Celebrating ivoh’s 2014 Awards of Appreciation winners
Jeanguy Saintus, leader of a Haitian dance troupe called The Ayikodans, gives a speech after receiving an ivoh award. | Photo taken by Sanjeev Chatterjee.
During this year’s ivoh Mindful Media Summit, we recognized five media and arts professionals whose work shows a commitment to constructive change, amplifies hope, and creates a sense of possibility about the future of humanity. Here are this year’s winners:
GRACE ANEIZA ALI is the founder and editorial director of OF NOTE magazine, focused on global artists using the arts as catalysts for social change. The magazine is a digital space where art meets activism. Grace is a faculty member in the Department of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences at The City College of New York, CUNY and the recipient of its “Outstanding Faculty of the Year” award for 2014. She is also a World Economic Forum Global Shaper, a Fulbright Scholar, and a winner of the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts Curatorial Fellowship.
LESLIE NEAL, a dance professor at a South Florida University, founded ArtSpring in 1994. This nonprofit offers arts classes to incarcerated women at Homestead Correctional Institution. ArtSpring is dedicated to the idea that art has the power to heal and transform lives. What began as one program taught by Leslie 20 years ago has now grown into many classes — including theater, dance, creative writing, music, and art. The skills learned in the workshops enhance self worth and promote positive change. ArtSpring is nationally recognized as the only organization in the U.S. to provide ongoing multidisciplinary arts programs in a prison setting.
JARED O’ROARK is the creator, artistic director, and program manager of Project: Shattered Silence. This empowering theater production captures the catharsis of a group of teenagers from the Tampa Bay area over a period of nine months. Jared strongly believes in the art of communication and its connection to all people in the world. This unforgettable production, which was featured in a documentary, takes place at Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater, Florida. Jared has been described by the teens as a leader who creates an atmosphere of love, hope, support, and trust.
ERIN TURNEY is an international documentary filmmaker who recently graduated from Columbia College in Chicago. She became passionate about documenting stories of hope and social change when she traveled to Uganda in 2009 and 2010. Since then, she has worked on multiple fiction and nonfiction short films in Chicago, Aux Cayes, Haiti, and Istanbul. Erin is currently working on a new documentary project that she directed in Aux Cayes, Haiti, in 2013. Erin has raised the funds, organized the production, and directed the filming of this project.
JEANGUY SAINTUS is the internationally acclaimed Haitian born choreographer, dancer, educator, and founder of The Ayikodans, the premiere professional dance company of Haiti. The company is a brilliant blend of Haitian folkloric and religious dance with contemporary techniques and improvisation, reflecting a modern Caribbean culture and creativity. The Ayikodans have traveled the world, performing in Latin America, Europe, America, and Asia. Jeanguy also founded Artcho Dans, a dance center for children and adults in Port-au-Prince. He also provides a scholarship program called Dansepyenu (Dance Barefoot) for talented young dancers unable to afford tuition.
During the ceremony, we also recognized Raul Ramirez and Mike Hughes — two people who had close ties to ivoh and recently passed away. Ramirez was executive director of KQED and one of ivoh’s thought leaders. Hughes was president of the Martin Agency and spoke at ivoh’s 2009 summit.
Depauw University’s Bob Steele created a video in remembrance of Ramirez. We showed it during the ceremony, along with a video that The Martin Agency created in remembrance of Hughes. We’re grateful for the time the agency spent creating it:
(Special thanks to ivoh core team member Meredith Porte, who helped organize the awards ceremony.)
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