Helen Coburn Meier and Tim Meier today released the names of their 8th Arts Achievement Awards. Their Foundation recognizes Chicago-based artists in mid-career who push the artistic envelope. “We give these gifts at Thanksgiving to show appreciation for their work,” says Helen.
The 2013 awardees are director/playwright Sean Graney, multi-media composer and artist Rob Mazurek, and composer/curator Julia Miller.
Sean Graney is the founder and former artistic director of The Hypocrites He was a participant in the NEA/TCG Career Development Program for Directors. He has won three Joseph Jefferson Citation awards for the Direction of Sophocles: Seven Sicknesses, Equus and Machinal. He has directed at numerous Midwest theaters including Chicago Shakespeare Court Theatre and Court Theatre. He is currently adapting the 32 surviving Greek tragedies into one epic script called All Our Tragic. Helen Meier says, “I’ve been in love with Sean’s innovations for years. His dreams are epic, but genuine and well-grounded.” For more information, see www.seangraney.com.
Rob Mazurek is a cornetist, electro-acoustic composer, and visual artist. Rob founded the all-star Chicago-based Exploding Star Orchestra in 2005, and participates in seven other ensembles here and abroad. Recently profiled on the cover of The Wire Magazine, Rob has been characterized as making “cosmic connections between free jazz, science fiction, and the music of Brazil.” Helen Meier says, “His work is stupendous. Enjoy the effervescence of his imagination.” For more information, see www.ronmazurek.com
Julia Miller is a sound artist, guitarist, improvisor, composer, visual artist, curator and educator. Julia hosts and programs the Articular Facet series, featuring performances using ancient, adapted, or hacked technology, invented instruments and performative objects combined with traditional musical instruments. As a composer, she is currently working on an improvised opera, Dissecting Norton. As a guitarist, Julia performs with the noise funk quartet Volcano Radar with Elbio Barilari, Harrison Bankhead, and Avreeayl Ra. Helen Meier notes, “Julia Miller’s fresh ideas are far-reaching and subtle.” For more information, see www.juliamiller.com.
In a related development, StoryCatchers Theatre, founded by 2007 awardee Meade Palidofsky, received the 2013 National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award in a ceremony on Friday from First Lady Michelle Obama. “We give these awards to encourage artists in mid-career to keep on going,” says Tim Meier, “and we are so proud when our honorees continue to grow in their careers.”
The Meier Achievement Award
The 2012 Meier Achievement Award recognizes past work of mid-career arts professionals with checks for $33,333.33 (which is $25,000 & 33% for income tax). The Foundation uses nominators. There is a research phase. The Board makes the final selection. There are no applications, no project to submit, and no outcome measurements. This follows Tim Meier’s directive, “No strings.” For more information, see www.meierfoundation.org.
Past Recipients :
Jim Lasko, founding Artistic Director, Redmoon Theatre
James Bohnen, cofounder & former Artistic Director, Remy Bumppo Theatre
Meade Palidofsky, founder & Artistic Director, StoryCatchers Theatre
Patti McKenny, poet, librettist/lyricist, Founder of Chicago Musical Theatre Works
John Eskola, tenor, cabaret artist
Mark Messing, composer, founder of Mucca Pazzo gypsy marching band & Lullaby Project
PJ Powers, founder & Artistic Director, TimeLine Theatre
Michael Patrick Thornton, founder & Artistic Director, Gift Theater
Homer Hans Bryant, Director, Chicago Multi-Cultural Dance Center
Elizabeth Doyle, composer, cabaret artist
Hallie Gordon, director, Steppenwolf Theatre for Young Adults
James Ginsburg, classical musical producer, Cedille Records
Terry Karpowicz, sculptor
Miroslaw Rogala, multi-media artist
Molly Shanahan, choreographer, Mad Shak company
Wesley Kimler, painter
Jeff Kowalkowski, new music composer
Nick Sandys, director/actor/fight choreographer, Artistic Director, Remy Bumppo Theatre
Mindy Rose Schwartz, sculptor
Bernard Williams, painter/sculptor
Jack Zimmerman, storyteller