City of Rock Springs Announces First Ever Mayor Arts Awards

City of Rock Springs Announces First Ever Mayor Arts Awards

David Gutierrez, Brad Russell, and Gwendolyn Quitberg represented The Actors’ Mission which received the Mayor’s Arts Award for Art Organization.

ROCK SPRINGS — The City of Rock Springs culminated its Celebration of the Arts month in March by announcing the winners of the Mayor’s Art Awards.

The four awards presented by Mayor Tim Kaumo went to Steven Davis for Performing Artist, Shari Kumer for Arts Educator, Dr. Bernadine Craft for Patron of the Arts, and the Actors Mission for Arts Organization.

Steven Davis Performing Artist

Advertisement - Story continues below...

Performing Artist Award winner Steven Davis’s passion for music started at an early age and opened the door to travel which allowed him to perform across this country and Europe. He returned to home to Green River to continue his education and continues to expand his
musical experiences.

“Every song Steven has written has a story, an original background and has been written through his life experience,” said Chad Banks who nominated Steven for the award. “He has been a traveler, roofer, rancher, oilfield hand, a hobo, and much more. But through all of this, the
music has been a constant passion of Steven’s.”

Shari Kumer – Arts Educator

Another dedicated individual is Black Butte High School art instructor Shari Kumer. Shari received the Arts Educator Award. Shari has always been an advocate for the arts, whether in the classroom or assisting with public art activities.

Some of these include teaching community art workshops, serving in multiple offices in the statewide Wyoming Secondary Arts Educators organization, and locally as chair of the Arts Department for Sweetwater County School District #1.

Shari is dedicated to ensuring her students are represented in the annual Youth Arts displays at the CFAC and participating in the State Art Symposium, taking students to experience Wyoming high schools’ best artists.

Professionals in her field have recognized Shari’s excellence as a classroom educator. She has received the 2016 Sweetwater County School District #1 Teacher of the Year award, the Wyoming Secondary Art Educator of the Year in 2017, followed by the Wyoming Art Educator
Award from the National Art Education Association.

Dr. Bernadine Craft – Patron of the Arts

Dr. Bernadine Craft was selected as this year’s Patron of the Arts.

“Our community is fortunate to have Dr. Craft for her knowledge and dedication to Rock Springs and many aspects of life,” said Banks.

In the role of patron of the arts, Bernadine has served on numerous boards including the Sweetwater Concert Association and the Actors’ Mission. She often volunteers her time to projects involving the arts, and in her role with Sweetwater BOCES, supports arts education opportunities for all.

“One of the pieces of legislation I was especially proud of in my 10 years in the state legislature was one of my earliest: an amendment adding a fine and performing arts requirement to the Hathaway Success Curriculum,” said Craft. “In fighting for that amendment, I collected mountains of information on the importance of the fine arts in human development.

“I discovered that studying any of the arts expands and improves all learning, but it was further proof of something I’d instinctively known since infancy—the arts quite simply enrich, enhance, and expand our lives.”

Actors’ Missions – Arts Organization

And the fourth award, for Arts organization, went to the Actors’ Mission, a community based theater and acting troupe that provides an outlet for people to not only see live theater, but to try acting themselves.

Started in 2002, The Actor’s Mission credo has been “Feed the Body – Nourish the Mind.” Prior to every performance, volunteers serve a meal cleverly designed to go with the theme of the show.

“Over the years, more than 1,000 individual names have appeared on the programs, playing the parts as actors, directors, set designers, stage hands, carpenters, lighting designers, costume designers and more,” said David Gutierrez who is a former board president and has served as director, producer, and actor. “There is a role for all, both on-stage and off stage.”

Many individuals volunteered their time to make this inaugural Rock Springs Mayor’s Arts Awards possible, from the planning committee, videotaping and editing the presentation, creating the awards, and of course, Mayor Tim Kaumo.

The presentation is available to watch via the City of Rock Springs Youtube channel celebrating the accomplishments of these dedicated individuals.