Each year we remember and continue to honor the past recipients of the Perry F. Kendig Award. To commemorate the 35th anniversary of the award in 2020, we asked past winners for their memories of receiving the Perry F. Kendig Award for Arts and Culture and what it has meant to them. We know you will enjoy their recollections as much as we do.
Please note that these remarks have been edited for clarity and space.
“It seems amazing to realize that was 14 years ago now. Todd Marcum and I had been established in business for nearly ten years, but in many ways were we still kids. When we learned we had received this prestigious award that had previously gone to respected individuals in the arts community that seemed iconic to us, we were humbled and incredibly proud…. I believe it helped legitimize us as not just a business, but as two businessmen who cared about their community and the role that the arts play in helping enrich our lives.”
-Tony Pearman for Access Advertising & Public Relations (2006 Winner)
“Winning the Kendig Award has meant a great deal to our firm. As creative problem solvers, we get a lot of personal satisfaction out of helping clients craft messaging and creative that helps them grow and prosper. And to be recognized for simply doing something you love to do, it’s quite gratifying.”
-David Hodge for Anstey Hodge Advertising Group (2009 Winner)
“When I learned that I was a Kendig award recipient I was most gratified, in particular to be in the company of individuals who had received the honor before me…. Thank you for the work that continues and all best wishes on this 35th anniversary.”
-Betty Branch (2010 Winner)
“Winning this award was confirmation that the Healing Arts Program was valued by the community and recognized as meaningful. We have utmost respect for the Perry F. Kendig Arts and Culture Awards and its supporters so this recognition was very gratifying to us.”
-Nancy Agee for Carilion Clinic (2007 Winner)
“To be recognized with a Kendig is the highest recognition a person or organization in our sector can achieve. Such a distinguished and prestigious recognition, whose company allows one to step back and reflect on not only the award but the people who are standing in the room when you receive it.”
-Ian Fortier for the Grandin Theatre Foundation (2017 Winner)
“I was certainly grateful to receive the Fine Arts Award, especially on behalf of Greene Memorial Church. I had the pleasure of knowing both Dr. and Mrs. Kendig. They were splendid people and the Kendig Award certainly honors their memories.”
-Richard Cummins for Greene Memorial Church (1997 Winner)
“Thanks to Hollins and Roanoke College for the continued support of the Perry F. Kendig Award and its importance to the region. Obviously, this award has become more even more significant since I was honored to receive it in 2005, and it is very important that Arts and Cultural leaders within SW Virginia are recognized. After close to twenty years as head of Mill Mountain Theatre, serving on boards of various other arts groups regionally and nationally, and working with the National Endowment for the Arts and the Virginia Commission for the Arts, I was grateful to be singled out for this distinction.
-Jere Hodgin (2005 Winner)
“Art is difficult to define but we know that we like it when we see it. As lay-people, we admire and encourage the work of professionals who bring so much meaning into our lives. It is good to recognize the fine work of the art community.”
-George Kegley (2011 Winner)
“I admit I was truly overcome when the announcement was made. To receive the award as a theatre artist in a room filled with all of the amazing colleagues and peers with whom I have had the honor and privilege of working and collaborating for the past 15 years was almost too much. It felt so very personal – my husband nominated me, those I look up to most shared letters of support, my artistic community was there to share the moment with me. I am especially proud and humbled to know I am the first – but certainly not the last! – actor to be recognized…. It will remain one of the greatest professional highpoints of my artistic journey.
-Amanda Mansfield (2018 Winner)
“It is an unusual award for a journalist to win, but I think it shows a wide array of interest, of support for the community, of knowledge of the bottom line value of the arts, as well as the intrinsic value. Our country is last–or nearly last–in government support of the arts and that is a real tragedy because that support is an investment in the economy, the education of us all, the true value of ‘quality of life.’ ”
-Dan Smith for Blue Ridge Business Journal (2004 Winner) and Valley Business Front Magazine (2009 Winner)
“We proudly display this award on our web site and as decals on the windows of the school space at Towers.… In the last seven weeks of teaching Spring classes online, taking photos of step by step, writing descriptions of process and then writing critiques of their work (73 of them now) I am again heartened by the emails which come back to me. They say that this love of art and the process of being totally absorbed in it, has given them joy, some mental peace and the desire to ‘be better.’ ”
-Vera Dickerson for the Studio School (2019 Winner)
“Receiving the Kendig Award made us reflect back on the vibrancy of the arts in Roanoke and how important they are today and moving forward. It was a very meaningful and special honor to be recognized for our contributions to the arts in our community.
-Judy and Joel Tenzer (2018 Winners)
“Attaching the ‘story’ to each Kendig recipient when these awards are presented meant the most to me. Who doesn’t enjoy or benefit from experiencing the response of the artist when his or her craft is acknowledged? The path that takes a soul from idea to creative expression to product is particularly insightful and only adds to the inspiration when experiencing a tangible result of that journey. Enveloping all the arts into this cultural award makes us all appreciate the great diversity in voice, touch, and movement and how that contributes to a better society and an enriched environment.”
-Tom Field for Valley Business Front (2009 Winner)
“Often when I encourage others to be more involved in the arts community, I refer to the fact that the work that is done is seriously acknowledged by the Arts Council and the City with both Roanoke College and Hollins University as an important service for the public good.”
-Bill White (2014 Winner)
“The award has meant a great deal to me personally and has reflected well on the Roanoke Symphony Orchestra and its work in our community. I particularly treasure the beautiful original art work commissioned from local artist Bonnie Burt and presented to me as a winner, which hangs proudly and prominently right above my grand piano in my conductor studio.”
-David Stewart Wiley (2002 Winner)