Chamber Arts Awards ceremony will celebrate local winners

Mar 10, 2013

It’s time to celebrate the Chamber Arts Award winners at a ceremony on March 21, 7:30 p.m., at Edmonds Conference Center.

Winners are local arts heroes Barbara Kindness, Mike Popke, Manya Vee Selects (now MaJe Gallery), and Rick Steves/Europe Through the Back Door, KCTS, Cascade Symphony Orchestra and Edmonds Center for the Arts.

If you’ve been on an Art Walk or enjoyed a show by the Olympic Ballet Theatre or the Driftwood Players, you know Edmonds is an arts town. But the behind-the-scenes effort to create and sustain an arts community requires volunteers and collaborators who value culture above personal gain.

These arts awards are the Chamber’s acknowledgement of exemplary service in sustaining and creating arts programs in Edmonds.

The public is invited to attend the awards ceremony and celebrate our local winners, which are:

  • Business Leadership Award: Manya Vee Selects (now MaJe Gallery) for the Art Walk and Mural Society.
  • Creative Collaboration Award: Rick Steves/Europe Through the Back Door, KCTS, Cascade Symphony Orchestra and Edmonds Center for the Arts for “Europe: A Symphonic Journey.”
  • Individual Leadership Award: Mike Popke of Lynnwood Honda for encouraging partnership between business and the arts.
  • Individual Volunteer Award: Barbara Kindness for supporting and sustaining arts and culture.


Nominations were received from the general public and the selection was made by the Chamber Arts & Culture. Individual committee members are not eligible for awards.

Committee members are:

  • Mary Lou Block, Edmonds Port Commissioner;
  • Frances Chapin, City of Edmonds Cultural Services Manager;
  • Valerie Claypool, Edmonds Chamber of Commerce Membership and Events Director;
  • Keith Gehrig, Driftwood Players Office Manager;
  • Jamie Herlich, Chamber Board Member and Edmonds Center for the Arts Director of Advancement;
  • Gretchen Johnston, Director of Community Education at Edmonds Community College;
  • Jack Loos, Edmonds Chamber of Commerce 1st Vice President;
  • Darlene McLellan, Edmonds Arts Festival Foundation President;
  • Samantha Saether, Edmonds Art Commissioner and ArtistsConnect member;
  • Janette Turner, My Edmonds News Arts Reporter and EPIC Group Writers President.

The event will be hosted by the Edmonds Conference Center, a department of Edmonds Community College.

Those who plan to attend the awards ceremony are asked to please RSVP at or email

More information is available on the Edmonds Chamber website at



About the Edmonds Chamber Arts and Culture Committee

The Arts and Culture Committee started over a year ago with the goal of raising awareness about the significant contributions of our local arts and culture sector to the economic vitality of Edmonds and highlighting the many partnerships and collaborations that support arts & culture. The committee, chaired by Chamber Board member Jack Loos, includes representation from the City of Edmonds, the Edmonds Arts Commission, Edmonds Center for the Arts, Edmonds Community College, Port of Edmonds, local non-profits, businesses, and artists. Chamber membership is not required in order to serve on the committee.

About the Edmonds Chamber of Commerce

The Edmonds Chamber of Commerce was chartered in 1907 and is a voluntary organization which serves over 430 business and professional leaders in Edmonds and South Snohomish County. The chamber’s mission is to promote the economic vitality of the greater Edmonds business community through advocacy, leadership and education. The organization also serves to encourage unified public support and initiate action for the sustainability of our rich quality of life in our community and state.

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