Georgia Street honored with council's top award
by Sunny Meriwether - posted Thursday, March 7th, 2013 @ 12:00 pm
By Sunny Meriwether
The Northeast Louisiana Arts Council presented its annual awards March 2, in conjunction with the Masur Museum's 50th Annual Juried Competition.
The awards, dating to 1985, honor businesses, artists and volunteers in all areas of the arts in Northeast Louisiana.
The top award, called the Mary Lee Milam Award, is not awarded every year but only when the Arts Council Board feels it is deserved, said Arts Council President and CEO Tommy Usrey. This year, the winner was longtime arts advocate and volunteer Georgia Street.
"Georgia never does anything half-way," Usrey said. "When you give Georgia a job, she automatically becomes very excited over whatever it is. It becomes the most important thing to her. And that's what makes a Mary Lee Milam recipient. Each one has had an impact that's long lasting, not just for the Arts Council but for the organizations they work with. Georgia's enthusiasm is almost infectious."
The BART Award, or Business Art Award, goes to a business or corporation that has significantly impacted the success of cultural programs in this part of the state, Usrey said. This year's honoree is the law firm of Creed & Creed.
"They have been one of the major sponsors of many arts events around town," said Usrey. "They've been instrumental in exhibitions at the Masur Museum, and Christian Creed represents the 'Men Who Cook' for the Arts Council's premier fundraiser, Blend of the Bayou. Their nomination came from the Downtown Arts Alliance. Creed & Creed have sponsored the Downtown Gallery Crawl for the last three or four years."
The Edmund Williamson Award honors the individual professional artist who has enriched the area through excellence in his/her discipline and art form.
"Edmund became such an icon, who actually introduced our region to what you might call drive-by art, art in public spaces," Usrey said. "That's what got our public art going around here. So we've dedicated the award to him."
Usrey said this year's winner was Dr. Clay Couturiaux, nominated by the Monroe Symphony Orchestra and the Monroe Symphony League.