Humanities honor and celebrate the extraordinary contributions and accomplishments of artists, creatives, individuals who live, work or attend school in Washtenaw County, Michigan. Medal recipients are celebrated for exemplary achievements in advancing the arts, sciences and humanities and increasing public awareness of the arts + creative industries in the greater Ann Arbor area and beyond. Medalists make their mark through their leadership, philanthropy and accomplishments setting the standard for excellence and serving as the example for others to follow.

The 2019 medalists will be celebrated during a ceremony at THE pARTy! 2019, The Arts Alliance’s signature benefit event celebrating the arts + creative industries in the greater Ann Arbor area on Monday, Feb. 11, 2019 at dessous, 312 South Main Street in Ann Arbor. Festivities begin at 5:30 p.m. with a champagne reception for the medalists and special guests. THE pARTy! follows at 6:15 p.m.

Check out THE pARTy! sponsorship information and ticket information, or call 734.213.2733.

Lifetime Achievement Medal 2019Bill Bolcom & Joan Morris

The Lifetime Achievement Medal is presented in recognition of outstanding and sustained artistic and creative accomplishments within the arts, sciences and/or humanities receiving national and or international acclaim.

William (Bill) Bolcom is a composer of concertos, sonatas, operas, symphonies, cabaret songs and much more. National Medal of the Arts, Pulitzer Prize, Grammy Award, Composer of the Year are but a few of the accolades presented to him over the course of his career. He served on the faculty of the University of Michigan's School of Music, Theatre & Dance as the Ross Lee Finney Distinguished University Professor of Composition for 35 years. Joan Morris is a chanteuse, a mezzo-soprano who has performed on stages and in cabarets across the world as she “projects not just a song, but the character singing it, and gives that character her own irresistibly funny and winning personality,” according to the Chicago Tribune. Morris taught voice and musical theater at the University of Michigan from 1981 – 2009. Together, they are the duo Bolcom & Morris, who have recorded a total of 24 albums and have been delighting audiences with their performances of music from the ragtime era to the end of the 20th century.

Outstanding Service Medal 2019Aaron P. and Afa S. Dworkin

The Outstanding Service Medal recognizes outstanding leadership and significant contributions made to further the fields of the arts, sciences and humanities in Washtenaw County, statewide, nationally and/or internationally.

Aaron P. and Afa S. Dworkin are an arts power couple. They have built an international reputation as arts-focused social entrepreneurs, including as pioneering leaders advocating for diversity, equity and inclusion in the performing arts and in arts leadership. Afa is a cross-sector strategist driving national programming that promotes diversity in classical music. She currently serves as president and artistic director of the Sphinx Organization, the nation’s leading organization transforming lives through the power of diversity in the arts. She is one of Musical America’s Top 30 Influencers and Detroit Crain’s 40 Under 40.

Aaron is the founder of The Sphinx Organization, a 2005 MacArthur Fellow, a member of National Council on the Arts and the former dean of the University of Michigan’s School of Music, Theatre & Dance. The Dworkins received the Kennedy Center’s “Citizen Artist Award” recognizing leaders who present and produce the arts in their communities and deepen the effect of the arts and arts education in a demonstrated, transformational way at the local, state or national level.

Philanthropic Excellence Medal 2019Bill and Mary Kinley


The Philanthropic Excellence Medal recognizes those giving of their time, talents and treasures to the arts science and humanities in Washtenaw County and beyond.

Bill and Mary Kinley's legacy as supporters of the arts is long, runs deep and crosses through many Washtenaw County communities. They have given generously, served on boards, mentored staff, volunteered and worked in the trenches. The short list of organizations they have impacted includes the Riverside Art Center; The Ark; Ann Arbor Hands-on Museum; Ann Arbor Street Art Fair, The Original; and the Ann Arbor Summer Festival, to name a few. Even the work of the business owned and operated by Bill, Praxis Properties (formerly Phoenix Construction), crosses into the creative industries, touching historic preservation and restoration. The example of community leadership set by the Kinleys is influencing the next generation as their children are already following in their path.

For tickets and more information about the medalists, THE pARTY! and The Arts Alliance, click here, call 734.213.2733 or email For sponsorship information, contact

The Arts Alliance is a leader championing, supporting and advocating for the arts and creative industries in Washtenaw County, MI— arts and creative individuals, organizations and businesses—to ensure that the greater Ann Arbor region remains a great place to create, live, work, learn, play and visit.

The Arts Alliance is supported by its members and in part, by the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural affairs (MCACA). For more information, visit or contact The Arts Alliance at or 734.213.2733.

Copyright © 2018 The Arts Alliance, All rights reserved.

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