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Santa Monica Arts Foundation Announces Leadership Award Winners

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Santa Monica Convention and Visitors

By Jorge Casuso

April 16, 2019 -- Six local arts leaders will be recognized by the Santa Monica Arts Foundation next week for their support of the city's "vibrant" cultural scene.

The 2019 Arts Leadership Awards will be presented next Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. during a ceremony at the Annenberg Community Beach House celebrating ArtsMonth.

"Honorees are local leaders whose efforts support Santa Monica’s vibrant artistic, creative, and cultural communities," event organizers said.

Arts Foundation Leadership Award Winners
2019 Santa Monica Arts Leadership Awardees: (From left) Jacob Jonas, Marisa Caichiolo, Carmen Casillas, Sheryl Myerson, Greg Laemmle, Isabelle D’Amico. (Photo by Jason Abraham)

This marks the third year in a row Santa Monica partners with ArtsforLA to celebrate ArtsMonth.

The celebration is "a regional initiative that demonstrates how the arts, culture, and creativity contribute to a better Los Angeles County for everyone," organizers said.

A new awards category will honor young Santa Monicans "who have already shown great leadership in the arts," said Shannon Daut, executive director of the Foundation.

This year's awards recipients are curator Marisa Caichiolo, Jacob Jonas The Company, Laemmle Arts, dance teacher Carmen Casillas and film festival producer Isabelle D'Amico.

Caichiolo is being recognized with the Arts Patron Award for her work as director and curator of Building Bridges Art Exchange, which offers contemporary art exhibitions, lectures, workshops and educational activities.

For more than a decade, the cultural programs "have provided the community with engaging experiences, created opportunities for international and local artists through residencies, and established international relationships," organizers said.

The dance troupe Jacob Jonas The Company is being honored with the Artist in the Community/Bruria Finkel Award for "creating a platform for local and international artists to present new and exciting work in Santa Monica."

Laemmle Arts, led by Greg Laemmle and Sheryl Myerson, is receiving the Creative Community Innovator Award for "the dynamic arts programs that are presented at the Laemmle Monica Film Center."

The inaugural Youth Leadership in the Arts Awards will be presented to Casillas for her work as captain of two of Santa Monica High School’s dance teams and to D'Amico, a youth representative on the 18th Street Arts Center’s Gallery Advisory board.

D'Amico is also producer of the SAMOHI Film Festival and Executive Producer and Technical Director of the student run, SAMOHighlights, a school TV news show.

Doors open at 6:45 p.m. with a public reception, and the awards ceremony begins at 7:30 p.m.

The winners will be presented with original artworks by Santa Monica artists David McDonald and Bruria Finkel

The event is free and open to the public, space is limited and attendees must RSVP through the Eventbrite link, available via Facebook.

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