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Arts & Humanities Leaders Celebrated at the 12th Annual Executive's Awards

Ike Leggett and Nilimma Devi
Ike Leggett and Nilimma Devi

The Arts and Humanities Council of Montgomery County, County Executive Ike Leggett, and Catherine Leggett presided over an evening of performance, celebration and honors during the 12th Annual Montgomery County Executive’s Awards ceremony, held on Monday October 21, 2013 at the Cultural Arts Center in Silver Spring.

Highlights of the evening included the presentation of the Lifetime Achievement Award to dancer and choreographer Nilimma Devi and the Lifetime Impact award to long-time arts advocate Busy Graham.  Performances by Maritza Rivera, winner of the evening’s Volunteer Award, the Herbert Scott Trio, Chamber Choir of Glorystar, Levine School of Music, Titanes Salseros, and the Jazz Academy of Music kept the crowd entertained throughout this special evening.

The Executive’s Awards are the highest awards conferred in the Montgomery County in recognition of artistic excellence and service.  This year, eight awards were presented to a distinguished group of artists, scholars, cultural organizations, and community leaders across multiple categories.

“The Executive’s Awards allows us to showcase the vast depth and breadth of the arts and humanities in Montgomery County.  This array of organizations provides the quality of life and economic development factors that continue to make Montgomery County one of the best places to live and work in America, and a magnet for cultural tourism,” said Suzan Jenkins, CEO of the Arts and Humanities Council of Montgomery County.

Before presenting the award recipients with their honors, County Executive Ike Leggett reflected on their contributions to the county, stating, “Each of these honorees -- in one way or another -- has made the arts and humanities a lifelong passion.  Without their tireless energy, dedication and devotion, Montgomery County would not be the cultural hotspot it is today.”

He also took a moment to affirm his support of the arts, stating before a packed audience, “I will continue, as I have for the past seven years, to support the arts in Montgomery County.  This is a major priority for me, and I know it is with our County Council also.”

Arts advocate Busy Graham echoed the celebratory sentiments of the evening while accepting her award for Lifetime Impact. “Time and time again,” she stated, “the arts and humanities have proven to be the most accessible and affordable way to celebrate what is right in the world and to give people of all ages the means to imagine and then create a better world for themselves.  I believe we can rest assured that the arts and humanities will continue to thrive in Montgomery County.

Complete List of 12th Annual County Executive’s Awards Recipients:


Lifetime Impact Award                                     

Busy Graham, Community Arts Advocate


Lifetime Achievement Award                        

Nilimma Devi, Sutradhar Institute of Dance and Related Arts


Patron Award                                                       

Thomas D. Murphy, EagleBank


Community Award                                             

Patricia Woolsey, ArtStream


Education Award                                 

Betty Scott, Strathmore


Emerging Leader Award                                   

Heena Genti, CREATE Arts Center


Outstanding Artist or Scholar Award           

David R. Minton, Lumina Studio Theatre


Volunteer Award                                                                

Maritza Rivera, Mariposa Poetry




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