Arts United Awards


The Arts United Awards presentation is Northeast Indiana’s premier celebration of the people, organizations and businesses that make significant contributions through arts and culture to communities throughout our region.

The 12th annual Arts United Awards presentation will take place on Saturday, January 18, 2020, 5:30pm-8:00pm, at the Arts United Center (303 E. Main St, Fort Wayne, Indiana, 46802).

A cash bar and hors d’oeuvres will be available.

Attire: Business Casual

Admittance: Free and open to the public

2020 Nominations are now closed. Nominations are accepted from local arts and cultural nonprofits, individuals, businesses and other entities. Nominees are people, nonprofits, businesses or other entities who are making significant artistic and cultural contributions to one or more communities located within the a 12-county region of northeast Indiana that includes Adams, Allen, DeKalb, Huntington, Kosciusko, LaGrange, Miami, Noble, Steuben, Wabash, Wells and Whitley counties. Previous winners and nominees are eligible to be nominated.

2020 Award Categories

Margaret Ann Keegan Award (for Arts Education)
Recognizes an individual who has made a significant contribution to furthering arts education in northeast Indiana. This award is intended to encourage further development of the arts education programs, to increase collaborative efforts between educators and arts organizations, and to increase awareness of the importance of the arts in education.

  • AJ Lorenzini (nominated by Fort Wayne Civic Theatre)
  • Andrew Sherman (nominated by Doris Hawley)
  • Craig Humphrey (nominated by James Stover)
  • Dave Meyer (nominated by Fort Wayne Philharmonic)
  • Laura McCoy (nominated by Melanie T. Hall)*
  • Terry Doran (nominated by Patty Hunter)

Emerging Artist
Recognizes a living active artist of any age who has made a significant artistic contribution in the early stages of his or her career.

  • Adam Garland (nominated by Jake Wilhelm)
  • Angela Sahli (nominated by Marilyn Petersen)* 
  • Cote Godoy (nominated by Fort Wayne Dance Collective)

Emerging Leader
Recognizes an educator, volunteer or advocate who is in the early stages of his or her career as a leader in arts and culture.

  • Andrew Sherman (nominated by Fort Wayne Civic Theatre)
  • Capri Parrish Williams (nominated by Heather Closson)
  • Olivia Ulch (nominated by Heather Closson)
  • Todd Espeland (nominated by Christopher J. Murphy)*

Outstanding Advocate
Recognizes an individual, organization, business or foundation that has made a significant contribution to the promotion or development of one or more arts and cultural organization(s) in Northeast Indiana.

  • Diana Barscht (nominated by FAME)
  • Dr. Wendy Robinson (nominated by Melanie T. Hall)
  • Karen Gibbons-Brown (nominated by Michele DeVinney)
  • Maria Davis (nominated by Downtown Angola Coalition)*
  • Mary Moore (nominated by HeART of the City)
  • Merry Ewing (nominated by Fort Wayne Civic Theatre)
  • Stephen J. Bailey (nominated by Catherine Hill)

Outstanding Artist
Recognizes a living active artist of any creative discipline who has made a significant artistic contribution throughout his or her career.

  • Candie Cooper McCoart (nominated by Honeywell Foundation)
  • Elizabeth Mikautadze (nominated by David Mikautadze, Danielle Sarrazine, and Aleksandr Bogun)
  • Greg Stieber (nominated by Karen, Madeline, and Emily Koch)*
  • Margarita Walley (nominated by Raquel A. Kline)
  • Nick Ferran (nominated by Jack Ellsworth)

Outstanding Collaboration
Recognizes a partnership between an arts or cultural organization and another arts or cultural organization, nonprofit or business. Sponsorships and donors are not included in this category.

  • Audiences Unlimited/L.I.F.E. Adult Day Academy (nominated by Jennifer King)
  • Fort Wayne Parks and Recreation/Fort Wayne Public Art Commission (nominated by Fort Wayne Museum of Art)
  • Jack Ellsworth and Nick Ferran (nominated by Carolyn Bean)
  • Mikautadze Dance Theatre and George Kalamaras (nominated by David Mikautadze and Zachary Fensler)
  • Violins of Hope (nominated by Arts United)**

Outstanding Volunteer
Recognizes an individual who has made a significant contribution to one or more arts and cultural organization(s) and initiative(s) in Northeast Indiana through leadership and service.

  • Leslie Beauchamp (nominated by Emma Leavell)*
  • Shawna Roberts (nominated by Fort Wayne Civic Theatre)
  • Sloan Amburgey-Thomas (nominated by Fort Wayne Youtheatre)

*Recipient of 2020 Award

** Recipient of the Milestone Collaboration Award

See past Arts United Award recipients here.