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10 will receive 3Arts Awards


Mierka Girten

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Updated: April 14, 2014 4:48PM

The 2013 3Arts Awards — a program that advocates for Chicago’s women artists, artists of color and artists with disabilities working in the fields of dance, music, theater, the teaching arts and visual arts — will be presented Monday night at the Museum of Contemporary Art as 10 accomplished artists receive unrestricted awards of $15,000 each.

The theater awardees are Mierka Girten (member of A Red Orchid Theatre, where she has performed major roles in “Simpatico” and “Mistakes Were Made” opposite Michael Shannon) and Kelli Simpkins (a member of About Face Theatre).

The dance awardees are Michel Rodriguez (who was born and trained in Cuba, came to Chicago in 2008 and is a member of the Lucky Plush Productions troupe) and Vershawn Sanders Ward (founder and artistic director of Chicago’s Red Clay Dance Company).

Lisa Kaplan (a founding pianist with the renowned eighth blackbird ensemble) and Ronnie Kuller (a member of Chicago’s zany Mucca Pazza band) are the music awardees. The visual arts winners are Irena Knezevic (a Serbian artist who teaches at Northwestern University and works in various visual arts formats, music and architecture) and Cauleen Smith (who produces multi-channel film and video installations). And the Teaching Artists are Marta Garcia (currently at Marwen, which provides free visual arts classes to underserved youth) and Robert Schleifer (an actor and playwright). — Hedy Weiss

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