Honorees to Be Recognized June 16 at Americans for the Arts’ Convention in Denver, CO

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Americans for the Arts announced today the recipients of the 2018 Americans for the Arts Leadership Awards. Given annually, these awards recognize the achievements of individuals and organizations committed to enriching their communities through the arts. This year’s awards recipients are: 
  • Quanice G. Floyd – American Express Emerging Leaders Award
  • William Marino – Michael Newton Award
  • Kristina Newman-Scott – Selina Roberts Ottum Award
  • Renee Piechocki – Public Art Network Award
  • Paul Sznewajs – Arts Education Award
  • Sarah Gonzales Triplett – Alene Valkanas State Arts Advocacy Award 
“These tremendous leaders have distinguished themselves as passionate advocates for the arts and arts education,” said Robert L. Lynch, president and CEO of Americans for the Arts. “They have implemented innovative and transformative programs to strengthen the communities they serve and build recognition for the important work of the arts. Their unwavering commitment to local, state, and national support for the arts is deserving of this recognition.”
The award ceremony is open to the press and will be presented at Americans for the Arts’ Annual Convention in Denver, Colorado, on Saturday, June 16, 2018, from 11:00 a.m. to 1:15 p.m. 
2018 Americans for the Arts Leadership Awardee Bios
Quanice G. Floyd, Americans Express Emerging Leaders Award
Born and raised in New York City, Floyd has spent over a decade in Washington, DC, where she has received her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Music Education from Howard University and Kent State University respectively. Her passion for arts administration led her to pursue her second Master’s degree in Arts Management at American University, and she is currently a doctoral student at Drexel University. Floyd is a public school music educator where she teaches elementary school general and vocal music. She is the Founder & Director of the Arts Administrators of Color Network, an organization committed to empowering artists and arts administrators by providing resources and tools to advocate for access, diversity, inclusion, and equity in the arts in the Washington, DC, and Baltimore metropolitan areas. Floyd also serves as an advisory committee member for the Arts Education in Maryland Schools Alliance, and is an alumna of the ArtEquity Facilitator Cohort, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra’s Music Educators Academy, Arts Administrators Academy, 4pt0 Schools Essentials Program, and the Arts Education Collaborative’s Leadership Academy. 
William (Bill) Marino, Michael Newton Award
Marino currently serves as chief executive of the Lakewood-West Colfax Business Improvement District, board chair of 40 West Arts District, and founder of The Creativity Lab of Colorado. For more than 20 years, Marino has worked arm-in-arm with city, county, and state agencies to help stimulate economic activity through community engagement, land use, and the catalytic impact of the arts. He led a grass-roots campaign to form the Lakewood-West Colfax BID and championed the formation of a new arts district, 40 West Arts, along West Colfax – a storied commercial corridor that had endured a 30-year period of economic decline. 40 West Arts, now a state-certified creative district, has become a driving force for change that helped to usher in a new era for historic West Colfax. Marino’s hands-on collaboration has helped numerous companies select West Colfax, bringing more than $200 million of new investment to the corridor, while also attracting established, contemporary co-op galleries representing more than 100 artists to the district. Marino is a published author and frequent speaker on entrepreneurship and community engagement. He and his wife of 38 years live in Lakewood’s Green Mountain area with their special-needs rescue dog named Frankie.  
Kristina Newman-Scott, Selina Roberts Ottum Award
Newman-Scott is the first immigrant and first woman of color to serve as the Director of Culture and State Historic Preservation Officer for the State of Connecticut, where she oversees the state’s economic and community development grant-making, programs and services related to art, culture, and historic preservation, and deploys strategies to transform environments into vibrant and sustainable communities. Previously, Newman-Scott served as the Director of Marketing, Events and Cultural Affairs for the City of Hartford; Director of Programs at the Boston Center for the Arts; and Director of Visual Arts at Hartford's Real Art Ways. Newman-Scott’s awards and recognitions include a 2018 Connecticut Women’s Education & Legal Fund, Woman of Inspiration; a 2017 Writers Block, ACE Awardee; Hartford Business Journal Forty Under 40; a National Arts Strategies Creative Community Fellow; a Hive Global Leadership selectee; and a Next City, Urban Vanguard. Newman-Scott serves on the boards of the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies, The Connecticut Forum, and the New England Foundation for the Arts, as well the Americans for the Arts Private Sector Council. She was born and raised in Jamaica and became a U.S. citizen in 2013. She describes herself as a Jamaican-raised cultural strategist, connecting minds to a vision and hands to a purpose of meaningful existence.
