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44th Annual Mayor’s Arts Awards
"This is Your Brain on ART”

Friday, October 28th - 6pm
Johnny Carson Center for Emerging Media Arts

Mayor Leirion Gaylor Baird and Lincoln Arts are thrilled to announce the individuals and organizations to be honored at the 44th Annual Mayor’s Arts Awards on the evening of Friday, October 28, at the Johnny Carson Center for Emerging Media Arts at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. The event is open to the public, starting at 6 p.m., and includes a reception with an artistic hors d’oeuvres buffet at 6:15 p.m. prior to the awards presentation at 7 p.m. Thanks to our friends at Basement Creators, this event will also be livestreamed. 

This year's theme, "This is Your Brain on ART," conveys the connection between art and healing that has been recognized across cultures for centuries, as depicted in Lincoln Arts Festival Emerging Artist, Jeff Hebenstreit's event artwork. The presence of art in communities is linked to increased neighborhood vitality, community identity and social wellbeing. However, research suggests “a disconnect between public perception of the value of the arts and their impact.” The 44th annual Mayor’s Arts Awards intends to highlight the necessity of arts programming as an essential resource, spotlighting the arts' ability to promote wellness, mindfulness, and social change on a community level.

Local artists are creating work based on the theme. The pieces will be on display at the event and available for purchase to benefit Lincoln Arts. Each award recipient will receive an original art piece designed by glass artist, Marc Kornbluh. The evening program presented by teaching artist, beat boxer, and KFRX radio host, DeWayne Taylor, will include inspiring content alongside pre-show art partnerships that promote creative healing and development through art practices.

Meet the 2022 Award Recipients

Artistic Achievement Award – Literary Arts

Pat Leach

Lincoln City Libraries Director

Sponsored by Commercial Investment Properties


Artistic Achievement Award – Performing Arts

Nebraska Wesleyan Theatre

Sponsored by Myron and Karen Gagner


Artistic Achievement Award – Visual Arts

Nathan Murray

Ceramic Artist

Sponsored by Bryan Health


Artistic Achievement Award – Youth

Jocelyn Tisdale

Lincoln High School Actress and Singer

Sponsored by Filament Essential Services


Artscene Backstage Award

Christopher Steffen

Basement Creators Network

Sponsored by Susan Sehnert Stuart


Benefactor of the Arts Award

Donors of the Pershing Mural Restoration Effort

Sponsored by Rembolt Ludtke


Gladys Lux Art Education Award
Jen Landis

Visual Artist | Created three educational art communities for girls and young women

Sponsored by Cline Williams


Heart of the Arts Award

Jean Patoka

Pianist / Accompanist / Lyricist

Sponsored by Runza Restaurants


Legacy of the Arts Award

Margaret Berry

Visual Artist

Sponsored by Legacy Retirement Communities


Lincoln Community Foundation Arts for Kids Award

The Heritage League

Sponsored by Lincoln Community Foundation


Mayor’s Choice Award

Deb Weber

Lincoln Arts' Former Executive Director

Sponsored by Doug and Mary Campbell


Outstanding Arts Event Award

“This Mortal Life Also”

A Production of the Angels Theatre Company

Sponsored by Marc and Kathy LeBaron


Outstanding Arts Organization Award

International Quilt Museum

Sponsored by Michael James and Linda Esterling


Larry Enersen Urban Design Award


Ed Zimmer

City's Former Historic Preservation Planner

Sponsored by Clark & Enersen


Larry Enersen Urban Design Award - 2021

Adele Coryell Hall Learning Commons

Kindler Hotel & Lincoln Commercial Club

Sponsored by Clark & Enersen

Event Sponsors

Event Host

Tickets for the event are $80 and are available from the LAC at 402-434-2787 or  The reservation deadline is Friday, October 21. Corporate tables and sponsorship opportunities are also available. Those interested in receiving or sponsoring scholarship tickets, should contact the LAC.

Other sponsors of the event are Ameritas, Farmers Mutual of Nebraska, Kiechel Fine Art, and Union Bank and Trust. Those interested in sponsorships for the event may contact Michelle Peón-Casanova from the LAC at

The public is encouraged to submit names of members of the arts community who have died since the last awards ceremony in October 2021 for memorial recognition.

Our Contributors

  • CSF
  • Allo
  • Ameritas
  • AngleTrust
  • Aspegren
  • AyarsandAyars
  • BlackHillsEnergy
  • Bison
  • BVH
  • CanopyStreetMarket
  • CornhuskerHotel
  • DA
  • Dahlsten
  • Doane
  • Duteau
  • Firespring
  • FNBO
  • PFF
  • Gagner
  • Letheby
  • LCF
  • LincolnIndustries
  • Lottery
  • Olsson
  • Pepsi
  • PinnacleBank
  • RussMarket
  • SandhillsGlobal
  • Sinclair
  • SCC
  • Studio951
  • UBT
  • WRK