In celebration of Ballet Theatre of Maryland artistic director Dianna Cuatto's receiving this year's Performing Arts Annie, BTM dancers entertained at the start of the 12th annual Annie Awards ceremony, offering excerpts from their "1812 Ballet" and from
On Oct. 19 in the Key Auditorium at St. John's College, the Arts Council of Anne Arundel County awarded Annies to six people for their contributions to performing, literary and visual arts, and to arts education, patronage and lifetime achievement. The council also awarded grants to more than 30 local arts organizations.
Cuatto was recognized for her work since 2003 as artistic director of Ballet Theatre of Maryland, where she has choreographed award-winning works and built a strong, 35-member company of professional dancers while heading BTM's school of classical and contemporary dance.
Accepting her award, Cuatto said she remains "committed to the dream and vision shared by BTM founder Edward Stewart and the belief that dance is a dynamic expression of a dancer's spirit, a state of being and of life."
Diane Bragdon, principal of Bates School, was the recipient of the Annie Award for arts education. She was recognized for her dedication to the federal Supporting Arts Integrated Learning program. Illustrating how art can benefit a student, Bragdon spoke of an average student who received a grade of A in dance. "Dance," the student explained, "helps me manage my anger."
This year's Arts Patron Annie recipient, Ellenor Alvarez, has for decades raised money for the Annapolis Symphony Orchestra, and has also worked for the Heifetz International Music Institute to bring young musicians to Annapolis.
The Literary Arts Annie was awarded to Iris Krasnow, author of five novels, who is on tour promoting her latest book and did not attend the ceremony. Her husband, Chuck Anthony, accepted the award on her behalf and read a message from his wife: "I am deeply honored to win this award," she wrote. "I have written five books and raised four sons while living for the last 18 years in a home overlooking the Severn River in Annapolis."
The Visual Arts Annie went to Richard Niewerth, who has spent his entire teaching career at
The 2011 Annie