Renee Piechocki, Public Art Network Award
Piechocki is passionate about developing projects and initiatives to engage artists and communities in the public realm. She founded Pittsburgh’s Office of Public Art (OPA) in 2005, where her team of five provided technical assistance and educational programs about public art in a thirteen-county region. Under her leadership, OPA produced more than 50 works of permanent and temporary public art and developed ongoing projects with entities in the public and private sector including the Allegheny County Airport Authority, Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership, Neighborhood Allies, and Community Builders, Inc. Previously, Piechocki was facilitator the Public Art Network, the national service program in the field of public art; studio manager for Vito Acconci; and project manager for the City of New York’s Percent for Art Program. Her consulting work includes public art plans and strategies developed in collaboration with Jennifer McGregor and others for City of Laramie, WY, San Pedro Creek Cultural Park in San Antonio, TX, Cross-Charlotte Trail in Charlotte, NC, and the Rose Kennedy Greenway in Boston, MA. Piechocki was born in Queens, New York, and earned her Bachelor’s degree from Hunter College.
Paul Sznewajs, Arts Education Award
With nearly two decades of senior leadership experience in the arts and philanthropic sectors, Sznewajs has a track record of building, launching, and evaluating complex cultural social sector initiatives. Sznewajs is founding Executive Director of Ingenuity, a public-private arts strategy, advocacy, and grant-making entity that ensures the arts are a central component of U.S. public education. Under Sznewajs’ leadership, Ingenuity has driven the most progress in Chicago arts education in nearly four decades, increasing arts access, quality, and equity for hundreds of thousands of students every year. Sznewajs’ professional experience spans across all aspects of nonprofit and philanthropic work including executive leadership; public-sector planning and capacity building; grant-making and impact investment program design; designing and implementing large-scale public-private initiatives; program development; and metric-based outcomes and program analysis. Sznewajs has been honored by the White House and the President’s Committee for the Arts and Humanities for his work. He is currently leading the implementation of a groundbreaking arts data and mapping platform with growing national implications.
Sarah Gonzales Triplett, Alene Valkanas State Arts Advocacy Award
Triplett is the Director of Public Policy and Advocacy for Creative Many Michigan (CMM) a statewide organization with a mission to develop creative people, creative places, and the creative economy for a competitive Michigan. Through her work, Triplett strategically advances advocacy and public policy to build support for the arts, culture, arts education and the creative industries at the state and federal level by: directing advocacy and policy initiatives, developing research, creating communications tools, and leading grassroots organizing and coalition building efforts. Triplett is also an instructor in the Arts and Cultural Management Program within the College of Arts and Letters at Michigan State University. Previously, Triplett served as the Assistant Director of Communications and Community Engagement for the Early Childhood Investment Corporation. Triplett also worked in the legislature where she last served as Deputy Chief of Staff in the Office of the Michigan Speaker of the House of Representatives, in addition to her role as a Legislative Aide, and Senior Executive Assistant during her tenure. Triplett is a member of the State Arts Action Network (SAAN) for Americans for the arts and was elected to the SAAN Council in 2014, where she's served since that time. In 2016, Triplett was elected Vice Chair of the SAAN and Chair the following year, a position she holds today. Additionally, she is currently serving her third consecutive term as Chair of the City of East Lansing Arts Commission. In 2018, Triplett was elected to serve on the Board of Directors for the Tourism Industry Coalition of Michigan (TICOM) and as President-Elect of the Junior League of Lansing. Triplett earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in communications and political science at Hope College in Holland, MI, and currently lives in East Lansing with her husband Nathan and son Teddy. 
Americans for the Arts is the leading nonprofit organization for advancing the arts and arts education in America. With offices in Washington, D.C. and New York City, it has a record of more than 55 years of service. Americans for the Arts is dedicated to representing and serving local communities and creating opportunities for every American to participate in and appreciate all forms of the arts. Additional information is available at www.AmericansForTheArts.org.
Inga Vitols