Hey all —

This weekend was a big one for the Topeka arts community, which celebrated its annual Arty Awards on Saturday.

I am very excited to be able to announce the winners of this year's event. This year's Community Arts award was given to the Great Spaces Art and Music Series; the Glenda Taylor Visual Arts award was given to Jennifer Bohlander; the Performing Arts award was given to the Kansas City Friends of Alvin Ailey; and the Literary Arts award was given to Huascar E. Medina.

The ARTSConnect committee that chooses these winners each year faces a monumental task, and honestly it's one I'm glad I don't have to make. Each of these recipients are so deserving of their awards, and have been continuously working to improve the arts in Topeka. 

I feel very honored to have seen the performances by Medina, the Great Spaces Art and Music Series and the Kansas City Friends of Alvin Ailey, and to walk past Bohlander's beautiful murals almost daily.

Something in particular I've noticed about these recipients is they all have a drive to keep pushing themselves and those around them to continue creating art and expand their programs. I love what they represent and the example they're setting for the rest of the city. 

Congratulations, everyone!