Mayor Rahm Emanuel and the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE) will honor five Chicago artists, arts advocates and cultural institutions at the inaugural Fifth Star Awards on Wednesday, September 17 at 7 p.m.: Lou Conte, Richard Hunt, Ramsey Lewis, Lois Weisberg and the Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University. The free live show at the Jay Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park (201 E. Randolph Street) will feature a diverse lineup of performances in tribute to the honorees.
Lou Conte is a dancer, choreographer and founder of Hubbard Street Dance Chicago—among the world’s top contemporary dance companies and a global cultural ambassador, celebrating its 37th season in 2014/2015. An internationally renowned sculptor, Richard Hunt has completed more public sculptures than any other artist in the United States. A Grammy®-winning jazz composer, pianist and radio personality, Ramsey Lewis has recorded over 80 albums. Lois Weisberg was Chicago’s cultural affairs commissioner for over 20 years and served as head of the Mayor’s Office of Special Events; she created the Gallery 37 job training program in the arts, Taste of Chicago, the Chicago Blues Festival and the Chicago Gospel Music Festival, among others. And the Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University, celebrating its 125th anniversary this year, was the first home of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and the Chicago Opera Company; today, the National Historic Landmark designed by the famous architectural team of Adler and Sullivan hosts more than 200 performances and events—and more than a quarter of a million visitors—every year.
“Investing in art and culture can bring economic revitalization to every one of our neighborhoods and a sense of community like no other investment can,” said Mayor Rahm Emanuel. “The Fifth Star Awards will be a fitting tribute to all of the great artists of the City of Chicago. It will honor our past as a great hub for art and culture, while also becoming an important part of the city’s future.”
Fifth Star Awards is made possible through generous private support from Allstate Insurance Company and GCM Grosvenor—with in-kind support provided by Leo Burnett Chicago.
“Chicago’s art and cultural community makes our city unique and inspiring,” said Vicky Dinges, senior vice president of corporate responsibility at Allstate. “Because of the hard work and tremendous creativity of each of this year’s Fifth Star Awards recipients, millions of people get to enjoy great art, countless festivals and terrific music. Congratulations to each of this year’s winners and a huge thank you for making Chicago a destination for the arts.”
As the Fifth Star Awards creative partner, Leo Burnett created the name and designed the visual identity for this annual initiative.
“In advertising, I’m reminded every day that creativity has incredible power in this world,” said Susan Credle, Chief Creative Officer at Leo Burnett U.S.A. “The Fifth Star Awards are a beautiful way of recognizing creative people, places and ideas that lift this city up. Chicago without creativity simply would not be the incredible city it is today.”
Why the name “Fifth Star Awards?”
“Over the years, there have been many ideas proposed for a fifth star on Chicago’s iconic flag,” said Michelle T. Boone, Commissioner of DCASE. “These ideas all share one thing in common: They represent a city always in search of new moments of growth, transformation and enlightenment. And while there are no plans to add a fifth star to our flag, we believe there is beauty and magic in the quest for one.”
Fifth Star Awards coincides with EXPO CHICAGO, The International Exposition of Contemporary and Modern Art (September 18–21), and EXPO ART WEEK, a citywide showcase of Chicago’s art and cultural community (September 15–21).
The full lineup of performances will be announced soon. For details, visit fifthstarawards.org and join the conversation on Facebook (Fifth Star Awards and Millennium Park) and Twitter, @fifthstar_CHI @Millennium_Park.
Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events
The Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE) is dedicated to enriching Chicago’s artistic vitality and cultural vibrancy. This includes fostering the development of Chicago’s non-profit arts sector, independent working artists and for-profit arts businesses; providing a framework to guide the City’s future cultural and economic growth, via the 2012 Chicago Cultural Plan; marketing the City’s cultural assets to a worldwide audience; and presenting high-quality, free and affordable cultural programs for residents and visitors.
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