The Arts Awards Head North
Arts Leaders to be Honored in St. Johnsbury
Arts supporters from around the state will gather in St. Johnsbury October 7 to honor three individuals who have had a profound impact on the arts in Vermont. Jody Fried will be given the Arthur Williams Award for Meritorious Service and Bess O’Brien will receive the Walter Cerf Medal for Outstanding Achievement in the Arts. In addition, the Governor’s Award for Excellence in the Arts will be presented to former Vermont Poet Laureate Galway Kinnell.
Jody Fried will receive the Arthur Williams Award for Meritorious Service to the Arts. Fried has led Catamount Film and Arts in St. Johnsbury since 2009, just after the opening of a new space in the Masonic Temple. Under his leadership, the Catamount has become a vibrant community arts center with partners reaching through Vermont and into New Hampshire. Fried also has served on the board of the Northeast Kingdom Collaborative, Northeast Kingdom Community Action, the Northeast Kingdom Travel and Tourism Association, and the Burke Area Chamber of Commerce.
The Walter Cerf Medal for Outstanding Achievement in the Arts will be awarded to Bess O’Brien. O’Brien is the director/producer of numerous award-winning documentary films, and co-producer of several feature films. Awards for her work have come from the National Education Association, Voices for Vermont, Vermont Works for Women, and the U.S. Department of Justice. She has also been elected as a Member of the Vermont Academy of Arts and Sciences and has received the prestigious Producers Guild of America Award with her husband Jay Craven.
The Governor’s Award for Excellence in the Arts will be presented to Galway Kinnell. Kinnell has published eleven books of poetry, a novel, and a children’s book as well as translations of work by François Villon and Rainer Maria Rilke. He edited The Essential Whitman. He has been director of an adult education program, a Fulbright Lecturer and taught at several universities. Among many other awards, he won a Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award. He is known to be one of the most important poets of the past century as well as a gifted teacher and advocate for social justice.