Pianist Heitler tops winners of ACE awards
CHAMPAIGN — The ninth annual Arts, Culture and Entertainment Award for lifetime achievement will go to jazz pianist Donnie Heitler "for his limitless talent and lifelong dedication to his practice as well his profound impact on countless musicians as well as the community as a whole."
The ACE awards are a project of 40 North 88 West, the Champaign County arts, culture and entertainment council, which announced the winners Friday.
Heitler, who lives in Urbana and has weekly solo gigs at The Great Impasta and Minneci's restaurants, is among seven ACE winners who will be honored on Oct. 17.
According to a 40 North news release, the other winners are:
— Advocate, Kathleen Harleman, director of the Krannert Art Museum, for "bringing new vigor and excitement not only to campus but to the community as a whole with an atmosphere of inclusivity and an unprecedented diversity of exhibitions."
— Artist, Steve Hudson of Champaign, who in his oil paintings addresses issues of humanity.
— Volunteer, Leonard Doyle, who has contributed thousands of hours to the Virginia Theatre and Champaign Urbana Theatre Company, of which he is a co-founder.
— Business, The IDEA Store for benefiting the entire C-U community by promoting the creative reuse of materials.
— Teacher, Chris Berti, associate professor of art and design at Parkland College, who teaches sculpture and maintains his own studio practice.
— Student, Emily Denis, a candidate for a master's degree in art education at the University of Illinois, for her commitment to community involvement and an art curriculum dedicated to social justice.
The judges were: Patrick Earl Hammie, a UI assistant professor of art; LaDonna Wilson, drama director at Central High School; Sanford Hess, executive consultant at CGI and former operator of the Art Theater; and Carly McCrory, communications director at the Champaign County Economic Development Corp.
Tickets to the ACE Awards ceremony, at 5:30 p.m. Oct. 17 at the Canopy Club in Urbana, are $10 each and available by calling 351-9841 or at the 40 North 88 West Champaign County arts council office, 106 S. Neil St., C.
Tickets at the door will be $15.