Mayor's Award The Mayor's Arts Awards recognize the accomplishments of artists, arts and cultural organizations and community members committed to enriching their communities through the arts.

2015 Recipients

Dr. Robin K. Wright - Cultural Ambassador

Dr. Robin K. Wright is an expert on the Native arts of the Pacific Northwest. She has taught art history at the University of Washington and served as Curator of Native American Art at the Burke Museum since 1985. Since 2003, she has directed the Bill Holm Center for the Study of Northwest Native Art, a learning center dedicated to increasing Native and public access to research resources and fostering appreciation and understanding of Native art of the Pacific Northwest Coast.

Akio Takamori - Arts & Innovation

Takamori, Akio (born 1950, Nobeoka, Japan; lives in Seattle) studied at the Musashino Art University in Tokyo before apprenticing with a traditional folk potter in Koishiwara, Japan. He came to the United States in 1974. Takamori studied at Kansas City Art Institute, receiving his BFA in 1976 and earned his MFA from New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University in 1978. His work is represented in many public collections, including the Seattle Art Museum, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Nelson-Adkins Museum of Art, and the Victoria & Albert Museum, London, UK. Takamori was awarded National Endowments for the Arts grants in 1986, 1988, and 1992. In 2001 he was awarded the Virginia A. Groot Foundation grant and in 2006 he received the Joan Mitchell Foundation Award. In 2011 he was awarded a USA Ford Fellowship. Takamori is professor emeritus at the University of Washington.

Densho - Cultural Preservation

Densho is a digital, public history organization. They work to preserve and share stories of Japanese Americans who were unjustly incarcerated during World War II by recording firsthand accounts, digitizing historical images and documents, and developing classroom resources. They make these materials available to the public for free so that they can be used to explore issues of democracy, intolerance, wartime hysteria, civil rights, and the responsibilities of citizenship in our increasingly global society. They encourage use of these resources to expand awareness of our country's diverse history, to stimulate critical thinking, to develop ethical decision-making skills, and to help ensure that democratic principles are upheld now and in the future. Densho's work is nationally acclaimed with awards from the American Library Association, Society of American Archivists, and the Oral History Association.

Seattle JazzED - Future Focus

Seattle JazzED empowers students of all skill levels and backgrounds to realize their full potential through exceptional music education. We were founded on the belief that this education should be accessible to all students, regardless of ability to pay. As a result, any student can get financial aid for any program at JazzED. Seattle JazzED programs include big band ensembles, master classes, workshops and summer camps, and we are known for innovative educational initiatives like the New Works Ensemble, Girls Ellington Project and Summer Jazz Ambassadors. Along with musical skills, JazzED students learn the values of discipline, focus and teamwork. JazzED also develops citizenship by providing students with opportunities to perform, volunteer and mentor in the broader community. Our goal is to instill a set of values in every child that makes them not only a successful musician but a successful human being.

Daniel Brown - Creative Industries

Daniel James Brown taught writing at San Jose State University and Stanford before becoming a technical editor at Microsoft. He now writes narrative nonfiction books full time. His primary interest as a writer is in bringing historical events vividly and accurately to life on the page. Daniel's most recent book—The Boys in the Boat—has spent over a year on the New York Times bestseller list. The Boys in the Boat was the ABA's 2014 "Indie's Choice" nonfiction book of the year and won the 2014 Washington State Book Award in nonfiction. His two previous books—Under a Flaming Sky and The Indifferent Stars Above—were also finalists for the Washington State Book Award. Daniel lives in the country outside of Seattle with his wife, two daughters, and an assortment of cats, dogs, chickens, and honeybees. When he is not writing, he is likely to be birding, gardening, fly-fishing, reading, or chasing bears away from the beehives.

Watch the 2015 Awards Ceremony Continue on to Financials