ArtsATL > Luminary Awards

ArtsATL is thrilled to announce the first annual ArtsATL Luminary Awards –– our commemoration of the passionate, creative and innovative spirit of Atlanta’s arts community.

January 22, 2017
VIP Reception, 5 – 6 p.m.
Award Ceremony, 6 – 8 p.m.


Terminal West at King Plow Arts Center
887 W NW Marietta St
Atlanta, GA 30318
United States


Tickets available for purchase at the door.

Host Committee – $150 individual / $250 couple

General Admission – $35

2017 Award Recipients

ArtsATL Luminary Award Ceremony

Join us for the inaugural award ceremony where we will honor and celebrate success in Atlanta arts and culture in the areas of philanthropy, artistic innovation, community engagement, and catalytic dialogue.

Purchase your tickets today! 

A limited number of Host Committee tickets are now available. Host Committee members and event sponsors will join ArtsATL for a private pre-ceremony reception at Southern Exposure, located immediately adjacent to the award ceremony venue. This includes VIP seating during the award ceremony and expedited entry to the main event. Host Committee members will be listed in the event program and on the event website.

For information on how to become a sponsor for the Luminary Awards, contact Executive Director Susannah Darrow at

Can’t attend but would like to make a contribution to ArtsATL? You can make a tax-deductible donation here.


We'd like to thank the members of our host committee for their support of our 2017 award recipients and ArtsATL.

Join the host committee today!

Beth Alexander
Susan and Ron Antinori
Susan and David Aspinwall
Ilene and Ed Baker
Erin and Richmond Bernhardt
J. Veronica and Franklin Biggins
Kenzie Biggins, Uniquely Virtual
Kathy and Alan Bremer
Jessie L. Brooks
Mary Frances Callis
Anika Calloway
Frank and Mary Anne Chew
Elisa and Adam Coker
Louis Corrigan
Lynda Courts
Cynthia Crain
Chuck Day
Dogan Eroglu
Katie and Reade Fahs
Howard Feinsand
Meredith and Rick Fisher
Catherine Fox
Vincent Giovinazzo
Mark Goldman, Scout
Maggie Davis and Sally Hansell
Anne and Charlie Henn
Brandon Hinman, AIR Serenbe
Archie and Tiffini Jones
Jiong Yan and Baxter Jones
Murad Karimi
Mitchell Klink
Eileen Millard
Carolyn Milner
William Pate
Mike Petrik
Patricia S. Poulter
Ivan Pulinkala
Jenny and Mitch Reiner
Henry and Elizabeth Reyes
Anna Walker Skillman, Jackson Fine Art
Spencer Sloan
Rob Smulian
Mary Stanley
Ellen Stein
Leandrew and Cynthia Tabb
Elizabeth V. Wells
James Weis

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.


2017 Award Ceremony Performances


T. Lang Dance presents Post, the final installment of Lang’s four-part Post Up series. The Post Up series has been performed at The Goat Farm Arts Center, The High Museum of Art, and will soon activate a now abandoned church inside Fort McPherson, an American military base that operated from 1835 until its closing in 2011. T. Lang Dance is Joshua Archibald, Jacquelle Blythe, Jazmine Brooks, Indya Childs, Emma Lalor, Mandi B. Mpezo, and Scott Wheet. In addition to her company work, T. Lang is an Associate Professor and founding Department Chair of Spelman Dance at Spelman College. T. Lang was recently named 2016’s Best Choreographer by Creative Loafing Atlanta.


Performing a selection from The Atlanta Opera’s production of Maria de Buenos Aires is Colombian Soprano Catalina Cuervo. Cuervo has performed the role of “Maria” for numerous prestigious companies including Florida Grand Opera, Cincinnati Opera, and Syracuse Opera. Maria de Buenos Aires is the steamy story of Maria, the young prostitute who “was born on the day God was drunk.” This site-specific opera will be performed at Le Maison Rouge, the sexy burlesque hall located in Paris on Ponce on the BeltLine. Composer Astor Piazzola was hailed for his ability to enchant audiences with his beautiful tango music.

