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40 North announces winners of the 2014 ACE Awards

Champaign County, IL – 40 North | 88 West proudly announces the winners of the 2014 ACE (Arts, Culture, and Education) Awards. All seven ACE Award winners embody the spirit of the local arts community with their passion, energy, and dedication to the creative culture of Champaign County. Please join us for the tenth anniversary ACE Awards ceremony on Tuesday, October 14th, 5:30 p.m. at the Canopy Club in honoring their outstanding contributions!

The winners of the 2014 ACE Awards are:

Advocate ACE Award – Pens to Lens/Thomas Nicol, for expanding access to screenwriting and filmmaking to local k-12 students, and for forging creative partnerships with schools, CU Film Society, Champaign Movie Makers, and CUDO.

Artist ACE Award – Jason Patterson, for his outstanding achievement in impactful and powerful American history portraiture, and for his contributions to the excellence of the arts in Champaign County.

Volunteer ACE Award – Eric Robeson for demonstrating his unwavering commitment and generosity to the cultural arts community, and for being not only the catalyst, but also an active volunteer for numerous arts and cultural initiatives.

Business ACE Award – Art Coop for providing invaluable knowledge and resources to artists, educators, and students, including the highest quality materials, a free gallery space, and employment opportunities for young artists for over four decades.

Teacher ACE Award – Nathaniel Banks, for his spirit, dedication, and drive behind the successful after school enrichment music program, Mo Betta Music, and for his overall commitment to accessible music education for underserved youth.

Student ACE Award – Megan Diddie, UIUC Masters Candidate in Studio, for her outstanding achievement as the studio manager at Fresh Press agri-fiber papermaking lab, as well as her leadership in bringing papermaking workshops to numerous community arts programs.

Lifetime ACE Award – Gerald “Candy” Foster, for his decades of limitless talent and energy, his life-long dedication to his practice, his profound impact on countless musicians, and his engagement with the community as a whole.

The winners were chosen from over 90 public nominations by an independent panel of community-based judges representing a broad cross-section of Champaign County.

Judges: Alan Mette, Executive Association Director at UIUC School of Art + Design; Sophie McMahan, local artist; Carly McCrory, Communications Director at the Champaign County Economic Development Corporation; Jason Finkelman, Director of Global Arts Performance Initiatives at Krannert Center for the Performing Arts; Brandon T. Washington, music teacher at Urbana School District #116 and local musician.

Tickets to the 10th Annual ACE Awards are $12 each and are available at and Tickets can also be purchased in advance at the 40 North office at 106 S. Neil Street or call 217.351.9841. Tickets will be available at the door for $15.

Special thanks to our sponsors: Krannert Art Museum, Kessler Optical, Canopy Club, and Shatterglass Studios!

40 North | 88 West
40 North – Champaign County Arts Council – is dedicated to cultivating creativity in Champaign County. Through advocacy, information and collaboration, 40 North works to stimulate a vibrant, thriving environment for the arts, culture and education essential to the quality of life in Champaign County. For more info, visit 

This program is partially supported by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council, a state agency.

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