Tuesday, October 6, 2015
Teeny Awards Dinner + Ceremony raises $40,000 for youth arts access,
recognizes local arts achievements and Youth Arts Advocate of the Year
Seattle, WA – On Sunday, October 4th, arts leaders and teenage arts enthusiasts gathered at Seattle Art Museum to celebrate the 7th annual Teeny Awards, hosted by local performer/composer Justin Huertas.
The Teeny Awards, given annually by The New Guard, TeenTix’s teen governing body, celebrate the best in local arts and culture according to teenage art enthusiasts. Awardees are selected by the New Guard based on the votes of TeenTix’s 30,000 teenage members.
This year, The New Guard created a new category: Youth Arts Advocate of the Year. Teens were nominated by their peers for this award, which aims to honor teens who advocate for arts in their schools, instigate arts outings, and inspire their peers to participate in the community. The nominees for Youth Arts Advocate of the Year were Walker Caplan, Ruby Daniel, Analiese Guettinger, Bryan Hanner, Noah Sarkowsky, and Pearl Woo.
Bryan Hanner took home the award, presented by Frank Video of City Councilmember Nick Licata’s office. Hanner was lauded for his leadership in spearheading Issaquah High School Drama’s first fundraiser, and for donating of the proceeds from two self-produced cabarets to the Seattle Humane Society and Issaquah Food Bank, respectively.
The evening’s other big winners were 14/48: High School for BEST YOUTH ENGAGEMENT PROGRAM, Spectrum Dance Theater, which was nominated in three categories and took home the award for BEST DANCE ORGANIZATION, and the 5th Avenue Theatre and ACT Theatre, which shared the award for BEST THEATRE, one of the evening’s most competitive categories.
Strawberry Theatre Workshop received THE EVOLUTION AWARD, which celebrates the work that best showcased the work of young artists or engaged topics related to youth, for their production of Our Town. StrawShop also took home the biggest award of the evening, for FAVORITE ORGANIZATION OF 2015, which was voted on in real time at the ceremony by TeenTix members.
Other sweet moments in the hour-long ceremony included host Justin Huertas accepting THE ?! AWARD (for an unexpected contemporary work) for his original musical, Lizard Boy, alongside Seattle Rep managing director Jeff Herrmann, and a special presentation to Pacific Northwest Ballet in honor of the final year of their production of Maurice Sendak’s Nutcracker, which The New Guard praised for its role as “gateway” arts experience for thousands of local youth. PNB also took home the award for BEST FRONT-OF-HOUSE EXPERIENCE.
The ceremony included performances by Leija Farr, Seattle’s first Youth Poet Laureate, who shared her poem, “Revive,” and a French Horn quartet from Seattle Youth Symphony Orchestras, who provided a fanfare for each of the winners.
At the dinner preceding the awards in SAM’s Brotman Forum, supporters raised $30,000 for TeenTix while dining beneath the nine flying Ford Tauruses of artist Cai Guo-Qiang’s Innopportune.
TeenTix alumna Arista Burwell-Chen spoke at the dinner, describing her experience growing up low-income, and discovering the arts through TeenTix’s Young Critics Workshop. “TeenTix not only connected me to the arts in a way that I never could have afforded and never would have chosen on my own,” she said, “it also helped me develop a stronger sense of myself as a writer, and the power I have to interpret the world around me.” Burwell-Chen recently graduated from the University of Washington Honors Program with a triple major, and is now working for Citizen University.
Full list of Teeny Award 2015 winners
(For a full list of nominees, visit http://www.teentix.org/blog/teeny-awards-2015-the-nominees)
BEST YOUTH ENGAGEMENT PROGRAM: 14/48: High School
THE EVOLUTION AWARD For the work that best showcased the work of young artists or engaged topics related to youth: This is Our Youth, Young Americans’ Theatre Company
THE KINDLING AWARD For the work that most artfully illuminated a social issue or sparked civic dialogue: Angels in America, Intiman Theatre Festival
THE EVERYTHING OLD IS COOL AGAIN AWARD For a great work first created 50 or more years ago: Our Town, Strawberry Theatre Workshop
THE ?! AWARD For an unexpected contemporary work: Lizard Boy, Seattle Repertory Theatre
THE KALEIDOSCOPE AWARD For the most transporting work: Rocky Horror Picture Show, Renton Civic Theatre.
THE ROFL AWARD For the funnest way to not think about finals: As You Like It, Seattle Shakespeare Company
THE BEST AESTHETICS AWARD For great design: Pop Departures, Seattle Art Museum
BEST FILM ORGANIZATION: Seattle International Film Festival
BEST MUSEUM or ART GALLERY: EMP Museum
BEST DANCE ORGANIZATION: Spectrum Dance Theater
BEST MUSIC ORGANIZATION: Seattle Symphony
BEST THEATRE: ACT Theatre and 5th Avenue Theatre
BEST CIVIC, CULTURAL, or LITERARY ORGANIZATION: Seattle Center
BEST MULTI-DISCIPLINARY ORGANIZATION: Pacific Science Center
BEST FRONT-OF-HOUSE EXPERIENCE: Pacific Northwest Ballet
YOUTH ARTS ADVOCATE OF THE YEAR: Bryan Hanner
Founded by Seattle Center in 2004, TeenTix is an arts access and engagement program for teenagers. TeenTix is best known for making it possible for any teenager to buy a five-dollar, day-of-event ticket at 58 arts organizations throughout the Puget Sound region. TeenTix believes that arts participation is a crucial form of civic engagement, and aims to empower young people to take an active role in shaping their arts community as audience members, influencers, patrons, leaders, and critics. Since 2004, TeenTix has served over 65,000 area youth. In 2013, TeenTix began a three-year transition from Seattle Center public program to independent organization.
TeenTix is the recipient of the 2014 Seattle Mayor’s Arts Award in the Future Focus category. In 2015, TeenTix Executive Director Holly Arsenault was named one of Puget Sound Business Journals’ ’40 Under 40’.
To learn more about TeenTix, please visit www.teentix.org