9th Annual Arts & Humanities Awards

Jan 4, 2017

NEPR is proud to recognize this year’s Arts & Humanities Award recipients: artist and illustrator Barry Moser, children’s book author, and literacy advocate Ty Allan Jackson, and the Northampton Jazz Workshop.

We look forward to celebrating the region’s rich arts and culture scene with you at the 9th Annual Arts & Humanities Awards, May 24 at the Log Cabin. Music and entertainment reflective of this year’s recipients will round out the festive evening. Tickets ($75) are available here. Proceeds support the programs and services of New England Public Radio.

Now in its ninth year, the award recognizes those who have made a positive impact on the arts and humanities and brings awareness to the critical role played by musicians, artists, dancers, writers, teachers and cultural institutions in western New England.

We’ll recognize the 2017 winners, and listen in as NEPR’s Jill Kaufman interviews Mandalit del Barco live! Experience swinging sounds of the Green Street Trio, Jim Argiro and others in celebration of the Northampton Jazz Workshop, view a retrospective of Barry Moser’s work, peruse books by Ty Allan Jackson, sip a cocktail (cash bar) and enjoy spectacular Valley views from atop Mount Tom, all in celebration of our lively, creative community. We hope you’ll join us! Hosted by Jazz à la Mode’s Tom Reney with special guest Mandalit del Barco, NPR Arts Correspondent

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2017 Arts & Humanities is sponsored by:

The selected 2017 Arts and Humanities Awardees are: 

Barry Moser, 2017 Arts and Humanities Award Recipient
Barry Moser

Born in Chattanooga Tennessee in 1940, Barry Moser has spent most of his adult life in the Pioneer Valley, where he is revered among his peers, beloved by his students and embraced by his community. He is an illustrator, printer, painter, printmaker, designer, author, essayist, and teacher.  A member of the National Academy of Design, his work is in numerous collections, including The National Gallery of Art, The Metropolitan Museum and The British Museum. He is currently the Irwin and Pauline Alper Glass Professor of Art at Smith College and was a founding trustee of the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art in Amherst, Massachusetts.  He has illustrated over 350 books including Moby-Dick and The Divine Comedy. His Pennyroyal Press published an acclaimed edition of the King James Bible in 1999. His edition of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland won the 1983 National Book Award. His memoir, We Were Brothers, was published in 2015, and describes his Jim Crow-era childhood in Chattanooga, Tennessee. NPR listed it among it “Great Reads of 2015.”

Ty Allan Jackson, 2017 Arts & Humanities Award Recipient
Ty Allan Jackson

Ty Allan Jackson is a children’s book author, publisher, literacy advocate and motivational speaker living in Pittsfield, Massachusetts. His literacy organization, Big Head Books, LLC was founded in 2009 to expose children to the joy of reading. By visiting schools, libraries, youth organizations and correctional facilities around the country and at home in western Massachusetts, Big Head Books entertains and empowers kids while sharing with adults the importance of reading in a fun, upbeat and contemporary way.

Mr. Jackson has been called one of the most important authors in America because of his message of inspiration and his ability to make the most reluctant young reader into a reading superhero. He has collaborated with organizations including The United Way, The YMCA, The Boys and Girls Club, Google for Entrepreneurs, Children of Promise, several financial institutions and countless public, private and charter schools. Mr. Jackson is the co-founder of the READ OR ELSE Movement that distributes books to children in homeless shelters across the county, and is also the co-founder of The F.U.L.L. Program, which helps incarcerated parents stay connected to their children and families by promoting literacy as a way to help sever the cycle of incarceration.  Ty has been acknowledged and awarded by mayors, senators, governors and even First Lady Michelle Obama for his efforts to promote literacy. 

Northampton Jazz Workshop, 2017 Arts & Humanities Award Recipient
Northampton Jazz Workshop

Thanks to the Northampton Jazz Workshop, the Pioneer Valley has been swinging on Tuesday nights for the past seven years. The Workshop provides an important context for fostering community around jazz performance, and has galvanized area fans. Pianist Paul Arslanian and the late bassist Dave Shapiro satisfied a long overdue need in local jazz circles when they established the Workshop in 2010 at Green Street Café. Each week since then, the Green Street Trio, which includes Arslanian, bassist George Kaye, and drummer Jon Fisher, invites a guest soloist to join them for a one-hour set that mixes jazz standards and originals, and then the bandstand opens up for an organized jam session. At night’s end, the featured soloist returns to play with the assembled players on stage. The music is free for all, and the house (since 2015, the City Sports Grille) is packed every week. Scores of college students from the Five Colleges and beyond come to the club throughout the year for a chance to play their instruments or sing. It’s the spirit of this endeavor and its ongoing success that we honor with the Arts & Humanities Award.

For more information on the Arts & Humanities Awards, contact Vanessa Cerillo at 413.735.6605 or vcerillo@nepr.net.

Read about past award recipients