Allen, Jiang, Campbell to receive Mayor's Arts Award
The 40th annual Mayor’s Arts Awards, one of the premier music awards banquets in Nebraska, will be well-represented with individuals with Doane connections. Of the 16 awards that will be handed out at the banquet on May 1, three of the award winners have Doane ties.
Those individuals -- Jackie Allen, Feifei Jiang, and Donald Campbell -- will be recognized at the Mayor’s Arts Awards at Pinnacle Bank Arena. In recognition of the 50th anniversary of the Lincoln Arts Council, the theme for this year’s event is “We are Golden Together.”
Allen, an adjunct music professor at Doane for the past seven years, will be receiving the Artistic Achievement Award - Performing Arts, which recognizes excellence and accomplishment in any of the performing arts, including film.
Allen is a professional jazz vocal artist who began her recording career in Chicago nearly 20 years ago and has released 12 critically acclaimed CDs. She has toured across four continents, appeared at major venues, and has recorded with Grammy-award winning artists, including jazz singer Kurt Elling, pianist Lawrence Hobgood, and producer Ralph Jungheim. In addition to receiving the Artistic Achievement Award - Performing Arts, Allen will also perform at the event.
“To be selected for the Mayor’s Arts Award means a lot for any artist,” Allen said. “My lifelong contributions to jazz vocal music is being recognized by my peers in a fruitful and substantial community that supports the arts. It’s touching.”
Allen says she has enjoyed teaching at Doane, working with the talented group of music students in small classroom environments. “I really appreciate and enjoy the one-on-one interaction and I know that is rare for students to have that. I get to know a student much better than in a group environment and she/he gets personalized instruction.”
Another music adjunct professor at Doane, Dr. Feifei Jiang, will be receiving a Mayor’s Arts Award. Jiang will receive the Gladys Lux Education Award for her JF International Music Academy (JFIMA), where she is music director. Jiang founded JFIMA in Lincoln in 2015 with David Chen.
The academy educates students of all ages about the fine arts, enriching the Lincoln community by offering professional music concert series, traditional Chinese ensembles, and outreach performances. Jiang’s speciality is piano performance and she teaches a number of music lessons at the Academy.
Dr. Jiang has performed throughout the U.S., Mexico, and China, receiving a number of awards for her music. The Gladys Lux Education Award is very rewarding, she said, because of the impact the Academy has had on students throughout the community.
“This award is very important to music educators and schools,” she said. “This award is an affirmation to our hard work and serves as encouragement for myself. We will do our best to continue to be active and make creative contributions to Nebraska’s music education.”
Jiang has taught piano at Doane for the last six years, where she is able to give individual lessons with students.
“I love to work with Doane students,” she said. “They are vibrant and eager to learn new things. Everybody in the music department is very kind and I get a lot of support from everyone. Doane feels like home for me.”
Donald Campbell, a Doane student from 1957-59 and a current member of Doane’s Board of Trustees, will receive the Benefactor of the Arts Award for his generous contributions to the statue of Chief Standing Bear, which now stands proudly in Centennial Mall in Lincoln.
Campbell became interested in honoring Native Americans through Standing Bear’s story after learning about Standing Bear through Judi gaishkibos, a fellow Board of Trustees member. Campbell and gaishkibos worked together to fund a large scale project to have a sculpture of Standing Bear at the center of Centennial Mall.
The bronze sculpture, which is 10 feet tall, was built by renowned sculptor Ben Victor, the only living artist to have two works of art in the National Statuary Hall in the United States Capitol. Over 400 people were at the dedication ceremony unveiling the sculpture in October, and the two Doane trustees are excited to see the countless number of people who will take in the beautiful piece of art in the future.
“The Standing Bear statue has helped many people to understand and empathize with the struggles of Native Americans as immigrants swept across the United States,” Campbell said. “Only 15 years after the slaves were freed, for the very first time, a court of law in our country found a Native American to be a ‘person’ under the law, therefore entitled to those rights. This has touched the hearts of many here in Nebraska, and now, following a unanimous vote in the Nebraska legislature, another casting of the statue will be installed in the National Statuary Hall in Washington, D.C., where it will serve to remind our entire country of the nobility of a good man in such a difficult situation.”
Allen, Jiang, and Campbell will be honored at the 40th Mayor’s Arts Awards on Tuesday, May 1 at Pinnacle Bank Arena. The event begins at 5:30pm and is open to the public. Reservation information is available at http://artscene.org/events/mayors-arts-awards/.