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2020 Arts Awards

Spokane Arts announced 2020 Spokane Arts Award winners & kicks off Arts Month at the annual event on Saturday, September 26, which was held as a live-streamed broadcast from Lucky You Lounge.

Spokane Arts announces 2020 Arts Award winners & kicks off Arts Month! 

Winners of the 2020 Spokane Arts Awards were announced at the annual event on Saturday, September 26, which was held as a live-streamed broadcast from Lucky You Lounge. The Arts Awards serve as the kick-off for Arts Month, the month-long celebration of arts and culture in Spokane to coincide with national arts and humanities month in October. 

2020 Spokane Arts Awards winners: 

Collaboration: Carl Richardson  SFCC Fine Arts Instructor and Department Chair,

In recognition of his years of excellent collaborative work through his own visual art, his teaching and leadership at Spokane Falls Community College, and collaborations with many local arts organizations including Emerge, Terrain, Saranac Art Projects and others.   

Imagination: Sylvia Fountaine  chef, writer, photographer,

In recognition of her years as an important imaginative force in our community, as one of the original chef-owners of Mizuna, with her catering business Feast Catering, and now, through her nationally-celebrated blog, Feasting at Home. Fountaine uses her gorgeous photography, writing, and recipes to take the bounty and beauty of our local food and agricultural communities and elevate them to show stopping heights while at the same time making food that is approachable, easy, and adaptable. 

Leadership: Juan Mas  filmmaker, organizer,

In recognition of his years of dedicated work serving so many of our local arts organizations, his tireless work as a mentor and a significant driver of cross-disciplinary artistic collaboration in the arts, and his own work as a director, screenwriter, and producer of film and television. Mas has had a huge impact on our local community, and is a founding member of Spokane Film Project, 50 Hour Slam, and the Spokane Theater Arts Council, and a board member of the One Heart Native Film Festival, as well as collaborating on projects including the Meet the Makers film series and Music Video Jams.

Inclusion: Spokane Poetry Slam  community poetry slam,

In recognition of their years of work contributing to the growth of Spokane’s vibrant poetry community and creating welcoming spaces on the stage for all, as well as helping represent Spokane’s poetry community on a national level. Spokane Poetry Slam has created an inclusive and welcoming platform for so many, serving as a safe space for members of the LGBTQIA community, and elevating Black and other often unheard voices.

Nominees were submitted by community members through an open public call for nominations. In each category, award winners are selected from the nominated artists, volunteers, neighborhoods, educators, organizations, community leaders, or donors by a panel of Arts Commissioners and community arts representatives. (See below for full list of nominees in each category.) In recent years, Spokane Arts has presented award winners with unique awards crafted by local artisans. This year’s awards were created by sculptor Gina Freuen, who completed the beautifully detailed ceramic awards, based on her on-going series of tea bowls, despite breaking her wrist during production. 

The Arts Awards can still be viewed online at (available all week; $5 ticket cost goes toward paying the creatives and artists that worked on creating the awards show). Video compilations of the nominees in each category can be seen at as well as the video honoring the recipient of the Karen Mobley Impact Award, Kate Vita. 

The Arts Awards also serves as a kick-off for Arts Month! Each October during national arts and humanities month, we celebrate by promoting the diverse array of arts and cultural events in our area. This year there are a range of great events both in-person and online, from gallery and museum exhibits, to readings, panels, and workshops. Many area venues are working hard to find creative and thoughtful ways to continue reaching the community during the on-going coronavirus pandemic. Music venues, including Lucky You Lounge and Baby Bar are beginning live streamed concert series. Many galleries are open, although with limited hours or by appointment. Volunteers of America Spokane has transitioned their annual event, Eye Contact, into both an online event and a series of window displays. People can find a map of Arts Month events and additional event listings and details on the Spokane Arts website starting October 1.