The Arts Alliance Medal for Arts, Science & Humanities 2019 winners announced


In its tradition of annually recognizing the extraordinary contributions and accomplishments of Washtenaw County artists and creatives, individuals, businesses and organizations in Washtenaw County, The Arts Alliance’s board announces The Arts Alliance Medal for Arts, Science & Humanities 2019.

Awarded annually, The Arts Alliance Medals for Arts, Sciences & Humanities honor exemplary achievements in advancing the arts, sciences and humanities and increasing public awareness of the arts + creative industries in the greater Ann Arbor area. Medalists have made an indelible mark through their artistic accomplishments, leadership and/or philanthropy. They set the standard for excellence and serve as the example for others to follow.

The 2019 medals will be presented during a ceremony at THE pARTy! 2019, The Arts Alliance’s signature benefit event celebrating the arts + creative industries in Washtenaw County Monday, Feb. 11, 2019 at dessous, 312 South Main Street in Ann Arbor. Festivities begin at 5:15 p.m. with a private reception with the medalists for sponsors and honorary committee members. THE pARTy! follows at 6:15 p.m.

THE pARTy! is sponsored by dessous, Destination Ann Arbor, Eastern Michigan University Foundation, UHY Certified Public Accountants and Comcast. THE pARTy! sponsorship information, go to and for ticket information, go  or call 734.213.2733.

Lifetime Achievement Medal 2019
William Bolcom and Joan Morris

The Lifetime Achievement Medal is presented in recognition of outstanding and sustained artistic and creative accomplishments within the arts, sciences and/or humanities receiving national and or international acclaim.

Together, they are the duo Bolcom & Morris (main photo), recording 25 albums and delighting audiences across the world performing songs from the ragtime era to the end of the 20th century. They are known as generous creative collaborators and, as faculty at the University of Michigan’s School of Music, Theatre & Dance, have mentored the next generation of musicians and performers. William (Bill) Bolcom is a composer of concertos, sonatas, operas, symphonies, cabaret songs and much more.

National Medal of the Arts, Pulitzer Prize, Grammy Award, Composer of the Year are but a few of the accolades presented to him over the course of his career. He served on the faculty of the University of Michigan’s School of Music, Theatre & Dance as the Ross Lee Finney Distinguished University Professor of Composition for 35 years.

Joan Morris is a chanteuse, a mezzo-soprano who has performed on stages and in cabarets across the world as she “projects not just a song, but the character singing it, and gives that character her own irresistibly funny and winning personality,” according to the Chicago Tribune. Her book Let Me Sing and I’m Happy: The Memoir and Handbook of a Singing Actress has just been released by Pendragon Press. Morris taught voice and musical theater at the University of Michigan from 1981 – 2009.

Outstanding Service Medal 2019
Aaron P. and Afa S. Dworkin

The Outstanding Service Medal recognizes outstanding leadership and significant contributions made to further the fields of the arts, sciences and humanities in Washtenaw County, statewide, nationally and/or internationally.

Aaron P. and Afa S. Dworkin are an arts power couple. They have built an international reputation as arts-focused social entrepreneurs, including as pioneering leaders advocating for diversity, equity and inclusion in the performing arts and in arts leadership. Afa S. Dworkin is a cross-sector strategist driving national programming that promotes diversity in classical music.

She currently serves as president and artistic director of the Sphinx Organization, the nation’s leading organization transforming lives through the power of diversity in the arts. She is one of Musical America’s Top 30 Influencers and Detroit Crain’s 40 Under 40.

Aaron P. Dworkin is the founder of The Sphinx Organization, is a 2005 MacArthur Fellow, a member of National Council on the Arts and is the former dean of and a current professor at the University of Michigan’s School of Music, Theatre & Dance. The Dworkins received the Kennedy Center’s “Citizen Artist Award” recognizing leaders who present and produce the arts in their communities and deepen the effect of the arts and arts education in a demonstrated, transformational way at the local, state or national level.

Philanthropic Excellence Medal 2019
Bill and Mary Kinley

The Philanthropic Excellence Medal recognizes those giving of their time, talents and treasures to the arts science and humanities in Washtenaw County and beyond.

Bill and Mary Kinley’s legacy as supporters of the arts is long, runs deep and crosses through many Washtenaw County communities. They have given generously, served on boards, mentored staff, volunteered and worked in the trenches. The short list of organizations they have impacted includes: the Riverside Art Center; The Ark; Ann Arbor Hands-on Museum; Ann Arbor Street Art Fair, The Original; and the Ann Arbor Summer Festival, to name a few. Even the work of the business owned and operated by Bill, Praxis Properties (formerly Phoenix Construction), crosses into the creative industries touching historic preservation and restoration. The example of community leadership set by the Kinleys is influencing the next generation as their children are already following in their path.

For more information about the 2019 medalists, THE pARTY!, past medalists and The Arts Alliance, go to,  email  or call 734.213.2733. For sponsorship information, contact

The Arts Alliance is a leader championing, supporting and advocating for the Arts and Creative Industries in Washtenaw County, MI — arts and creative individuals, organizations and businesses—to ensure that the greater Ann Arbor region remains a great place to create, live, work, learn, play and visit.


Tags from the story
More from Special to Discover Communities

Art Fair: Street closures, kids wristbands & safety reminders

 ​The Ann Arbor Art Fair will attract visitors from near and far...
Read More

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *