Fairfield Ledger
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Neighbors Growing Together | Dec 7, 2016

Fairfield’s culture celebrated at gala

Nov 25, 2016
Source: PHOTO COURTESY OF WERNER ELMKER Attendees to Fairfield Cultural Alliance’s 10th Annual Networking Gala include, from left, front row: Werner Elmker, Jewel MacDonald, Kristi Henry, Torie Hollingsworth, FCA president Denyce Rusch and Karin Hauring; back row: Colleen Bell, Rusty Luksich, Gary Henry, Monty Congdon, Shanaz Kreider, Kadie Dennison, Nicolas Naoti, Dennis James and Lauryn Shapter.

The Fairfield Cultural Alliance invited all culture lovers and creators to its 10th Annual Networking Gala at ICON Gallery on Nov. 15.

As usual, event attendees enjoyed gourmet appetizers and dessert refreshments. Plus this year, a few surprises added to the fun and presentations.

Mayor Ed Malloy was on hand to display the city’s new logo. He spoke about the process of creating a brand for Fairfield to encourage more tourists to visit and more growth of its expanding population.

Fairfield Iowa Convention & Visitors Bureau executive director Rustin Lippincott told the group about branding process, which took multiple years. Assistant director Terry Baker spoke about the CVB’s new tag line, “Tune into Our Vibe,” which complements the city’s tag, “Connect. Create. Celebrate.”

Then live music by Fairfield’s own Lauryn Shapter and Dennis James of Society of Broken Souls set the mood for the evening while entertaining the crowd.

The seven FCA Cultural Fund grant recipients for 2016 outlined their upcoming projects. They included:

• Carol Negro, Everybody Sings, for upcoming holiday presentations;

• Rusty Luksich, for building drums to be donated to and used by the public;

• Gary Henry, Southeast Blues Society, for “Rockin’ in the Blues Year” on Jan 7, 2017;

• Bill Teeple, ICON, for gallery security upgrades;

• Steve Smith, for Live on the Square’s summer 2017 events;

• Burt Chojonowski, Fairfield First!, for photography by Werner Elmker;

• Suzan Kessel, Fairfield Art Association, to help finish the Lee Gobble Sculpture; and

• Joni Johnston, Greater Fairfield Area Habitat for Humanity, for its ReStore sign.

FCA Cultural Contribution Awards were presented to individuals and/or organizations who have made a significant contribution to Fairfield’s cultural community. This years’s venerable nominees included:

• Carol Negro for the Everybody Sings Community Chorus;

• Elaine Reding of the Chamber Singers of Southeast Iowa;

• Steve Boss, the cooking show host of KRUU FM’s “Great Taste;”

• Jewel McDonald of Morningstar Studio;

• Nicholas Naoti, of the Arbor Bar;

• Meret and Steve Giacomini for Cafe Paradiso; and

• Tim Britton, world renowned Irish musician, recording engineer, sound man and emcee at Cafe Paradiso.

“The FCA board regretted not being able to present awards to every nominee, seeing as each made an important contribution to the town arts and culture community this year and they deserve great recognition,” said FCA president Denyce Rusch.

For more information about each of the nominees, go to www.fairfieldculturaldistrict.org/news/2016awards.htm .

The Cultural Contribution Legacy Award went to Meret and Steve Giacomini for the work they have done to bring talent to town and to create Cafe Paradiso.

The 2016 Cultural Contribution Achievement Award was shared by Torie Hollingsworth and Kadie Dennison for directing the Fairfield Arts & Convention Center’s Children’s Summer Theater Camp, this year serving 40 local children ages 10 to 14.

The FCA Gala is an annual event open to the public usually held in mid-November. Rusch said the organization is looking forward to what might happen next year.

The FCA is a non-profit volunteer organization whose mission includes administering the Fairfield Cultural District and supporting creative expression in Fairfield through grants, education, and marketing. FCA projects include the Fairfield Cultural Trust Fund for mini-grants, the Fairfield Heritage Tour booklet annual editions, and annual Cultural Contribution Awards.

The organization welcomes new volunteers and board members. For more information, contact Rusch by email at fairfieldculturalalliance@gmail.com.

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