Governor's Arts Awards to be presented May 19


A performance artist, an art teacher and the foundation that helped underwrite the restoration and expansion of Baltimore's Hippodrome Theatre are among the winners of the biennial Governor's Arts Awards.

The winners are "artists, educators, patrons and businesses who have demonstrated a unique and outstanding commitment to the arts," said Pamela G. Holt, executive director of the Maryland Citizens for the Arts Foundation.

Lt. Gov. Michael S. Steele will present the awards at a 7:30 p.m. banquet May 19 at the Walters Art Museum.

This is the seventh time the awards have been made.

Maria Broom of Baltimore will receive the individual artist award.

She is a longtime entertainer whose "story dancing" presentations are aimed primarily at young audiences.

Michael Piechocinski, an art teacher for the Montgomery County public schools' Visual Arts Center, will receive the educator award.

The Baltimore-based France-Merrick Foundation, which contributed $5 million to the Hippodrome restoration effort, is being given the arts patron award.

Other recipients include the Rouse Co. of Columbia, large business supporter award; and Maryland Public Television's MPT ArtWorks program, the special recognition award.

Posthumous lifetime achievement awards will honor James Backas, former executive director of the Maryland State Arts Council, and longtime Baltimore state Del. Howard P. Rawlings.

Tickets to the event cost $150 for the dinner and ceremony, $20 for the ceremony only. For information, call 410-203-1301.

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