Smile Politely

Annual ACE Awards now seeking nominations

Champaign’s 40 North does a wonderful job of fostering the arts in C-U, most notably with their Friday Night Live series, which has an extremely ambitious programming schedule and is a fantastic resource for any musician in town. Another event they help put on every year, however, are the ACE Awards, which recognize community members for their contributions to C-U’s art scene.

There are a ton of different categories, but if you know someone who might be a good fit, find instructions on how to nominate them (and for what category) below:

NOMINATIONS NOW OPEN for 13th Annual ACE Awards
Honoring the efforts of those who enrich the culture of Champaign County!

Champaign, IL – Nominations are now being accepted at for the 2017 ACE Awards. The deadline for submitting an ACE Award nomination is 11:59pm on Monday, September 11th.

The ACE (arts, culture, and education) Awards are presented annually by 40 North | 88 West as part of National Arts and Humanities Month, and honor the work of artists, teachers, businesses, individuals, organizations, volunteers, community and government leaders. Each award highlights a different part of the cultural life of our community and celebrates those that, through hard work, dedication, and creative energy, cultivate the arts of Champaign County. The seven ACE Award categories are: Advocate, Artist, Volunteer, Business, Teacher, Student, and Lifetime Achievement. Nominations will be reviewed by an independent panel of community- based judges representing a broad cross-section of Champaign County.

Anyone can submit a nomination for an ACE Award. You may nominate multiple candidates and self-nominations are accepted. Must be 14 years or older and a resident of Champaign County to be eligible to win an ACE Award.  Previous nominees may be resubmitted.

Last year’s winners were: Mike Ingram (Advocate ACE), Deke Weaver (Artist ACE), Pecha Kucha Night C-U (Volunteer ACE), CUMTD (Business ACE), Stacey Gross (Teacher ACE), Saskia Bakker (Student ACE), and Aurora Villacorta (Miss V) (Lifetime ACE).

Join us to honor all the nominees and celebrate the winners! The ACE Awards Celebration will take place at The City Center, next to Fat City in Champaign on Thursday, October 12th, starting at 5:30pm.

The ACE Awards categories:

Advocate ACE: This award will honor the individual, organization, or group that has advocated on behalf of the arts effectively and consistently, forged creative partnerships, or stimulated collaborations that result in broader awareness, accessibility and participation in the arts, culture and entertainment of Champaign County.

Artist ACE:  This award recognizes an individual artist for their creations and contributions to the excellence of the arts of Champaign County.

Volunteer ACE: This award will be presented to an individual or group that, through their volunteer efforts and service, has made a significant impact on the art and culture of this community.

Business ACE:  The award will celebrate the business that has demonstrated outstanding support of the arts. The winner will have cultivated opportunities and relationships that support local artists and/or organizations in Champaign County.

Teacher ACE:  This award recognizes an individual, organization, school, educator, or group that has demonstrated a unique and creative approach to merging the arts and education. The winner will have, through outstanding commitment and dedicated service to arts education, been an inspiration to students, teachers, and the community.

Student ACE:  This award will be presented to an individual student with outstanding artistic achievements who strives to promote understanding and appreciation of the local arts community.

Lifetime ACE: This award will honor the accumulated successes of an individual for continued, outstanding support of the arts in our community.

Tickets to 2017 ACE Awards Celebration:
Tickets to the 13th Annual ACE Awards are $10 each and are available at or by calling 40 North at 217.351.9841.Tickets will be available at the door for $15.

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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