34th Annual All Area Arts Awards Winners • 2024

    Additional Reporting by
    icon May 02, 2024
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The Saginaw Arts & Enrichment Commission celebrated the 34th Annual All Area Awards on May 1st  at the Dow Event Center. WNEM TV5 anchor Elisee Ramey served as emcee for the awards ceremony recognizing individuals, businesses, and non-profit organizations that that have enhanced the Quality of Life in Saginaw County through their support of the arts.

Here's the roster of 2024 All Area Arts Awards Winners:

Kevin Simons – Simons currently serves as director of music and organist at St. John’s Episcopal Church in Saginaw, Conference Director for the Swanee Church Music Conference in Tennessee, and as Choral Director for the Baroque on Beaver Island Festival. He is the owner/editor of St. James Music Press online music publishing company, a member of the Saginaw Choral Society, often a soloist, and a former director of the Steiner Chorale in Lansing. He recently completed a successful 17-year tenure at SVSU as Director of Choirs and Associate Professor of Music, leading the Cardinal Singers to numerous competitions and invited concerts. 

John and Natalie Vasquez – The Vasquez are partners in the organization and execution of the Old Town Saginaw Showdown Street Art Festival, bringing together artists from Saginaw and throughout Michigan to beautify areas in Old Town Saginaw while supporting artists, vendors and local businesses. John has collaborated on several major murals in Saginaw including the “Dear Mama” mural, in addition to completing works with the Flint Public Art Project and Art Basel in Miami. Together they embody the spirit of caring for the community, artists, and patrons who want to see art as a positive force for improving Saginaw.

Steve Rodriguez – Rodriguez has been an elementary school music teacher in the Saginaw Township Community Schools for 20 years, teaching at Hemmeter and Weiss. He coordinates multiple after school music performances throughout the year, serenades students during the holiday season with his live saxophone music in the hallways, coordinates a family cultural night, and began a schoolwide singing competition called the Weiss and Hemmeter Idol. Rodriguez performs with the Saginaw Eddy Concert Band and other musical gigs, playing saxophone and piano.

2024 Rising Star Award Julian Morris – During Covid when students found themselves cut off from their schools and friends, 13 year old Morris founded SWAG, a digital online publication, to keep students informed. Now a junior at Saginaw High School, he serves as editor, writer, and videographer, and has expanded SWAG into 120 Ezra Rust Drive Saginaw, with both a digital and print edition, formed a youth book club, and started a benefit fashion show. Julian is a Disney Dreamers Academy graduate, has received numerous state awards including the Michigan Governor's Service Award for Youth Volunteer of the Year, presented SWAG to Governor Whitmer, and recently interviewed President Joe Biden.

The All Area Arts Awards is made possible with the support of our Patron Sponsors: Garber Automotive, Ruth Ann Knapp, Janet I. Martineau, Thor & Joylynn Rasmussen, The State Bank, and W.L. Case & Company. Additional support by Michigan Arts & Culture Council and the Maxwell K. Pribil Memorial Trust.

For further information call 989.759.1362, ext. 2.

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