Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Stars should honor supporters of arts

With the posting of the annual Stars of Lake County nomination form for the year, I am perplexed anew at the discrepancy in treatment toward supporters of the arts compared to similar categories.

Whereas Youth Advocate and Organization of the Year have sub-category distinctions for paid/professional and volunteer, the Arts Award is divided into “amateur” and “professional.”

The purpose of the award is to recognize a “Person(s) or organization who promotes, participates or supports the arts.”

I think the word “participates” detracts from what ought to be the focus of this award: people or organizations that promote and nourish the artistic community. Its focus shouldn’t be to evaluate the quality of Lake County art.

Youth advocates do not have to compete against the young people they serve for recognition as Stars of Lake County. But that is the position into which benefactors of the arts are being placed with the treatment of this award.

If Lake County wants to honor its talented practitioners of visual and performing arts, perhaps that should be the subject of another set of awards. We certainly have enough practitioners to field a number of categories.

Please, organizers, revise the wording and qualifications of the Stars of Lake County Arts Award. Allow supporters of Lake County arts — professional and volunteer, not professional and “amateur” — to be honored for their accomplishments without having to compete against local artists.

Published March 27, 2012 in the Lake County Record-Bee

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