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The 2017 Mayor's Arts Awards

The rare August rain evaporated and the sun began to blaze just in time for yesterday's 15th annual Mayor's Arts Awards, which honored an inspiring slate of finalists. Hundreds of people from the creative community—artists, curators, organizers and administrators alike—convened at Seattle Center's Mural Amphitheatre for the ceremony before gathering for a celebration above the Fisher Pavilion.

Founder of the Seattle Chinese Post and Northwest Asian Weekly Assunta Ng won the individual Cultural Ambassador award and youth music education and mentorship nonprofit Seattle Music Partners won the Cultural Ambassador award for an organization. Northwest Film Forum executive director Courtney Sheehan won for Arts & Innovation, and creative catalyst and curator Leilani Lewis won the award for an Emerging Leader in the Field. 

We'll be profiling all of these recipients next week, so stay tuned for a deeper look at what makes their work stand out. In the meantime, enjoy these photos from yesterday's event.

All photos by Bruce Clayton Tom.

Ken WorkmanKen Workman, fourth generation great grandson of Chief Seattle, blessed the occasion on Duwamish Land.
Vivian PhilipsSeattle Arts Commission chair Vivian Phillips spoke about the value of the arts and remembered her friend Kabby Mitchell, a 2016 award winner, who passed away in May.

Randy EngstromRandy Engstrom, director of Seattle's Office of Arts & Culture, embraced Town Hall executive director Wier Harman, as he came to the stage following a proclamation from the Seattle Arts Commission honoring his and Town Hall's work.

HarmanHarman's kids ran to hug him as he left the stage. He has recently been battling a serious illness.
Anastacia-ReneéIncoming Civic Poet Anastacia-Reneé shared a powerful poem.

Assunta Ng accepted the award for Cultural Ambassador – Individual.

Quinton MorrisSeattle Arts Commissioner and 2011 Mayor's Arts Award winner Quinton Morris presented the award for Cultural Ambassador – Organization.
Scott GelbandSeattle Music Partners executive director Scott Gelband accepted the organization's award.

Deputy Mayor Hyeok Kim and Tracy Rector join Courtney SheehanDeputy Mayor Hyeok Kim (left) and Arts Commissioner Tracy Rector (right) join Courtney Sheehan as she accepts her award.

Leilani LewisLeilani Lewis (right) learns she's won.
Lewis receiving her award from Priya FrankLewis approaches the podium after receiving her award from Arts Commissioner Priya Frank.

3rd Shift Dance3rd Shift Dance kicked off the party above Fisher Pavilion.