Howard County Arts Council honors Howie Prize winners

The Howard County Arts Council will honor its 2020 Howie Prize winners at the 24th Annual Celebration of the Arts on Saturday, October 2, 2021 from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. at the Jim Rouse Theater for Performing Arts in Columbia, Maryland. The Celebration Gala provides an annual opportunity for members of Howard County’s arts, education, government and business communities to recognize individuals and businesses who have made significant contributions to the arts in Howard County.

The Howie Awards are presented annually by the Arts Council to: an outstanding artist who has brought a high level of talent and vision to the artistic life of the community; an outstanding arts educator who has made an outstanding contribution to arts education in Howard County; and outstanding business or community support that has had a significant impact on the arts in Howard County.

This year’s winner for Outstanding Artist is poet and writer Linda Joy Burke. Linda Joy was inducted into the Howard County Women’s Hall of Fame in 2013, recipient of Poetry for the People Baltimore Legacy in 2004 and recipient of the 2002 Distinguished Black Marylanders Award from Towson University. Burke’s involvement in the Howard County arts community began over 40 years ago, when she collaborated with other performing artists to create the Open Performing Arts Forum at the iconic Mrs. Z’s. She then became a Poet in Residence for the Howard County Center for African American Culture, where she invited nationally and regionally renowned guest poets to present monthly readings for over 10 years.

Linda Joy’s poetry has appeared in numerous publications, including Obsidian II Black Literature in Review, The Columbia Flier, and The Baltimore Sun. She has performed and given lectures or lectures sponsored by organizations such as Baltimore’s Artscape, Howard County Poetry and Literature Society, and Columbia Festival of the Arts. Linda Joy is a fiction reader for Little Patuxent Review and co-host of the Wilde Readings Literary Arts series.

Patricia Hunter, an art teacher at the Homewood Center, is one of two Outstanding Art Educator Laureates. Patricia was born in Indiana and practically raised by the Indianapolis Art League. It was there that she developed her love of art and discovered her true power to give a voice to those in need and to bring joy and light to those going through dark times. Patricia has been teaching art for 20 years in Maryland: 16 years in Baltimore City Public Schools and the last four years at the Homewood Center in Howard County. She is the recipient of the MAEA award for secondary art teacher of the year 2019, among other achievements. Patricia’s passion for the arts is reflected in her energetic teaching style. She believes that through personalized education absolutely anyone can be successful, have a voice and find joy in the arts.

The second Outstanding Arts Educator to receive a Howie Award this year is Eric Posner, currently in his 14th year as Group Director at Atholton High School. Under his direction, the Atholton Wind Ensemble has twice been invited to the National Festival of Music for All in Indianapolis and has performed at the Maryland Music Educators Association conference. In 2014, the Atholton Band program received the Blue Ribbon of the National Band Association’s Eastern Division Program of Excellence. Previously, Eric was a Marching Band and Orchestra teacher at Bellows Spring Elementary School, where he expanded the program from 75 to 200 students. Outside of Atholton, he has been active with the Maryland Music Educators Association and has presented clinics at conferences in Maryland and Massachusetts. In 2019-2020, he hosted the first annual Regional Music for All Festival at the University of Maryland. During the summers, Eric is Director of Operations for Young Artists of America (YAA) Summer Performing Arts Intensive. In addition, he volunteers with the Dr. William P. Foster Project of the Music Education Alliance, an organization serving groups and group leaders in underserved and underfunded communities.

The person honored for outstanding community support of the arts is Phyllis Madachy, who is being honored posthumously. Phyllis has a long history of dedicated service to the community, including decades of work in the field of aging, and she has been recognized with numerous awards, including the Howard County Woman’s Hall of Fame. She retired three times and served on several boards of directors at the time of her death. She was also an active member of the Howard County arts community. In 2009, she became a member of the board of directors of the Howard County Arts Council; she joined the executive committee as secretary in 2011 and chaired the grants committee until 2015.

Even beyond her support and dedication to the Arts Council, Phyllis’ life was full of art. She hosted a monthly craft night for her friends and enjoyed theater, concerts, dancing, and the visual arts – always championing the work of local artists. Phyllis was also an inspiring member of the HoCo Bookies book club and helped the Howard County Library System bring Isabel Wilkerson, author of The Warmth of Other Suns, to Howard County for a sold-out conference.

A special Legacy in the Arts award will also be presented to Linda and Philip Press. The Linda and Philip joined the Howard County arts scene shortly after moving to Columbia in 1972. Philip was one of the founders of the Candlelight Concert Society (CCS) and served as treasurer for its seventeen premieres. years. He subsequently served CCS as Executive Vice President and President and is currently Director Emeritus.

Philip is very proud that, with Founding President Norman Winkler, they have transformed CCS from an organization featuring local musicians to a world-class chamber music presenter. Many of the world’s greatest chamber musicians have performed for the CCS, including Yo-yo mom, pianist Richard goode, and the Beaux Arts Trio, to name a few. Philip was also treasurer of the Howard County Arts Council from 1979 to 1981.

Linda is a well-known professional artist whose paintings adorn the walls of many homes in Howard County and beyond. His works have been exhibited in numerous galleries, starting with Slayton House in the 1970s, then in Howard County; Baltimore; Washington DC; Florida; New York City; and Le Salon des Artistes Français in Paris, France. Linda was co-director of entertainment for Columbia’s 10th and 11th birthday celebrations, which were the predecessors of today’s Columbia Festival of the Arts.

Join us as we celebrate! In addition to the presentation of the Howie Awards, the evening will also include the Rising Star Performing Arts Competition and the special preview art auction featuring works by local artists.

Tickets for the celebration cost $ 40 and can be purchased online at A virtual ticket option including a live broadcast of the event is also available.

Corina C. Butler

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