Founded in 1979, The Atlanta Opera is one of the finest regional opera companies in the United States, producing main stage opera productions and arts education programs for all ages. It directly serves almost 60,000 people annually in Metropolitan Atlanta and throughout the Southeast.


David Coucheron joined the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra as Concertmaster in September 2010. At the time, he was the youngest concertmaster among any major U.S. orchestra. Throughout his career, Mr. Coucheron has worked with conductors Robert Spano, Michael Tilson Thomas, Simon Rattle, Mstislav Rostropovich and Charles Dutoit, among others. He has performed as soloist with the BBC Symphony Orchestra, Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra, Sendai Symphony Orchestra, Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra and the Trondheim Symphony Orchestra. Mr. Coucheron has given solo recitals at Carnegie Hall, Wigmore Hall, the Kennedy Center and the Olympic Winter Games (Salt Lake City, Utah), as well as in Beograd, Chile, China, Hong Kong, Japan, Serbia, Singapore and Shanghai. His chamber music performances have included appearances at Suntory Hall as well as Wigmore Hall and Alice Tully Hall. Mr. Coucheron serves as the Artistic Director for the Kon Tiki Chamber Music Festival in his hometown of Oslo, Norway. He is also on the artist-faculty for the Aspen Music Festival.



Luminary Awards Selection Panel

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

Ivan Pulinkala                                                                           Gennadi Nedvigin
Luminary Awards Chair                                                           Atlanta Ballet
Susan Booth                                                                              Karen Paty
Alliance Theatre                                                                        Georgia Council for the Arts
Madison Cario                                                                          Yonit Stern
Georgia Institute of Technology                                             Consulate of Israel
Katrina DeBerry                                                                       Karen Tauches  
Atlanta Regional Commission                                                Swan Coach House Gallery
Leslie Gordon                                                                           Lee Thomas
Georgia State University’s Rialto Center for the Arts           Georgia Film, Music & Digital Entertainment Office
Bem Joiner                                                                                Karyn Lu
Center for Civic Innovation                                                     ChooseATL

Congratulations to all of the 2017 ArtsATL Luminary Award Nominees!

The 49 Portraits Project

Neda Abghari, The Creatives Project

Karen Lynn Anderson, Tiny Doors ATL

Aurora Theatre

Miya Bailey, City of Ink

Peter Bahouth, Artist

Robin Bernat, Poem88

Kathy and Ken Bernhardt

Lela Brunet, Artist

Monica Campana, Living Walls

Morgan Carlisle, Eyedrum

Fyodor Chernivsky, Dekalb Symphony Orchestra

Pearl Cleage, Playwright

Annette Cone-Skelton, MOCA GA

Counter Narrative Project

Makeba Dixon-Hill, Spelman College Museum of Fine Art

Dad’s Garage


Robert G. Edge

Jody Feldman, Alliance Theatre

Anthony Harper, The Goat Farm Arts Center

 IDEA Capital

Camille Russell Love, City of Atlanta Office of Cultural Affairs

Sara Hehir

Tamara Harper, Atlanta Music Project

John Hiner, Artist

The Lucky Penny

William Massey III, Artist

John McFall, Atlanta Ballet (formerly)

Jack Michael, Lucky Hand Press / Paper Plane Gallery

Amy Miller, Atlanta Celebrates Photography

Christopher Moses, Alliance Theatre

North Gwinnett Arts Association

Masud Olufani, Artist

Brenda Porter, Actress

Sheila Pree Bright, #1960NOW

Joshua Rashaad McFadden, Artist

Matthew Terrell, Artist

Usher and Georgia State University, “Chains” Project

Sue Schroder, CORE

Lauri Stallings, gloATL

DoT Wilson, Artist

The Vega String Quartet

Bernard A. Zuckerman Museum of Art

Tomer Zvulun, Atlanta Opera