Atlas Performing Arts Center Wins 'Excellence' Award

9/16/2012, 7:16 p.m.

The Atlas Performing Arts Center was awarded the 2012 Mayor's Arts Award for Excellence in Service to the Arts on Sept. 13 at the annual ceremony held at the historic Lincoln Theatre.

It was the first Mayor's Arts Award for the performing arts center, which has stood as an artistic anchor in the historic and thriving H Street NE neighborhood since 2006.

"The Atlas looks to strengthen the cultural revitalization of the H Street NE Corridor," said Atlas Executive Director Sam Sweet, in accepting the award. "The Atlas is home to adventurous artists, audiences and ideas. We believe that the arts can bring people together to share these ideas and build a better community."

The honor was also shared with Washington Performing Arts Society. The Mayor's Arts Awards, which are the most prestigious honor given by the District, celebrates individuals and organizations that have made a significant impact and contribution to elevating the cultural and artistic landscape in the nation's capital.

The Atlas presents an extraordinary range of programs and services in arts education and workforce development. Additionally, the Atlas provides a collaborative environment in which artists and arts organizations can thrive and grow artistically and administratively. Combined with its thought-provoking performances and arts events, the Atlas has become the artistic heart of the H Street community.

Atlas Curator Brad Linde and the Bohemian Caverns Jazz Orchestra and Atlas Arts Partner Step Afrika were also awarded the Outstanding Emerging Artist Award and the Excellence in an Artistic Discipline Award, respectively.

"It is a great pleasure to congratulate Brad Linde and Step Afrika on their honors as well. Both play an integral role in the success and growth of the Atlas," Sweet said.

Last season, the Atlas added a new series featuring jazz, new music, theatre and dance to its current programming schedule.

This season the Atlas continues to expand its programming with new and contemporary performances that speak directly to the community, featuring Grammy-nominated composer/ jazz pianist Vijay Iyer and poet Mike Ladd, arts activist Marc Bamuthi Joseph and a host of local, national and internationally recognized artists.