Azalea Awards Ballot

Voting Open Until: Midnight, Thursday, February 20, 2020

Please use the form below to submit your vote. There are a total of eleven categories for which you can vote. (Note: You are not required to vote for every category; just leave those you are unsure of or have no opinion on blank).

Arts Leader
(Category 1 of 11)

“Mr. Gabe” Hutter, the Pied Piper of Takoma Park, has delighted children and their caregivers for the past decade with tuneful, rhythmic classic songs and original compositions. Performing solo and with his band, the Circle Time All-Stars, Mr. Gabe has played to capacity crowds at the community center, the gazebo, and elsewhere, and donated his time to the Takoma Park Library and at fundraisers for two local preschools. Parents report that their children go home afterwards and pretend to be Mr. Gabe, singing and “playing” the guitar. He contributes to a dynamic arts community and is part of what makes our city special.
Wendy Jason, director of Justice Arts Coalition, believes in the power of art to transform the lives of people even when in prison. She brings the artwork of incarcerated individuals to the rest of us in touching exhibitions (e.g., “Iron Bars” at President Lincoln’s Cottage) and through the recent feature of prisoner artwork in the Washington Post Magazine, plus regular ArtLinks where art critics and art lovers give feedback to the artists. For ten years JAC was a small grassroots group, but last year Wendy took steps to expand and formalize it as a nonprofit (although she still runs it out of her Takoma Park house with a few undaunted volunteers). Wendy also curates a gallery of prison art on JAC’s website. Inside prisons she has organized mentoring and educational programs and reinforced the humanity of these artists by giving them a way to express that humanity to the outside world.
Charlie Pilzer is a mover and a shaker. The owner of Tonal Park studio with recording room and performance venue Allyworld, a Grammy award–winning recording and mastering engineer, and an accomplished pianist and bass player, he’s comfortable on stage and off stage. Charlie has “great ears,” able to critique music from jazz to folk, from Ethiopian to Swedish, to bluegrass and beyond. Musicians want his touch on their project, and he understands all levels of music recording and digital mastering. He’s constantly expanding the limits, adding new gear, trying new methods. Charlie’s generosity is legendary. He houses musicians, features them in concerts, and helps them maximize their creativity. In addition, he invited Takoma Radio WOWD-FM to set up their station in his studio. Charlie has lived in Takoma Park for more than 30 years with his wife Cecily, who also exudes the same warmth as Charlie.
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