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Evanston, IL – Evanston  Mayor Elizabeth Tisdahl has announced the recipients of the 2011 Mayor’s Award for the Arts. The Mayor’s Award for the Arts is presented annually to an Evanston arts organization and an individual for contributions to the community through excellence in the arts. Recipients are selected from nominations submitted by the public.

Young Evanston Artists (YEA!) will receive the arts organization award and this year two people were selected to win the individual award: Dr. Stamata Blanas and Jill Brazel.

The awards will be presented at the Annual State of the City Address and Mayor’s Award for the Arts Luncheon. The luncheon is sponsored by the Evanston Chamber of Commerce and NorthShore University HealthSystem and will be held from 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. on Friday, March 2 at the Hilton Orrington Evanston, 1710 Orrington Ave.

Young Evanston Artists (YEA!) is a nonprofit volunteer-driven organization that gives Evanston children an opportunity to display their artwork, sing, play instruments and perform in the Dempster/Chicago shopping district each spring. YEA! was founded by Harvey Pranian, who will accept the award.

Dr. Stamata Blanas is the founder and chairperson of the Faces of Evanston, an annual photography and video contest. She has been the driving force behind the Faces of Evanston for the last seven years. Blanas also is a past president of the Kiwanis Club of Evanston, which supports the Faces of Evanston. Submitted photographs are displayed in a traveling exhibition throughout Evanston and also are available online and through social media.

Jill Brazel served on the Evanston Arts Council for six years and served as chair of the council for three years. During her tenure, she established Art Under Glass, the displays of artwork placed in vacant Evanston storefronts to brighten up the streetscape. A professional photographer, she often volunteers to cover events or create graphics for local nonprofit organizations.

The cost to attend the luncheon is $30 for Evanston Chamber of Commerce members and $50 for non-members. Registrations MUST be in no later than Friday, February 24. Non-Chamber members must register by phone with credit card: 847/328-1500 x22 (lunch or admittance for walk-ins is not guaranteed.) If you need vegan/vegetarian – please indicate meal choice at registration: changes may not be made at the event. Chamber members can register online at www.evchamber.com.