2018 Lawton Cultural Award Winners Announced

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PRESS RELEASE

12/6/18

(Lawton, OK) Since 1979, annually the City of Lawton and the Lawton Arts & Humanities Council asks the public to nominate individuals and businesses or organizations who make outstanding contributions to the arts and humanities in our community for the Lawton Cultural Awards. The activities of all nominees chosen had to have made a significant impact upon the cultural life of the Lawton Fort Sill Community through volunteerism, service to underserved or at-risk populations, increased funding and resources, increased public awareness, contributions to arts and humanities education, and increased public access to arts and humanities programs/activities.

The 2018 Lawton Cultural Award winners are:

Alberto F. Rivas, 2018 Roma Clift Montgomery Citizen of the Arts

From the nomination: Alberto is one of those people who is ever-present. Every fundraiser, community event, and show that I have been to in the last year and a half, has had Alberto involved in some way. He lends his voice, talent, passion and love of the arts to so many important organizations and events in Lawton. He is also the biggest advocate for the arts and humanities. He is a cheerleader, a supporter and a friend to many local artists and citizens who are fighting tirelessly the uphill battle to keep art, music, history and cultural alive in our city.

 

Marla Nauni, 2018 Roma Clift Montgomery Citizen of the Humanities

From the nomination: Marla’s talents cross boundaries of theatre, music, singing, language, history and culture. She has researched how each of the different Comanche Nation tribal bands pronounced words in songs.  Recently, she has been involved in researching 1860’s Comanche regalia; assisting with Comanche language translation and spent hours assembling wardrobe to complete actors’ clothing for a film project, “Thistle Creek”. She is set to assist in its final sound track at The Julliard School in New York City. 

 

Leslie Brennan, 2018 Educator in the Arts

From the nomination: A music teacher with Lawton Public Schools, Ms. Brennan delights hundreds of students annually through school-wide music programs. She is innovative, employing a plethora of insightful instructional materials, to include having guest vocalists and United States Army Band ensembles perform for the students of Pat Henry Elementary School. Her resourcefulness helps motivate and inspire, in her students, the sensibilities attributed to lifelong patrons of the arts. Leslie Brennan serves our community by providing opportunities in arts education to some of our youngest populations and many who would not otherwise have access to the wonder-filled world of music, music appreciation, and musical performances. In Ms. Brennan's classes you don't just listen-you get to sing, dance, make music, and perform!

 

Shailah Red Elk, 2018 Artist of the Year

From the nomination: Shailah opened her own business for her art that included clothing, wall murals, home painting and more. Her hard work and dedication as a single mother and community advocate has shown in her work and the love she has for this city and those around her. She has designed shirts for nonprofit fundraisers at little to no cost, donated items to community functions such as Southwest Oklahoma Walk MS, Arts for All Gala, United Way Blue Tie Gala, Red Cord Event against Human Trafficking just to name a few. Her big heart and journey in life has encouraged others to strive for the best and empowers other women to do the same. In addition, she opened The Native Hippy Gallery which exhibits and promotes grass roots artists.  At the gallery, she has hosted musicians, group activities and art classes.  Her gallery was featured on the TV show Discover Oklahoma. Her mission is to grow community with the thought that everyone can be involved and expanded to see the beauty in all walks of life and all forms of art.

 

Arvest Bank, 2018 Business in the Arts

From the nomination: “Arvest Bank has been a supporter of not only Lawton Community Theatre but the whole Southwest Oklahoma Arts community in general. Besides sponsoring plays for Lawton Community Theatre, they were instrumental in helping procure a grant for the LCT parking lot. They housed Texhoma Gives for many non-profits in the Lawton area this year as well as provided free lunches on site. Arvest also contributes to the Arts for All Gala and festival with auction items and funding to promote the arts in our community and surrounding areas.”

The Lawton Cultural Award winners will be recognized and presented their awards at the annual Arts for All Kick-Off Fund Drive Luncheon, Friday, February 22, 11:30am, Lawton Country Club, 4601 W Gore Blvd, in Lawton. Reservations are required for this very popular event, cosponsored by the Lawton Fort Sill Chamber of Commerce, contact them at 580-355-3541. The City of Lawton and the Lawton Arts & Humanities Council extends appreciation to the Arts for All Organization for allowing these presentations during this great community event.

For information on the Lawton Cultural Awards, call the Arts & Humanities Division at 580-581-3470 or 581-3471 or visit www.lawtonok.gov.

For information about the Arts for All Kick-Off Luncheon, call the Lawton Fort Sill Chamber of Commerce at 580-355-3541 or visit their website at www.lawtonfortsillchamber.com.

For information about the Arts for All Organization, call the Arts for All office at 580-248-5384 or visit their website at www.lawtonafa.org.

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