Cultural Council Turns a Bright Light on Award Winners

By Patton, Charlie | The Florida Times Union, May 6, 2012 | Go to article overview

Cultural Council Turns a Bright Light on Award Winners


Patton, Charlie, The Florida Times Union


Byline: Charlie Patton

The Cultural Council of Greater Jacksonville will hand out its annual "City Lights" Arts Awards on Tuesday night to five people. This year, for the first time, the winners have been announced in advance of the event. They are:

EDUCATOR AWARD

Charlotte Mabrey, University of North Florida music professor and principal percussionist for the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra.

Mabrey was nominated by Debra Murphy, chair of the UNF Department of Art and Design, who praised Mabrey as "an exceptional talent who has transformed a generation of music students at UNF."

Mabrey came to Jacksonville in 1977 on a one-year contract to serve as a replacement for the Jacksonville Symphony's percussionist. When he didn't return, she became the first female principal percussionist for a symphony in the United States.

She joined UNF's faculty in 1981 and, in 2001, was named Distinguished Professor, the highest honor that can be bestowed on a faculty member by her colleagues. For 25 years, from 1984-2008, she staged "An Evening of 20th Century Music."

In a letter supporting Mabrey's nomination, Fabio Mechetti, music director and principal conductor of the symphony, praised Mabrey's "unparalleled passion for music, for teaching and for transforming lives, on stage and in the classroom."

INDIVIDUAL AWARD

Susan Greene, community volunteer.

Greene was nominated by Hope McMath, director of the Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens, who called Greene "an effective advocate [who] makes it her business to understand the political, economic and social climates that influence the work of the organizations she serves."

A former early childhood teacher, Greene began her community involvement by developing an artist series in several public schools.

In the years that have followed, Greene's contributions include: curating an exhibit at Hendricks Avenue Baptist Church consisting of images related to the Jewish Holocaust; chairing the Community Advisory Board for WJCT Public Broadcasting and currently serving on the WJCT Board of Trustees; and serving as president of the board of Cathedral Arts Project as the organization grew to what is today a $1.2 million annual operation providing arts education to more than 1,400 students.

INNOVATOR AWARD

Christopher D. Flagg, president of FLAGG Design Studio.

"Everything we do has its origins from art," Chris Flagg wrote in nominating himself. "... The reason I love my profession ... is that I have that opportunity to create a sense of place by blending science with the expression of art within the work that I do."

Flagg, who graduated from Louisiana State University in 1976 with a bachelor's degree in landscape architecture, established his studio in downtown Jacksonville in 2005. Among his contributions to the city's arts scene, he developed a building facade improvements plan for the Laura Street streetscape project; served as lead design consultant to The Haskell Co. …

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