Release Date: August 25, 2008
Luncheon honors community leaders, raises funds for arts scholarships
Contact: Cheryl Anderson Brown, Assistant Director of Public Relations, 770-499-3417 or email@example.com
KENNESAW, Ga.—The Kennesaw State University College of the Arts will present the annual Flourish Awards at the First Annual Flourish Luncheon tomorrow, Aug. 26, at 11:30 a.m. at The Cobb Galleria Centre. The awards will be presented to Georgia Shakespeare founder Richard Garner, Addison Elementary School art teacher Jayne Hebert, Smyrna philanthropists Bob and Elaine Feldberg, and the Cobb Symphony Orchestra.
More than 200 guests are scheduled to attend the luncheon, which has raised more than $100,000 to benefit scholarship endowments and student-learning initiatives in the KSU College of the Arts. The event celebrates the college’s tenth anniversary with the theme, “Past, Present, Future.”
“At the luncheon, we will highlight our outstanding students and alumni,” said Joseph Meeks, who has served as the dean of the college since its inception in 1998. “We also want to show how much we have achieved in a single decade.”
In ten years, the college has also doubled the number of declared majors and built three new facilities: the Visual Arts Building, the Dr. Bobbie Bailey & Family Performance Center and the soon-to-be-completed Wilson Building Annex. In this same time period, the college has grown its donor base to more than 300 active supporters and has raised more than $5 million. It also holds full national accreditation from the National Association of Schools of Theatre, the National Association of Schools of Art and Design, the National Association of Schools of Music and the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education. Last year, the college was designated as an All Steinway School.
The luncheon not only will honor all of these milestones, but will also salute the progress of the arts in the greater community with the presentation of the Flourish Awards. Inaugurated in 2005, the awards honor those who have helped the arts flourish in Georgia. They are presented in four categories: Arts Leader, Arts Educator, Nonprofit Organization/Arts Company and Community/Public Servant.
The 2008 Flourish Award for an Arts Leader will be presented to Richard Garner, co-founder and artistic director of Georgia Shakespeare, who has been a model arts leader in metro Atlanta for more than 20 years. He is the past president of the Shakespeare Theatre Association of America. He is the recipient of the distinguished career award from the Georgia Theatre Conference and the ABBY Award for outstanding arts professional and he is a past Lexus Leader in the Arts. Garner has been the force behind several initiatives that have broadened the influence of the arts throughout Georgia, including Shake at the Lake in Piedmont Park, the Family Classics Series which commissions new plays for family audiences, Camp Shakespeare for youngsters, and other educational programming that has reached more than 750,000 students since 1986.
The 2008 Flourish Award for an Art Educator will be presented to Jayne Hebert, art teacher at Addison Elementary School in Marietta. Hebert leads a discipline-based art education program that connects language arts, science and math to the art curriculum. She also emphasizes art history and art appreciation in studio lessons. Hebert uses the gardens around the school for reflection, sketching and bringing nature into the classroom as objects for engaging students in each lesson. Hebert is a strong leader in Addison's Garden Study Group and volunteers her time teaching Junior Master Gardeners. She works in the school’s reflection garden, carrying wheelbarrows of dirt, digging and planting, protecting plants that are on the endangered list, painting murals on the pavement and teaching students the love for seeing art in nature.
The 2008 Flourish Award for Community or Public Service will be presented to Bob and Elaine Feldberg of Smyrna. In addition to operating their own business, Repro Products Inc., which was recognized as the 2005 Small Business of the Year by the Cobb Chamber of Commerce, the Feldbergs have been arts supporters for more than a decade in the Cobb and Atlanta community, giving their time, money and company resources. At KSU, they served on the 2005 College of the Arts Benefit Gala committee and chaired the event in 2006. They also created an endowed music scholarship at KSU in honor of Bob’s mother, Cynthia Feldberg. They are also active supporters of Cobb Family Resources, Theatre in the Square, Friends of the Strand, Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre and Cobb Symphony Orchestra.
The 2008 Flourish Award for a Nonprofit Organization or Arts Company will be presented to the Cobb Symphony Orchestra. For nearly six decades, the Cobb Symphony has engaged audiences through imaginative programming, visionary leadership and critically acclaimed performances. Under the leadership of artistic director Michael Alexander and executive director Brian Hermanson, the Cobb Symphony has recently expanded to include the Cobb Symphony Chorus, CSO Jazz Program and Georgia Youth Symphony Orchestra, a resident youth orchestra at Kennesaw State that serves more than 200 students from 10 counties. CSO and the KSU School of Music also co-present the annual Summer Music Clinic for high school students. The Cobb Symphony also offers an In-School Residency program at Hickory Hills Elementary School, a charter music school in Marietta.
Major sponsors of the Flourish Luncheon include Diann and Richard Labroff, Repro Products, Steinway Society of Atlanta, Mr. and Mrs. William A. Teasley, Cobb Symphony Orchestra and The Color Spot. The event was organized by a volunteer committee that included chair Mike Feldberg, Kathryn Kennelly, Traci Newman, and Mike and Jan Russell. The recipients of Flourish Awards were selected by a committee that included Merrell Calhoun, Tim Lee, Mark Maguire and Betsy Trope.
For more information about the luncheon, click the link at www.kennesaw.edu/arts or call 770-499-3214.
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A member of the 35-unit University System of Georgia, Kennesaw State University is a comprehensive, residential institution with a growing student population of more than 21,000 from 142 countries. The third-largest university in Georgia, Kennesaw State offers more than 65 graduate and undergraduate degrees, including new doctorates in education and business.
The KSU College of the Arts is one of only four Georgia institutions to have achieved full national accreditation for all of its arts programs.