Award Luncheon Celebrates Contributions to Arts and Culture

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Joan Harris, philanthropist, chairman of the Irving Harris Foundation and chairman of the Harris Theater for Music and Dance Board of Trustees; Tom Gold, former soloist with the New York City Ballet; and John Robert Wiltgen, award-winning designer and arts advocate to be honored at Chicago Academy for the Arts 2009 CAA Academy Honors Award Luncheon.

Chicago Academy for the Arts (CAA) will host the 2009 CAA Academy Honors Award Luncheon on April 30 at the Palmer House Hilton, from 11:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.

Formerly called the Irv and Essee Kupcinet Leadership Luncheon, two awards were added to this year's program, enabling CAA to honor more supporters and better communicate its role as an active contributor and participant in the global arts community.

Most notable was the addition of the Civic Award, in recognition of contribution to arts and culture. Joan W. Harris, philanthropist, chairman of the Irving Harris Foundation and chairman of the Harris Theater for Music and Dance Board of Trustees will be the first to receive this honor in recognition of her tireless efforts promoting the support and funding for arts in Illinois.

Tom Gold, former soloist with the New York City Ballet will receive the first Alumi Award in acknowledgement of his successful dance career. Gold graduated from CAA in 1986, and after
a summer session at the official school of New York City Ballet, was invited to join the New York City Ballet's corps de ballet. Gold was promoted to the rank of soloist in 1996 and retired from the company last May.

The recipient of the annual Irv and Essee Kupcinet Leadership Award is John Robert Wiltgen, an international, award-winning designer and arts advocate. For more than 20 years, Wiltgen has supported CAA with his volunteer efforts, helping to steer its fundraising efforts which has resulted in significant donations.

All proceeds from the luncheon benefit CAA.

"CAA was created under the vision and leadership of Chicago legends such as Irv and Essee Kupcinet, Joyce Sloan and their peers in the arts and business community. The award luncheon helps us build upon the legacy of commitment and outstanding achievement by honoring those who continue to make significant contributions in the arts and culture community and CAA," says Pam Jordan, head of school, CAA.

For reservations and sponsorship information, please call Katie Baltensberger at 312.421.0202.

The Chicago Academy for the Arts provides an environment where students can immerse themselves in daily professional classes under the direction of accomplished artists, providing a context not available in traditional classrooms. Ninety-four percent of its graduates are accepted by the nation's leading colleges, universities and conservatory programs. Forty percent of Arts Academy students rely on scholarships to attend the Institution. In 2006, the school celebrated its 25th year and its designation by the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts as a Creative Ticket-National School of Distinction for excellence in arts education.

http://www.chicagoartsacademy.org

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DYANA FLANIGAN
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