clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Fifth Star Awards go to five outstanding Chicago cultural forces

This marks the second year of the Fifth Star Awards which are presented by the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE), in association with Allstate Insurance, to honor Chicago artists and cultural institutions.

The five 2015 honorees are:

+ Sandra Cisneros, the acclaimed author of several books including “The House on Mango Street.”

+ Ella Jenkins, the beloved children’s music performer and educator.

+ Stanley Tigerman, the prominent architect, theorist and designer.

+ Norm Winer, program director of legendary rock station, WXRT

+ The Joffrey Ballet, which is celebrating 20 years in Chicago this season.

The Awards will be presented at a tribute concert at the Jay Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park on Sept. 16. The event, a celebration of Chicago’s creativity, that honors exemplary Chicago artists and arts institutions that have made significant contributions in various fields, will feature tribute videos and live performances to honor the awardees.

“Over the years, there have been many ideas proposed for a fifth star on Chicago’s iconic flag,” said Michelle T. Boone, Commissioner of DCASE, in a prepared statement. “These ideas all share one thing in common: They represent a city always in search of new moments of growth, transformation and enlightenment. And while there are no plans to add a fifth star to our flag, we believe there is beauty and magic in the quest for one.”

Sandra Cisneros’ “The House on Mango Street” is required reading in schools across the country and was the Spring 2009 selection for the Chicago Public Library’s One Book One Chicago program. Cisneros has been honored with a MacArthur Fellowship, two National Endowment for the Arts Fellowships and a Texas Medal of the Arts, and she is the founder of the Latino McArthur Fellows (Los MacArturos), as well as two other organizations that serve writers. “A House Of My Own: Stories From My Life,” a book of non-fiction and photos, will be published in October 2015.” Goldfarb.

Stanley Tigerman has designed more than 175 built works including the Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center in Skokie, Pacific Garden Mission homeless shelter in Chicago, and the Ounce of Prevention Education Center in Chicago. He has been an outspoken voice in the world of architecture for more than 50 years and a central figure in the “Chicago Seven,” a group of architects that emerged in opposition to the dominance of Modernism in Chicago. Tigerman is the recipient of the lifetime achievement award from the American Institute of Architects.

Chicago architect Stanley Tigerman.
Chicago architect Stanley Tigerman.

Ella Jenkins, as a performer and an educator, has been singing with children for more than 50 years, and generations all over the world have grown up listening to her nearly 40 albums including Multicultural Children’s Songs, still the most popular Smithsonian Folkways release. She has performed everywhere from “Sesame Street” and “Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood” to the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. In 2004, Jenkins was honored with the Grammy Awards Lifetime Achievement Award.

Storyteller, musician and educator Ella Jenkins.
Storyteller, musician and educator Ella Jenkins.

Norm Winer has been Program Director at WXRT Chicago for 36 years, and few program directors are as closely identified with a major market commercial radio station. In a radio world often focused on playing the hits, WXRT has for decades brought new artists and music to the ears of Chicagoans. While others regularly change format and personnel, the station has remained remarkably consistent, while staying at the forefront of new music in Chicago and the world, and no one is more responsible for this than Winer.

Norm Winer, Program Director at WXRT Chicago.
Norm Winer, Program Director at WXRT Chicago.

The Joffrey Ballet, celebrating its 60th season, is an internationally renowned company classically trained to the highest standards. Known as “America’s Company of Firsts,” the Joffrey expresses a unique, inclusive perspective on dance, proudly reflecting the diversity of America with its company, audiences, and repertoire which includes major story ballets, reconstructions of masterpieces and cutting-edge contemporary works. The company’s commitment to accessibility is met through an extensive touring schedule, an innovative and highly effective education program including the much lauded Academy of Dance, Official School of The Joffrey Ballet, Community Engagement programs and collaborations with myriad other visual and performing arts organizations.

The Joffrey Ballet’s Fabrice Calmels and Victoria Jaiani, seen here in “RAkU.” (Photo: Cheryl Mann)
The Joffrey Ballet’s Fabrice Calmels and Victoria Jaiani, seen here in “RAkU.” (Photo: Cheryl Mann)

The lineup of tribute performances will be announced at a later date. For details, visit http://www.fifthstarawards.org.