- The Washington Times - Tuesday, December 18, 2001


Douglas Wheeler, president of the Washington Performing Arts Society, and local jazz musician Buck Hill received special plaudits last night at the 17th annual Mayor's Arts Award ceremony at the Lincoln Theatre on U Street NW.

The pair's Special Recognition Awards cited their achievements, civic leadership and service to the arts and community. Mr. Wheeler, 61, who has been associated with WPAS for 31 years and its president for two decades, announced in October that he would be retiring next September.

Mr. Hill, a septuagenarian who retired from the U.S. Postal Service in 1998, is a longtime saxophonist and clarinetist.

Other awards and winners are: Excellence in an artistic discipline: Documentary filmmaker Judith Dwan Haller, who made "Witness to Hope," about Pope John Paul II, and the Washington Opera, whose artistic director is famed tenor Placido Domingo.

Outstanding contribution to arts education: Jason Kamras, a Sousa Middle School math teacher who started an after-school photography program, and Art Around the Corner, a program of the National Gallery of Art that brings students from four D.C. elementary schools to the museum for multiple tours led by docents.

Outstanding emerging artists: Ruth Dickey, a poet who also is executive director of Miriam's Kitchen, a district soup kitchen, and Duane Moody, described as an interdisciplinary performance artist, but primarily a vocalist.

Excellence in service to the arts: Corcoran Gallery of Art.

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