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Blast from the Past: Inaugural KENNY Awards (2006)

It is hard to believe that 5 years have passed since Vince and Leslie Raimond received the first Annual KENNY award for excellence and service in the arts in Kent County, MD. They received this high honor for their more than 30 years as arts advocates, enthusiasts and supporters in the area. The KENNY award, sculpted by artist Marilee Schumann, consisted of a poured bronze bowl suspended over a native eastern shore walnut pedestal. The KENNY Award is sponsored by The Hedgelawn Foundation, Ben and Judy Kohl Trustees.

Here is a look back at that memorable night.

First KENNY Awards given as Historic Prince Theatre Celebrates 80 years!

The Eastern Shore of Maryland’s cultural cup runneth over. This was evidenced by the standing-room only crowd in Chestertown’s Historic Prince Theatre on Saturday, October 28. The occasion? The 80th Anniversary of the historic movie house turned center for the arts.

Leslie and Vincent Raimond are presented with the first Annual KENNY Award by John Schratwieser.
Leslie and Vincent Raimond are presented with the first Annual KENNY Award by John Schratwieser. Photo by Charlie Campbell.

Orchestrated by the Prince Theatre Foundation, “DUETS” a vaudeville style concert celebration of the building and of the arts in Kent County and the Eastern Shore, featured a who’s who of entertainers from the area including Sue Matthews, Karen Somerville, Stefan Scaggiari, Jen Friedman, Dick Durham, John Schratwieser, Lucia Foster, Melissa McGlynn, Bob & Pam Ortiz, Jim & Diane Landskroener, Kate Bennett, Pres Harding, Mary Simmons Ashley, Rebecca Pitre, Randy Bellows, Tom Anthony, Owen McCoy, Peter Heck, Antoinette Smith, Lester Barrett, Chris Jones, Barbara Ferris, Jack Shaum and 11 year old Alphonso Ramirez. Also featured in a live auction were duets of art works by Marcy Dunn Ramsey, Seiko Behr, Susan Tessem and Vicco Von Voss, coordinated by Carla Massoni Gallery, Chestertown.

A highlight of the evening was the inaugural presentation of the KENNY Award for excellence and service in the arts in Kent County, MD. The recipients were Vincent & Leslie Raimond for their 30+ years as arts advocates and supporters in the region, and Senator Barbara Mikulski for her tireless efforts in support of the National Endowment for the Arts, the Maryland State Arts Council and the grass roots arts organization across the state. The KENNY award, sculpted by artist Marilee Schumann, consisted of a poured bronze bowl suspended over a native eastern shore walnut pedestal. The KENNY Award is sponsored by The Hedgelawn Foundation, Ben and Judy Kohl Trustees.

The Raimonds have worked since the early 1970’s through the Kent County Arts Council (KCAC) to encourage, fund, and promote community arts. Musical performances, art galleries, cultural arts assemblies in the schools, Mozart by Candlelight, blues, film, jazz, and gospel festivals, Music in the Park, Actors Community Theatre, support for Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and Mid-Atlantic Symphony, CD recordings of local groups, Fall Fest in Rock Hall and chamber music performances are just a few of the activities that have been produced or funded through KCAC. Senator Mikulski’s Director of Constituent Services, Marianne Kreitner, accepted the award on the Senator’s behalf.

In honor of the occasion, County Commissioner Roy Crow read a proclamation, and Chestertown Mayor Margo Bailey presented the Key to the City to John Schratwieser. The DUETS theme continued with the auction of work produced by artists Susan Tessum & Vicco Von Voss, and Seiko Behr and Marcy Dunn Ramsey. Production staff included Butch Clark, technical director and Ford Schumann, stage manager.

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2011 Here We Come… but first a glance back at the Year in the Arts.

2010 was filled with amazing events in the arts in Kent County.

Here is a list of a few of the most memorable Arts Events the Kent County Arts Council had the privilege to produce or support this year.

1. The Chestertown Book Festival and the R. Crumb Conversation with Robbi Behr
2. Artworks 10th Anniversary Party at Still Pond Station
3. Artworks Still Pond Station Summer Art Camp
4. The Prince Theatre 8th Anniversary Gala
5. The 2010 Kenny Award Presentation to Judy & Ben Kohl (in memoriam).
6. Boister Does Buster
7. All the Art in the Park
8. Walker Family Choir under the direction of Marlon Saunders
9. Sultana’s Downrigging Weekend
10. Mickey Dulin plays Chestertown
11. 100 Voice Choir performance

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