ArtsATL > Luminary Awards

The ArtsATL Luminary Awards is our commemoration of the passionate, creative and innovative spirit of Atlanta’s arts community.

January 28, 2018
VIP Reception, 5 – 6 p.m.
Award Ceremony, 6 – 8 p.m.


Venue TBA


Tickets will be available beginning October 1, 2017.


These awards celebrate the passion, creativity, and innovative spirit of the Atlanta arts community. ArtsATL will recognize its collective achievements in all art forms.

These awards are intended to celebrate a diverse range of creatives working in Atlanta – from emerging artists to longstanding arts administrators to business leaders incorporating the arts in their initiatives and everything and everyone in between. Our selection panel will be thinking broadly about the award recipients and ask that you feel free to do the same in who you choose to nominate.

Examples of who may be nominated:
– An individual (artist, performer, choreographer, writer, or filmmaker, etc.)
– An organization, business, civic or government agency
– An artistic presentation (exhibition, performance, book, event, panel, etc.)

Nominations will be kept private, although we will ask that you submit your contact information with the nomination in the event that we have additional questions regarding the nominee.

Please complete a separate form for each nominee. Self-nominations will be accepted.

Luminary Awards Selection Panel

Our distinguished panel of jurors will select the awards winners from the pool of submitted nominations.

Ivan Pulinkala, Luminary Awards Chair, Kennesaw State University Department of Dance
Blake Beckham, Lucky Penny
Ken Bernhardt, Georgia State University
Madison Cario, Georgia Institute of Technology
Katherine Dirga, MARTA
Leslie Gordon, Georgia State University’s Rialto Center for the Arts
Sarah Higgins, Zuckerman Museum of Art, Kennesaw State University
Bem Joiner, Center for Civic Innovation
Tina Lilly, Georgia Council for the Arts
Ann Carol Pence, Aurora Theatre
Josh Phillipson, Atlanta Regional Commission
Dantes Rameau, Atlanta Music Project
Doug Shipman, Woodruff Arts Center
Steffen Sornpao, Independent Artist, Good Enough Gallery
Ife Williams, Hudgens Center for the Arts

2017 Award Recipients

The Amaranth Award for Philanthropic Legacy, which celebrates the ongoing contribution of a philanthropist to the cultural landscape of Atlanta will be awarded to Ken and Kathy Bernhardt, in recognition of their significant contributions to Atlanta’s arts and theater community over the years, including the development of the Alliance Theatre’s Theatre for the Very Young

For the Beacon Award for Community Engagement, the selection panel will honor John McFall, former artistic director of the Atlanta Ballet, who retired last year. McFall’s contributions to Atlanta’s dance community have been significant, especially for his work in founding and establishing the Atlanta Ballet’s Centre for Dance Education, which teaches 20,000 community members annually and has been crucial in shaping future generations of dancers within the city.

The Catalyst Award for Social Discourse will be awarded to the Zuckerman Museum of Art.  The principal administrators of the three-year-old museum have continuously initiated catalytic dialogue through their programs, exhibits and work. Never shying away from provocative work, the Zuckerman has produced and hosted a number of notable exhibitions, including Art AIDS America, that have fostered meaningful discussions amongst Kennesaw State University’s student base as well as Atlanta as a whole.

The Kindle Award for Innovative Practice will be awarded to The Lucky Penny for its experimental practice and performance space, Work Room, which launched in 2015. Through its artists-in-residence program based out of East Point, The Lucky Penny has worked to create opportunities for emerging choreographers within Atlanta in an effort to help the city retain its talented performers.