The College of the Arts at Kennesaw State University has completed the nomination process for its annual Flourish Awards, which honor individuals and organizations in the community who support, promote or participate in the arts in Metropolitan Atlanta and Northwest Georgia. Launched in 2005, the award program was split into four categories in 2008 so that more people could be recognized.


Arts Educator:

Alfred Watkins, band director, Lassiter High School, Marietta

Arts Leader:
Dennis Hanthorn, Atlanta

Community/Public Service:
Pam Carsillo, Kennesaw

Arts Company/Organization:
The Center for Puppetry Arts, Atlanta



Arts Educator:

Jennie Collier-Johnston, art teacher, Hillgrove High School, Powder Springs

Arts Leader:
Robert Farley, Georgia Ensemble Theatre, Roswell

Community/Public Service:
Bill Pinto, Marietta

Arts Company/Organization:
The Georgia Ballet, Marietta


Arts Educator:

Chiazor Nwabude, dance teacher, Marietta High School

Arts Leader:
Seth Hopkins, Booth Museum of Western Art

Community/Public Service:
Lee Rhyant, Lockheed Martin Aeronautics

Arts Company/Organization:
Theatre in the Square, Marietta



Arts Educator:

Janice Vernon Slocum, art teacher, West Cobb Senior Center

Arts Leader:

Olivia Smathers, founder, Little General Cloggers

Community/Public Service:

Cheryl Myrbo, director, Atlanta High School Art Festival

Arts Company/Organization:

Earl Smith Strand Theatre, Marietta


Arts Educator:

Jayne Hebert, art teacher, Addison Elementary School, Marietta

Arts Leader:

Richard Garner, founder, Georgia Shakespeare

Community/Public Service:

Bob and Elaine Feldberg of Smyrna, philanthropists

Arts Company/Organization:

Cobb Symphony Orchestra


Audrey and Jack Morgan of Tucker, philanthropists


Samuel Olens, Chair, Cobb County Commission


Steve Penley of Carrollton, artist




Allen Bell

Linda Flournoy

Mark Maguire

Livvy Lipson

Marci Tate

Flourish Award Nominations

The College of the Arts at Kennesaw State University is seeking nominations for its annual Flourish Awards, which honor individuals and organizations in the community who support, promote or participate in the arts in Metropolitan Atlanta and Northwest Georgia. Nominees are sought in four categories: arts leader, arts educator, public/community servant, and nonprofit arts organization or arts company.

Nominations should be sent by e-mail to arts@kennesaw.edu or via fax to 678-797-2426 by
5 p.m. on June 17.

The awards will be presented at luncheon on Sept. 13 at the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Center.

Nominators should include the following information in their nominations: name and contact information for the nominee and a brief justification of no more than 300 words.

To qualify for an award, individuals or organizations should be well known in the community, should be living or currently operating, must be from Georgia or residing or operating in Georgia and should have greatly enhanced a particular arts field or the arts in general.

The arts leader category is open to performers, artists, presenters, designers, directors, or administrators working in an arts-related field or for a program or organization that provides direct support to the arts or arts education.

The arts educator category is open to P-12 art, dance, music or theater teachers who have demonstrated excellence in teaching and who have created or significantly supported projects that link the arts to other areas of the curriculum and/or projects that enhance the community.

The public/community servant category is open to elected or appointed government officials, civil servants, volunteers and philanthropists.

The nonprofit organization/arts company category is open to an arts presenter or arts agency of any size that is well established in the community and that has a commitment to both quality arts programming and community outreach.

Nominations will be reviewed by a community committee. Award recipients will be notified in early August.

Previous recipients include artist Steve Penley of Carrollton, philanthropists Bob and Elaine Feldberg of Smyrna, Georgia Shakespeare director Richard Garner, philanthropists Audrey and Jack Morgan of Tucker, Cobb County Commission Chairman Samuel Olens, and the Cobb Symphony Orchestra.