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Greater Columbus Arts Council Announces 2014 Community Arts Partnership Individual Award Winners and Business Award Nominees

in Press Releases September 19, 2014 7 min read

Columbus, Ohio – The Greater Columbus Arts Council (Arts Council) is pleased to announce the three individual winners of the 2014 Community Arts Partnership (CAP) awards presented by PNC in the categories of Arts Educator, Arts Partner and Emerging Arts Leader. The winners will be honored at the Arts Council’s annual Community Arts Partnership awards program luncheon on Thursday, October 16 from 11:30 a.m. to 1:15 p.m. at COSI, 333 W. Broad St.

The community is invited to join the Arts Council and hundreds of business, arts and civic leaders to celebrate this year’s nominees and winners and the work they do every day to create a thriving and vibrant creative community in Columbus. To register to attend, go to

The Arts Council’s annual CAP awards honor Columbus individuals for their exemplary support and leadership in the arts and the Columbus business community for its active support of central Ohio’s arts organizations.  Twenty-eight businesses and individuals were nominated this year. Business honorees in the Small, Medium and Large categories will be announced at the event on October 16.

Individual winners will each receive a work of art by local wood artist, Devon Palmer.  The business winners will each receive a work of art.  The art selected for this year’s awards were created by local artists Jacci Delaney, Denny Griffith and Andrea Myers

The Individual award winners are listed below.  The Arts Educator Award is presented in partnership with the Ohio Alliance for Arts Education.

Mimi Chenfeld, nominated by Terry Anderson of Columbus City Schools, is the recipient of this year’s Arts Educator award. Dancer, teacher, leader in professional development for teachers, and untiring advocate for arts education, Chenfeld has given to Ohio for more than 40 years.  She is a longstanding artist on the roster of the Ohio Alliance for Arts Education’s Artists-in-Schools program, runs a folk-dance program at Ohio State’s Hillel Center, teaches arts education at Otterbein University and Columbus State Community College, teaches pre-schoolers at the Leo Yassenoff Jewish Center and travels the country conducting arts education workshops.  Throughout her long and active career, Chenfeld has vigorously advocated for the promise of arts education and the lifelong learning it inspires, for the importance of honoring and celebrating play and the natural creativity and imagination of youth.  Mimi Chenfeld has been a steadfast stakeholder, spokesperson, author and arts presenter who has personified the vibrancy and resiliency of the arts throughout her professional career. With an unflagging idealism in support of the arts and arts education, a life lived in near-constant activity in support of her field, Chenfeld is beloved by early childhood educators, K-12 teachers, teaching artists, arts administrators, students and former students everywhere in Ohio and well beyond.

Jim Sweeney, nominated by Michael Brown of Experience Columbus, is the recipient of this year’s Arts Partner award. For more than a decade, Sweeney, executive director for the Franklinton Development Association, has carried forward a vision for Franklinton, Columbus’ first neighborhood that includes revitalization as a creative artists’ community. The Franklinton area is growing with more than 9,000 households, yet urban problems like vacant and abandoned houses continue to plague the area.  After significant work by Sweeney to bring together partners, residents, investment and a new generation of creative allies, the neighborhood is on the rise.  One of the keys to long-term success of Franklinton will be the constant integration of the arts, artists and creativity.  Sweeney has made this a centerpiece of his urban planning work. With that mission in mind, he helped create the Franklinton Arts District, events such as Go West and Urban Scrawl, and pushed private property owners to invest in facilities such as 400 West Rich, now home to many artist studios and creative spaces. Sweeney is heavily engaged in bringing investment and development with creative partners such as the Columbus Idea Foundry, which has been awarded a national ArtsPlace Grant. Sweeney is also involved with moving the 2014 Independents’ Day Festival to East Franklinton, which will showcase local music, artists, authors, fashion design, comedy, film, food and other creative endeavors. Sweeney believes in the power of the arts to restore a community and passionately advocates for Columbus to invest in places that can be incubators for future arts and creative residents. Sweeney is a hands-on civic leader, giving tours regularly, personally attending all arts events in the community, lobbying city and regional leaders to support the arts in Franklinton as a part of new development, helping link up local artists with homes and studio space, and volunteering at area festivals.

