On April 20 at the Acadiana Center for the Arts, the inaugural ICON Arts and Cultural Awards will pull off a two-for: honoring a dozen artists and a philanthropic foundation for their contributions to Acadiana culture while raising money to create and sustain an endowed fund at the Community Foundation of Acadiana — the ABC Fund, short for Arts, Business and Culture — to support the creative economy.
Honorees at the Thursday-night gala are artist George Marks (creative economy for his work with NuNu Arts & Culture Collective in Arnaudville), Joshua Caffery and Joel Savoy for their recreations of early Lomax recordings; choreographer Clare Cook (rising star); the Heymann Foundation for its support of the arts; photographer Debbie Fleming Caffery (visual arts) and singer-songwriter Zachary Richard (performing arts). Saxophonist and conceptual artist Dickie Landry will receive a lifetime achievement award, and Special Trailblazer Recognition will be given to four last artists who shaped generations of creativity in various disciplines: painters Elemore Morgan Jr. and George Rodrigue, and musicians Clifton Chenier, Stanley “Buckwheat Zydeco” Durel and David Egan.
“We have a class of artists and trailblazers whose commitment to our culture will leave a legacy well beyond our time. Our culture is one of our most valuable economic assets, and events like the ICON Awards will allow the ABC Fund to strengthen and support the arts to continue this great legacy,” says Cathi Pavy, chair of the board of the ABC Fund, in a release announcing the awards.
A confidential committee comprising members of the area arts and culture sector selected the award recipients.
Adds Jerry Vascocu, Acadiana president of sponsor IBERIABANK: “We are pleased to support the ABC Fund as the endowment will have a long-lasting impact supporting our culture, our artists and the economy. Our investment in the arts is a testament to IBERIABANK’s commitment to the community, while also providing an opportunity to recognize some of the greatest legacies and up-and-comers in Acadiana.”