ACE Awards on Thursday

ACE Awards on Thursday

URBANA — The 40 North 88 West Champaign County arts council's ninth annual ACE Awards on Thursday evening will celebrate seven people for their outstanding contributions to the arts in Champaign County.

The event will feature complimentary hors d'uvres from Michaels' Catering, as well as live performances from Lifetime Achievement Award winner Donnie Heitler, a jazz pianist, with vocals by Katie Flynn. Also performing will be Ryan Groff of Elsinore. The master of ceremonies will be Drew Wilder, co-anchor of the WCIA 3 Morning Show.

Heitler, 77, of Urbana was cited 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."

Other winners: Krannert Art Museum Director Kathleen Harleman, advocacy; Steve Hudson, artist; Leonard Doyle, volunteer; the I.D.E.A. Store, business; Chris Berti, teacher; and Emily Denis, student.

The winners were chosen from public nominations by an independent panel of community-based judges: Patrick Earl Hammie, artist and assistant professor of art at the University of Illinois; LaDonna Wilson, teacher and drama director at Champaign 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 Corporation.

The doors for the event at the Canopy Club, 708 S. Goodwin Ave., U, will open at 5:30 p.m. Tickets in advance are $10 each and available at or by calling 351-9841. Tickets will be $15 at the door.

The ACE Awards sponsors are The News-Gazette, The Canopy Club, Shatterglass Studios and Krannert Art Museum.

For more information, visit

Topics (3):Art, Music, Theater

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