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Howard County Arts Council Honors Howie Award Winners


The event takes place on Saturday, October 2, 2021 from 7:00-9:00pm at the Jim Rouse Theatre for Performing Arts in Columbia, Maryland.

Howard County Arts Council Honors Howie Award Winners

The Howard County Arts Council will honor its 2020 Howie Award recipients at the 24th Annual Celebration of the Arts on Saturday, October 2, 2021 from 7:00-9:00pm at the Jim Rouse Theatre 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 that have made meaningful contributions to the arts in Howard County.

The Howie Awards are presented annually by the Arts Council to: an Outstanding Artist who has contributed a high level of talent and vision to the artistic life of the community; an Outstanding Arts Educator who has made an exceptional contribution to arts education in Howard County; and an Outstanding Business or Community Supporter that has made a significant impact on the arts in Howard County.

This year's honoree for Outstanding Artist is poet and writer Linda Joy Burke. Linda Joy is a 2013 Howard County Women's Hall of Fame inductee, a 2004 Poetry for the People Baltimore Legacy recipient, and a 2002 recipient of Towson University's Distinguished Black Marylanders award. 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 restaurant. She later became poet-in-residence for the Howard County Center for African American Culture, where she invited nationally and regionally recognized 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 readings or talks sponsored by such organizations 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 a co-host of the Wilde Readings Literary Arts series.

Patricia Hunter, an art teacher at Homewood Center, is one of two Outstanding Arts Educator honorees. Patricia was born in Indiana and practically raised by the Indianapolis Art League. It was there she developed her love of art and discovered its true power to give a voice to those who need it and to bring joy and light to those walking through dark times. Patricia has taught art for the past 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 winner of the MAEA Secondary Art Teacher of the Year 2019 award, among other accomplishments. Patricia's passion for the arts comes out through her energetic teaching style. She believes that through personalized instruction, absolutely everyone can be successful, have a voice, and find joy in the arts.

The second Outstanding Arts Educator honored with a Howie Award this year is Eric Posner, currently in his 14th year as director of bands at Atholton High School. Under his direction, the Atholton Wind Ensemble has twice been invited to the Music for All National Festival in Indianapolis and performed at the Maryland Music Educators Association Conference. In 2014, the Atholton Band program was awarded the National Band Association Eastern Division Program of Excellence Blue Ribbon. Previously, Eric was the band and orchestra teacher at Bellows Spring Elementary School where he grew the program from 75 to 200 students. Outside 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 organized the first annual Music for All Regional Concert Band Festival at the University of Maryland. In the summers, Eric serves as the operations director for Young Artists of America (YAA) Summer Performing Arts Intensive. In addition, he volunteers for the Music Education Alliance's Dr. William P. Foster Project, an organization serving bands and band directors in underserved and under-resourced communities.

The honoree for Outstanding Community Supporter of the Arts is Phyllis Madachy, who is being honored posthumously. Phyllis had a long history of devoted service to community, including her decades of work in the field of aging, and she was recognized with many awards, including the Howard County Woman's Hall of Fame. She retired three separate times and was serving on multiple boards at the time of her passing. She was also an active member of the Howard County arts community. In 2009, she became a Board member of the Howard County Arts Council; she joined the Executive Committee as secretary in 2011 and served as chair of the Committee on Grants until 2015.

Even beyond her support and dedication to the Arts Council, Phyllis's life was full of art. She hosted a monthly craft evening for friends, and enjoyed theater, concerts, dance, and visual art - always championing the work of local artists. Phyllis was also an inspirational 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 lecture.

A special Legacy in the Arts Award will also be presented to Linda and Philip Press. The Linda and Philip joined the arts scene in Howard County shortly after they moved to Columbia in 1972. Philip was one of the founders of the Candlelight Concert Society (CCS) and was treasurer for its first seventeen years. He has subsequently served CCS as executive vice president and president and is currently director emeritus.

Philip is very proud that, together with founding president Norman Winkler, they grew CCS from an organization presenting local musicians to a world-class chamber music presenter. Many of the world's greatest chamber musicians have performed for CCS, including Yo-Yo Ma, pianist Richard Goode, and the Beaux Arts Trio, to name a few. Philip also served as treasurer of the Howard County Arts Council from 1979 to 1981.

Linda is a well-known professional artist whose paintings grace the walls of many homes in Howard County and beyond. Her works have been exhibited in numerous galleries, starting with Slayton House in the 1970s and subsequently in Howard County; Baltimore; Washington, DC; Florida; New York City; and Le Salon des Artistes Français in Paris, France. Linda was co-director of the entertainment for Columbia's 10th and 11th birthday celebrations, which were predecessors to 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 Special Preview Art Auction featuring works by local artists.

Tickets to the Celebration are $40 and may be purchased online at A virtual ticket option including a live-stream of the event is also available.

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