State of the Arts Minnie Douglas

Nancy Gaines, right, presents the 2018 James H. Ackerman Award to Dr. Minnie Douglas Friday at the State of the Arts event. Gaines is the late James Ackerman's daughter.

For nearly three decades, Long Beach has celebrated October is Arts Month with special events and awards, and 2019 will continue that tradition.

On Friday, Oct. 11 the Arts Council of Long Beach and Mayor Robert Garcia will partner to present the annual State of the Arts event. This year's party will visit the Scottish Rite Event Center and its Ernest Borgnine Theatre.

Awards are central to the event, and the Arts Council has announced this year's winners.

The prestigious James H. Ackerman Award, named for the well-known philanthropist and arts supporter, will be presented to the Rumba Foundation for its dedication to expanding access to the arts for LBUSD children in grades K-12. Just last week, the Rumba Foundation was announced as the title sponsor of the Long Beach Symphony's Family Concert.

Three artists will receive the Incite/Insight Award this year. They are:

• Martin Espino, a musician working to bring the musical heritage of California and Mexico's ancestral tribes to the people of Long Beach.

• Stephannie Reizuch, volunteer chair of Emerson Parkside Academy’s art program for the last three years who was named Long Beach Unified School District parent of the year.

• Katie Stubblefield, a Long Beach artist with works in several galleries here who teaches art to underserved students and special needs adults.

The 4th Street Business Association will receive this year's Creative Economy Leader award for promoting artists at the street's Fourth Friday events. Current president Jennifer Hill will accept the award.

Finally, curator Kamran Assadi will get the State of the Arts 2019 award for "his work with FLOOD and PUMP and his continuous effort to build bridges between the arts community and the wider public."

A VIP reception starts at 5 p.m. Friday, Oct. 11, and will include a performance by award-winning Josie Neglia and her company of dancers. The public program begins at 6 p.m., with a reception immediately following the awards ceremony.

The event is free, but RSVPs are required at https://stateofthearts2019.eventbrite.com. The Scottish Rite Events Center is at 855 Elm Ave.

Harry has been executive editor of Gazette Newspapers for more than 26 years. He has been in the newspaper business for more than 35 years, with experience on both weekly and metropolitan daily papers in Colorado and California.

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