For each of the past 13 years, The Independent has presented Indies Arts Awards to individuals, groups and organizations who've made significant contributions to the local arts scene. Each year we convene a new panel to choose winners, and every year the criteria are slightly different, as befits the Triangle's ever-changing cultural landscape. Last year's panel, inspired by the upcoming Independence Day celebrations, was particularly attracted to nominees who were "doing their own thing," and doing it well, but without much hope for widespread recognition. This year, our panel looked outward, for nominees who have been nurturing other artists, as role models, leaders, mentors, sponsors and helpmeets. So among this year's winners you'll find people who blur the lines between curator, teacher, patron--and friend.
Perhaps that final appellation is the greatest tribute to these winners, who can call so many people in their respective artistic communities by that word: friend. A true friend is one who will do something for you without any expectation of a return favor. This year's winners truly embody that condition of maintaining "unconditional love" for the arts. --the editors
The following people contributed to this year's awards as jury members and/or writers: Med Byrd, Angie Carlson, David Fellerath, Mark W. Hornburg, Brett Ingram, Richard Krawiec, Clancy Nolan, Raphaela Platow, Bill Thelen, Jeff Waites and Byron Woods.
This year's winners