Eric Rausch, nominated by Geoffrey Martin of the Columbus Cultural Arts Center, is the recipient of this year’s Emerging Arts Leader award.  Rausch is a ceramic artist and art administrator in Columbus. After graduating from The Ohio State University with a BFA in Ceramics, he set up a studio and began his career as an artist which led to organizing art events including gallery exhibitions, pop-up shows, street festivals and craft fairs. All of which finally led him to the Cultural Arts Center where he works as the ceramic studio manager, instructor and curator. Rausch sits on the Board of Trustees for Glass Axis, a non-profit glass art center, Green Columbus, a local sustainability non-profit and is on the Steering Committee for the Central Ohio Visual Arts Consortium. Rausch has helped build the Cultural Arts Center’s workshop series from the ground up. Before his time at the CAC, he helped to found and run, ARTillery, a collection of artists who set up shop in the burgeoning arts district on campus. At the CAC, Rausch shares his passion for ceramics with nearly 100 students every week.  In 2013, Rausch was nominated for and accepted into the Next Generation of Cultural Leaders program.   For Glass Axis, Rausch has taken on the rigorous role of treasurer during a very challenging time.  Glass Axis is in the middle of a capital campaign to move into a brand new space after years in Grandview. As a longtime member of COVAC’s Steering Committee, Rausch has also helped build bridges between visual arts organizations.


It’s a great honor to be nominated for the Community Arts Partnership Awards and the Arts Council is pleased to share the list of additional nominees for this year’s individual award categories and the business award nominees:

Arts Educator
David Brown, nominated by Susan Steinman
Dionne Custer Edwards, nominated by Kimberly Leddy
Ambre Emory-Mauer, nominated by Edward Liang
Megan Evans, nominated by Judy Shafer
Aminate Mane, nominated by Java Kitrick
Jean Pitman, nominated by Michael Wilkos

Arts Partner
David D. Dygert, nominated by Lynette Santoro-Au
Dwight Heckelman, nominated by Sarah Overdier
Yvonne Hunnicutt, nominated by Kay Wilson
Ann & Ron Pizzuti, nominated by Rebecca Ibel

Emerging Art Leader
Jessie Boettcher, nominated by Grace Smith
David Gentilini, nominated by Jim Sweeny
Paul Richmond, nominated by Marilyn Brown

Large Business
Cardinal Health, nominated by Wexner Center for the Arts
L Brands, nominated by CAPA

Medium Business
Hilton Columbus Downtown, nominated by Short North Alliance
MKSK, nominated by Harmony Project
Porter, Wright, Morris & Arthur, nominated by ProMusica Chamber Orchestra
Port Columbus International Airport, nominated by Ohio Art League
Resource Ammirati, nominated by Wexner Center for the Arts

Small Business
400 West Rich, nominated by Jim Sweeney, Franklinton Development District
Brothers Drake Meadery, nominated by Columbus Film Council
Columbus Songwriters Association, nominated by Jay Clouse
Compton Construction, nominated by Harmony Project
Treetree branding, nominated by ProMusica Chamber Orchestra

In addition to announcing the business award winners at the October 17 luncheon, the Arts Council will also present its Artistic Excellence Award—a $10,000 prize given annually to an arts organization that has demonstrated innovation, risk and artistic excellence in a performance, exhibition or program.

The 2014 Artistic Excellence nominee finalists are: Available Light Theatre, John Cage; Columbus Dance Theatre, Claudel; Franklin Park Conservatory, Light: Bruce Munro ; Red Herring Theatre, Assassins; Shadowbox Live, Gallery of Echoes; and Short North Stage, Sunday in the Park with George.

The Arts Council Board’s Community Arts Partnership committee selects the individual and business winners each year.  The Board of Trustees meets just prior to the Community Arts Partnership awards luncheon to select the Artistic Excellence Award winner.

The 2014 Community Arts Partnership Awards are presented by PNC. Media sponsors include CityScene Magazine and WOSU. Awards sponsors are American Electric Power and JPMorgan Chase.  Patron sponsors to date are Corna-Kokosing, Crabbe, Brown & James, LLP; Ice Miller LLP; Ologie; Porter, Wright, Morris and Arthur; and Vorys, Sater, Seymour and Pease LLP.

About the Greater Columbus Arts Council:  Through vision and leadership, advocacy and collaboration, the Greater Columbus Arts Council supports art and advances the culture of the region. A catalyst for excellence and innovation, the Arts Council funds exemplary artists and arts organizations and provides programs, events and services of public value that educate and engage all audiences in our community. The Arts Council thanks the City of Columbus and the Ohio Arts Council for their continued support.  The Arts Council has been recognized as one of the “5 NonProfits to Watch” in 2014 by The Columbus Foundation.

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CONTACT: Jami Goldstein
(614) 221-8492