Long Beach, CA—On Friday, October 12 from 6–9 p.m., the Arts Council for Long Beach will host its annual State of the Arts event in partnership with the Office of Mayor Robert Garcia.

This year’s theme, Arts Revolution, is a special occasion that brings together residents, the creative community and city leaders to celebrate the arts in Long Beach. Each year the Arts Council for Long Arts requests nominations from the community and brings together a panel of arts leaders to review the applications. This year’s State of the Arts will honor the following Long Beach residents for their work to foster creativity, enliven communities and enable a thriving arts city. Board President Tasha W. Hunter stated, “I am proud that our community has chosen to honor these change-makers in our creative world. Recognition shows appreciation and we value what each and every one of the recipients, as well as those nominated have given our beautiful city. Each year I look forward to State of the Arts, especially being in the presence of artists, arts advocates and appreciators.”

James H. Ackerman Philanthropist Award

Dr. Minnie Douglas is an active board member of International City Theater (ICT) since 2013 and within a year she was on the Executive Committee serving as a positive force as Vice President. She has played a leadership role in ICT’s Community Partnerships with the African American community to bring our diverse community together, helping to raise college scholarship funds, and making it possible for young people to see professional theatre. Dr. Douglas is also past president of the Arts Council for Long Beach. She is also involved with St. Mary’s Medical Center, California Conference for Equality and Justice; Soroptimist International of Long Beach; Leadership Long Beach; National Association for Advancement of Colored People (NAACP); National Council of Negro Women (NCNW); Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Incorporated, Theta Alpha Omega Chapter; and The Links Incorporated, Harbor Area Chapter.

Incite/Insight Award

Cambodia Town, Inc. first hosted the annual Cambodia Town Culture Festival in 2009, which takes place at Mark Twain Library and MacArthur Park. The goals of the festival include celebrating the Cambodian New Year while educating the Cambodian youth and the general public about the Cambodian culture and traditions and providing a venue for local artists to showcase their talent. Over 1500 people of different ethnicities and age groups attend the annual festival.

Jewels arrived in Long Beach over 20 years ago, since then has produced and hosted thousands of events, shows, and fundraisers. The Los Angeles Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence held a “Sainting Ceremony” for Jewels in March 2014. She uses her position as an artist as a platform to help other artists succeed in their endeavors, and as a fearless advocate for the community.

Jose Diaz, director and founder of JD Dance Company, dedicates himself to helping local, low-income and minority families by offering his award-winning services at a highly discounted or even sponsored rate. Jose fulfills his mission in our community by bringing joy, opportunity, confidence, creativity and a sense of belonging to our local youth through cultural and ballroom dance. JD Dance Company performs locally, travels regularly for competitions and is a 3-time National Champion.

Nica Rumion is a teacher in Long Beach Unified School District (LBUSD) and has voluntarily established an elementary Art program at Stevenson Elementary, while simultaneously teaching her own class. This year she will continue to develop curriculum through grant funds so that other schools with similar demographics can adopt the program and the model can be extended. She is the founding director of Alma Latina Long Beach Dance Company.

Creative Economy Leader

In 2010, Lisa Wibroe organized the first LB Open Studio Tour during October is Arts Month. Lisa teamed up with fellow artist Tina Burnight and, together, they grew the event from 20 studios in 2010 to 45 studios in 2018. Now the tour includes 70 artists and its mission to introduce the community to its local artists in their working environments located within their neighborhoods creating a personal connection between art supporters and art makers.

State of the Arts 2018 Award

This year’s theme, Arts Revolution, is embodied by Forgotten Images, created and founded by David and Sharon McLucas. This exhibition is a prime example of how arts and culture can transform how we look at our history in order to create a vibrant future. David and Sharon McLucas’ vision to create Forgotten Images is a catalyst for a dramatic and wide-reaching change in the way we present and celebrate African American history in the United States.

Join the awardees at a VIP reception at 5 p.m. on October 12, 2018 at the Expo Art Center in Bixby Knolls (4321 Atlantic Avenue, Long Beach, CA 90807). Tickets for VIP reception are $100 per person. Free and open to the public event begins at 6 p.m. For more information visit: http://artslb.org/stateofthearts/

This admission-free event wouldn’t be possible without the generous contributions of our

sponsors: Port of Long Beach, Millworks, Long Beach Convention & Visitors Bureau, Cal State Long Beach, L.A. County Supervisor Janice Hahn, SMG/ Long Beach Convention & Entertainment Center, Councilmember Roberto Uranga,  and TGIS Catering.