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Nominations open for OmniArts honors

OmniArts, an organization dedicated to supporting local artists and art organizations, is seeking nominations for its third annual Omni Honors Awards Gala in April.

“The Omni Honors Awards Gala is a celebration of the finest in local music, dance, theater, patrons and visual arts in April,” said Bill Jankowski, executive director of OmniArts, “but the selection process begins now.”

The gala will feature an awards ceremony with live performances.

“This is one event anyone who values art, music, drama and dance in our local communities should not miss,” said Jankowski. “It will be a very memorable day for all. This year we are accepting nominees, living and deceased, for consideration. There is too much history of artistic excellence in our region to ignore our past. They deserve to be honored for establishing our culture and enhancing our way of life, too.”

Previous recipients are:

  • Visual Arts: Tim Trumbo, painter, muralist, educator, Ottawa; Laurie Ragan, painter, muralist, Ottawa; Tom Sistak, photographer, Ottawa; David Raccuglia, photographer, La Salle.
  • Drama: Mary Morgan, actor, director, educator, Ottawa; Greg Tullis, actor, director, producer, Streator; Joe Ennenbach, actor, director, La Salle.
  • Music: Gene Montgomery, musician and educator, Oglesby; John Armstrong, musician, conductor, Utica; Michael Pecherek, musician, conductor, educator, La Salle.
  • OmniArtist Award (multi-talented artists): Steve Stout, journalist, photographer, actor, Utica; Ron McCutchan, actor, director, musician, artist, Princeton.
  • Dance: Patty Gray, Gray’s School of Dance, Ottawa; Donna Mueller, Donna Mueller’s School of Dance, Morris.
  • Lifetime Achievement: Roger Amm, 35-year Ottawa High School music instructor, Ottawa; Evelyn Brue Roeder, 70-plus year music teacher, Evelyn Brue Guitar School, Ottawa; Robert D. Manahan, 40-year musical theater director, Spring Valley; Barbara Lukancic, 50-plus-year manager, Illinois Valley Symphony Orchestra, Spring Valley.
  • Patron: Edmund Thornton, Ottawa; Blouke and Marianne Carus, La Salle; Dieken Family Foundation, Streator.

Nominees can include, but are not limited to, educators, photographers, dancers, administrators, painters, actors, musicians and philanthropists with more than 15 years of continuous artistic professionalism in local communities. Award recipients also must show outstanding character, service, reputation and dedication to growing the arts in Starved Rock Country.

To nominate someone, email their name, field of arts and one paragraph regarding why the nominee is worthy of this recognition. All nominees will be reviewed by OmniArts Advisory Committee with recommendations sent to the trustees. Awardees will be selected and notified in December.

Emails may be sent to or mail to OmniArts 315 Fifth St., Peru, IL 61354. All nominations must be received by Friday, Nov. 24.

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