The 14th annual Parish President's Arts Awards were held Thursday evening, Nov. 19, 2020, at the Koop Drive Trailhead Pavilion, with John Snell as master of ceremonies and Mike Cooper as presenter of the awards.
Eight individuals and two companies were honored in ten different categories. Recipients were chosen by the St. Tammany Parish Commission on Cultural Affairs, many members of which were present for the occasion.
Honorees were Mel Rogers for Performing Artist, Gretchen Armbruster for Visual Artist, Mike Artell for Literary Artist, Lee Hicks for Musical Artist, Abita Brewing Company for Culinary Artist, Painting with a Twist for Patron of the Year, the late Gardner Schneider Kole for the President's Award, Lesslee Fitzmorris Mitchell for Native Son Award, Kim Bergeron for Outstanding Service Award and Patricia "Pat" Clanton for Lifetime Achievement Award.
Each recipient was given a chance to tell about themselves, their vision, their accomplishments, and their hopes for sharing and developing talents in others. They all gave encouraging messages about the talent of St. Tammany residents.
Her sons Pete and Chris Schneider accepted the President's Award for their mother Gardner Schneider Kole, who died last January
Click here for link to YouTube video of Schneider brother's comments.
Mike Artell, the winner of the Literary Artist recognition, is an award-winning children’s author/illustrator and TV cartoonist. He has written more than 45 books (most of which he has also illustrated) and he has created greeting cards, posters and editorial cartoons for some of the country’s most well-know publishing and media outlets.
The success stories of Abita Brewing Company and Painting with a Twist were particularly fascinating, given the unforeseen national success of the businesses.
President, Abita Brewing Co.
Painting With A Twist Table Guests at Awards Ceremony
Photo: St. Tammany Parish Government
Lesslee Fitzmorris Mitchell was interviewed several years ago at THIS LINK.
Pat Clanton's life and community achievements can be found at THIS LINK.
Gretchen Armbruster was profiled by Edge of the Lake Magazine. CLICK HERE.
Music for the event was provided by former students of Lee Hicks' Fontainebleau High School Jazz Band.
Members of the St. Tammany Parish Commission on Cultural Affairs are Laura Prisco (Chair), Kelly Elliott, Lisa Barnett, Jennifer Bushnell, Dr. Charles Caplis, Sharon Delong, David Grouchy, Dr. Sue Osbon and Karen Vander. The mission of the St. Tammany Commission is to enrich the lives of the citizens of St. Tammany by nurturing, sustaining, and enhancing the arts.
The Commissioners (Photo by St. Tammany Parish Government)
After the awards event, attendees were invited to walk through the nearby Children's Museum of St. Tammany for a look at the new exhibits and facilities.