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40 North announces winners of the 2015 ACE Awards

40 North Announces Winners of the 2015 ACE Awards: Honoring the efforts of those who enrich the culture of Champaign County!

Champaign County, IL – 40 North | 88 West proudly announces the winners of the 2015 ACE (Arts, Culture, and Education) Awards. All seven ACE Award winners embody the spirit of the local arts community with their passion, energy, and dedication to the creative culture of Champaign County. Please join us for the 2015 ACE Awards Celebration on Friday October 9th, 5:30pm at City Center in Champaign in honoring their outstanding contributions!

The winners of the 2015 ACE Awards are:

Advocate ACE Award – Carolyn Baxley, for her dedication and commitment in championing the careers of emerging and established artists in Champaign County, and for her tireless effort in creating and supporting an accessible venue for local and regional artists to showcase their work.

Artist ACE Award – Nina Paley, for her outstanding and internationally recognized animated films, her activism in the free culture movement, and her contributions to PaleGray labs, a textile collaboration that translates digital designs into large scale quilts.

Volunteer ACE Award – Brenda Koenig, for being the guiding force behind creating and sustaining the Champaign-Urbana Folks & Roots Festival, and for her tireless commitment to folk and old-time music in Champaign County.

Business ACE Award – Weiskamp Screen Printing for demonstrating remarkable support of local art through collaborations and partnerships with several community arts programs and initiatives, contributing public art space, offering community workshops, and providing employment opportunities for artists and designers.

Teacher ACE Award – Rusty Clevenger, for providing his students the opportunity to express themselves and find individual meaning in the arts by integrating cultural experiences into Urbana elementary classrooms through collaborations with local arts organizations, venues, and guest artists.

Student ACE Award – Xuxa Rodriguez, PH.D Candidate Fellow in Art History at UIUC, for her passionate participation and consistent involvement in community cultural events, as well as her research in contemporary art by Latina and AfroLatina artists.

Lifetime ACE Award – Harry Breen, for his decades of limitless talent and enthusiasm, his life-long dedication to his craft, his profound impact on countless students, as well as his veneration of his community and the surrounding environment.

The winners were chosen from over 110 public nominations by an independent panel of community-based judges representing a broad cross-section of Champaign County. This year’s judges were: Lisa Dixon, Associate Professor at UIUC Department of Theatre; Erin Lippitz, Executive Director of the Champaign Center Partnership; Mike Ingram, local musician, Pygmalion Music Festival Director of Operations, and Partner in Amnesiac Booking Co.; Lawrence McGown, owner of McGown Photography; Cynthia Voelkl, Assistant Director at Japan House.

Tickets to the 11th Annual ACE Awards are $10 each and are available at Tickets can also be purchased in advance at the 40 North office at 106 S. Neil St. or call 217.351.9841. Tickets will be available at the door for $15.

Special thanks to our sponsors: The City Center, Krannert Center for the Performing Arts, Krannert Art Museum, Kessler Optical, and Shatterglass Studios!

40 North | 88 West
40 North – Champaign County Arts Council – is dedicated to cultivating creativity in Champaign County. Through advocacy, information and collaboration, 40 North works to stimulate a vibrant, thriving environment for the arts, culture and education essential to the quality of life in Champaign County. For more info, visit This program is partially supported by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council, a state agency.

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