Whitworth died Oct. 25 after a battle of cancer. The director of the Brucemore for 26 years, she was a passionate voice for the arts community and served with numerous organizations throughout Cedar Rapids and the state.
“She has been a tremendous advocate for the arts in the community,” said Iowa Cultural Corridor Alliance executive director Jessica Johnson. “We couldn’t think of a more fitting tribute to her memory than to rename the award in Peggy’s honor and in her memory.”
The newly renamed Peggy Whitworth Award for Arts and Culture will be presented Nov. 12 during the alliance’s third annual Celebration of the Arts, as will the Larry Eckholt award. Both awards are presented to community members who have exemplified passion, commitment and advocacy to the cultural vitality of the Corridor.
The Celebration of the Arts event is intended to elevate the awareness of the artistic and cultural organizations in the Corridor and to celebrate the outstanding collaborations of the alliance’s partners.
The Peggy Whitworth Award will be presented to former director of the Cedar Rapids Museum of Art Terry Pitts.
His award nomination cites that during his tenure, Pitts added more than 680 new works to the museum’s collection and oversaw multiple landmark exhibitions. He also oversaw the museum’s recovery and reopening after the 2008 flood and provided gallery and storage space to other area non-profits, including the National Czech & Slovak Museum and Library, the Cedar Rapids Community School District and the Cedar Rapids Public Library.
Iowa City/Coralville Area Convention and Visitors Bureau president Joshua Schamberger will be honored with the Larry Eckholt award. . His nomination noted, “Josh shares his talents, ideas, and expertise daily with regional arts organizations. He continues to be instrumental in the evolving role of the Iowa City Downtown District. This cumulative work has strengthened arts and cultural programming in the region.”
The 2013 Collaborative and Reaching Out awards will also be presented, and Harlan Brownlee, president and CEO of ArtsKC in Kansas City, will give the keynote address, “America’s Creative Crossroads: Cultural Planning in the Midwest.”
Brownlee has worked for twenty-eight years in the arts field as a performing artist, arts educato, and arts administrator.
Johnson said his work in Kansas City could provide a positive model for the Corridor.
“Kansas City is a community we can all relate to. They’re really paving the way for arts and cultural regionalism,” she said. “It’s a really inspirational story of how the arts led development there.”
If you want to go:
— Cedar Rapids Public Library, 450 Fifth Avenue SE.
— 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Nov. 12
— Tickets are $25 for individuals or $200 for a table of eight.
— To attend, please register online at www.culturalcorridor.org/celebrationofthearts or call 319.849.8ART (8278) by Nov 5.