the Collective's own: Visionary Award- Emerging Artist

A news release from Grand Center follows:Grand Center Inc. and presenting sponsor Brown Shoe proudly announce the 2011 honorees of the Ninth Annual Visionary Awards, which recognizes women for their contributions to the St. Louis arts community: Juanita Hinshaw, Noemi Neidorff, Helen Gannon, Barbara Harbach, Yvette Woods, Kathleen Sitzer and Dail Chambers. The ceremony will be held May 17 at the Sheldon Concert Hall, 3648 Washington Blvd.

Grand Center's Visionary Awards is one of the most prestigious recognitions in the local arts community. Over the past eight years, nearly 50 women have been recognized from all parts of the community, including such accomplished women as Nancy Kranzberg, Carol Staenberg, Jill McGuire, Kim Massie, Susan Slaughter, Joan Lipkin, Jeanne Trevor, Ashley Tate, and Jessica Hentoff. This year Grand Center Inc. asked the community, "Have you been inspired by a woman in the arts?" The response yielded a talented roster of visual artists, musicians, dancers, educators, philanthropists and arts benefactors."In our ninth year, I am still in awe of the talent and dedication in our community," said Peg Weathers, executive vice president of Grand Center Inc. "Of course we knew there were many, many worthy women in the arts, but I never dreamed of the depth and breadth of the contributions over the years, and of course this year is no exception."

The 2011 honorees were chosen by an eight-member selection committee comprised of fellow distinguished women in the arts and in the community, including former honorees. This year's committee was chaired by Roseann Weiss, 2009 honoree and director of community art programs and public art initiatives at the St. Louis Regional Arts Commission; and Erin Budde, head of community affairs at Wells Fargo Advisors.The 2011 honorees are:

Emerging Artist: Dail Chambers, founder and artistic director of YeYo Arts Collective. Praised as an inspirational agent of change in the St. Louis African American community, Dail is known as a fervent believer in the power of art to change the world. Through the YeYo Arts Collective, Dail focuses that power on girls and adults with arts-based education and outreach. Additionally, she opened the GYA Community Gallery and Fine Craft Shop as an extension of the Arts Collective. She has had numerous group and solo shows, including her current show at the Vaughn Cultural Center in Grand Center. She is on the national board of the Women's Caucus for Art, was recently named the inaugural artist-in-residence at EarthDance farms, and was a recipient of the Kresge grant for 2011/2012.

Individual ticket prices are as follows:Arts Patron ($125): Listing in program book, pre-awards reception, cocktail party, reserved seating at awards ceremony, and dessert receptionArts Supporter ($55): Cocktail party, open seating at awards ceremony, and dessert receptionGrand Center is the arts and entertainment district located in Midtown St. Louis. It is home to more than 30 arts organizations that demonstrate the depth and diversity of the city's cultural life. The district hosts more than 1,500 cultural events and welcomes over 1.5 million visitors annually.

Grand Center's artistic renaissance began with the restoration of Powell Symphony Hall and the Fabulous Fox Theatre and continues today with the growing vitality of commercial and residential development, the addition of more cultural institutions, galleries and dining establishments as well as serving as the home for two of the area's premiere large scale cultural events, the annual Dancing in the Street festival and First Night - St. Louis®. Visit www.grandcenter.org for more information.

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