Community members will gather Friday, March 23 at the E.E. Bass Cultural Arts Center to honor seven men and women who have not only made significant contributions, but have gone the extra mile to promote and support the cultural vitality of the arts within our community and nationally.
From packing comedy venues across the globe to regular television appearances on shows like “The Tonight Show,” and “Last Comic Standing,” Claude Stuart will be returning to Greenville to be the Master of Ceremonies at this year’s Greenville Honors Its Own. The event will begin at 6:30 PM at the E.E. Bass Cultural Arts Center in the Jake and Freda Stein Hall. Cocktails and hors d’oeuvres by The Pantry will be served, and the awards presentation will follow.
This celebration honors the people who have in some way utilized the arts to empower the community.
This year’s recipients are:
- Artist Award: Stan Topol
Founder of Stan Topol & Associates’ an interior design firm in Atlanta, GA. Born and raised in Greenville and a graduate from Delta State University with a masters from University of Alabama, Topol’s work has a distinctive style that has been chronicled in countless publications including Atlanta Magazine, Southern Magazine, Southern Accents, Interiors of the World, Elle Decor, veranda magazine and Architectural Digest.
- Bert Miller Volunteer Award: Margret Carey-McCray
The Honorable Margaret Carey-McCray has served as volunteer director for some of Greenville’s most successful stage plays over recent years. Most recently, she directed Delta Center Stage’s latest triumph, a near sweep of the Mississippi Theatre Association Festival with her production of “For Colored Girls Who Considered Suicide When the Rainbow Is Enuf.”
- Arts in Education Award: James W. Clifton
James W. Clifton, a graduate of Delta State University with a bachelor’s in Fine Arts and a Master’s of Education (Secondary in Art), has taught visual arts in the Western Line School District since 1996. He has supervised subject area murals through O’Bannon and yearly productions of unique football field decoration designs, along with multiple championship award banners for the Jobs for Mississippi Graduates Program. Through distance learning instruction Clifton provided art classes to students in West Bolivar, Broad Street, Simmons, Lake, Coffeeville, Charleston and Richton High Schools when they had no visual arts instruction on their own campus.
- Business Award: The Pantry
The Pantry Inc. opened officially in 1994, as the cumulative dream of two dear friends who loved to prepare good food with only the freshest ingredients. Their goal was to produce gourmet meals to be delivered on weekday evenings to patrons longing for very special dinners. The dream has evolved into a business which now operates under the ownership of one of the original owners and her husband. Amanda and Carl Cottingham cater elaborate celebrations from engagements to weddings to baby Christenings and most every other life event in between. The Pantry has been a long time contributor to the many arts organization in Greenville, MS.
- Special Achievement: Greenville Community Harmony Chorus
The Greenville Harmony Chorus started in 1999. The idea was conceived during the Harmony Luncheons establish by Mayor Paul Artman. Four woman in the group had a greater vision to bring more harmony to Greenville and cultivate new relationships through music. Throughout the years the 40 chorus members from Greenville and Washington County continue to perform to packed audiences each year.
- Georgie Fisher Lifetime Achievement: Walt Grayson
The author of three books; “Lookin’ Around Mississippi with Walt Grayson,” “Lookin’ Around Mississippi Some More with Walt Grayson” and the third book “Oh! That Reminds Me: More Mississippi Home Grown Stories with Walt Grayson. Walt was born and raised in Greenville, and though he now lives and works in Jackson area, he tells people of his Greenville Connection daily. He even attended junior high at E.E. Bass!
- Lifetime Contribution to the Arts: Hugh McCormick
Hugh McCormick was the owner of McCormick’s Book Inn, one of the oldest independent book stores in Mississippi. Opened by the McCormick family in 1965, the bookstore spotlighted local and regional writers and books throughout its history. For many years Hugh dedicated his life to informing Greenville tourists and natives of Greenville’s rich cultural history.
Tickets to the gala are $50 per person. Sponsorships are available, and reservations may be made by calling the Greenville Arts Council at 332-2246.
Greenville Honors Its Own is the Greenville Arts Council’s annual fundraiser. Proceeds from this event go toward supporting the Greenville Arts Council’s many community programs and initiatives including arts education, summer arts programs for children, rotating displays of local and traveling visual arts exhibits in the Roger D. Malkin Gallery, lectures, artist’s talks, movie screenings, art classes, workshops and much more.
The Greenville Arts Council invites the entire community to be apart of this fundraising event. Tickets are $50 per person and sponsorship options are available for both organizations and individuals. For more information on other Greenville Honors Its Own, please contact the Greenville Arts Council at 662.332.2246.