For each of the past 12 years, TheIndependent has presented Indies Arts Awards to individuals, groups and organizations who’ve made significant contributions to our local arts scene. Every year we convene a new panel to choose winners, and every year the criteria are slightly different, as befits our constantly shifting cultural landscape.

Perhaps it was in anticipation of the upcoming July 4th celebration that our panel this year seemed particularly impressed by nominees who demonstrated an independent spirit, who were “doing their own thing” without much hope for widespread recognition. And so, among this year’s winners you’ll find a number of lone artists whose work is not only of service to our culture in some way, but also unique and excellent.

And when we say unique, we mean unique. You’d be hard-pressed to find other people in the Triangle doing, in quite the same way, what our winners are doing, whether it’s in photography, film, music, theater, or cultural preservation. For each of the winners, the presentation of an Indies Arts Award is our way of saying: Keep on doing what you’re doing.

Many thanks go to the jury who, along with The Independent‘s arts editors, selected this year’s winners: Kate Dobbs Ariail, Jerome Davis, Corkey Goldsmith, Jim Haverkamp, Rafaella Platow, Alan Shapiro and Daniel Wallace.–the editors

This year’s winners

  • Skip Elsheimer: A/V Archaeologist
  • St. Joseph’s Historic Foundation/Hayti Heritage Center: Preserving a Heritage
  • Brett Ingram: Dedicated Documentarian
  • John Rosenthal: Words and Images
  • David zum Brunnen: Theater’s Patriarch
  • Mr. Lady Music and Videos: Feminist/Queer Entrepreneurs