July 26, 2009

Annie Ruth and Eugene Goss Win 2009 Art and Music Pioneer Award

Annie Ruth and Eugene Goss today were named recipients of the 2009 distinguished Art and Music Pioneer Awards. The awards presented annually at the Smooth Jazz in the Park Festival recognize artists who have unselfishly devoted themselves to sharing, reaching, and teaching others through the use of their talents.

This year’s award recipients have a breadth of talent, extensive credits and an exhaustive list of accomplishments.

Annie Ruth, an award-winning visual artist, poet, author, performing artist, community advocate, and philanthropist, whose work inspires and impacts audiences nationally, will receive the Master Artist Award. An artist since she was a young child, Annie Ruth started her art career when she was a junior in high school and she has worked nearly 30 years sharing her gift with the world. Talented in several arts categories she has demonstrated expertise in each.

Annie Ruth earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from National University in San Diego, California and is a trailblazer receiving critical acclaim for her work. Authoring and illustrating more than 15 books, articles and inspirational commentaries for both children and adults, she still finds time to mentor numerous aspiring artists and authors.

Her commissioned art and posters are exhibited in homes and institutions throughout the country. Several of Annie Ruth’s major art commissions include Fifth Third Bank, Profiles in Courage Award, The Presbyterian Foundation, Central Clinic – University of Cincinnati, Children’s for Children/Procter &Gamble. In 2008 Cincinnati Mayor Mark Mallory commissioned her to create an original work for the National NAACP Convention in honor of Julian Bond.

Annie Ruth stays active in the community, leading causes that impact women, children, the arts, and literacy. For over two decades her work has directly benefited the Greater Cincinnati community.

In 2003, she was the Taft Museum of Art Duncanson Artist-in Residence. Other awards include Girl Scout’s Women of Distinction Award® , YWCA Career Woman of Achievement, an Ohio Senate Commendation for her community service and artistic accomplishments, a Leading Woman Award for Arts & Entertainment, and Enquirer Woman of the Year.

She has been featured in Who’s Who in Black Cincinnati since the publication’s inception. And in 2008 Annie Ruth was one of 3 women selected for Tyra Banks’ Black History vignette, as a woman making history. The vignette was aired nationally on the Fox and Oxygen networks throughout Black History Month of that year.

Annie Ruth served on the Cincinnati Arts Association, Building Diverse Audiences Advisory Committee, as a board member for the Association for the Advancement of Arts Education, and as a consultant for the Ohio Arts Council for at-risk youth.

Because of her commitment to exposing the community to positive art, Annie Ruth founded Eye of the Artists Foundation in 2001 to use the arts to empower and educate the community, with a focus on youth. Through the foundation she reaches children and educators across the country. She collaborates with other artists to create arts education curriculum materials that depict positive African American contributions to society and culture.

The curriculum sets are distributed free throughout urban populations in the Greater Cincinnati area. The foundation has also donated original art collections to schools and non-profit organizations throughout Cincinnati to benefit the public. Annie Ruth said, “I am like a vessel that God pours this tremendous gift into. It’s my job to share this gift with the rest of the world,” and people of the world and especially in Cincinnati have greatly benefited and been inspired by her work.

Eugene Goss, an eclectic jazz vocalist and percussionist, whose natural affinity for showmanship walks close to the boundary line between music and performance, will receive the Master Musician Award. His superb mastery of his art is manifested when he draws deep into the global jazz song book and blends his own mix of deeply felt lyrics, imaginative scat vocal styling’s and a spontaneous sampling of bells, rhythms and chimes. His gifted artistry makes a unique style, a global jazz style, a universal style of performance, where the sum is greater than all of the parts.

Bringing a new transcendence to the jazz idiom, Goss infuses and excites audiences around the globe. His charismatic stage presence comes with a long career of playing and sharing stages with diverse jazz legends such as Jaco Pastorius, Pat Metheny, Miles Davis, Othello Molinerun, Ray Charles, Chaka Khan, Marvin Gay, Stevie Wonder, James Brown, Jon Hendricks, Phyllis Hyman, and Ira Sullivan.

Mr. Goss is the recipient of numerous honors and awards including, Best of Cincinnati City for entertainment and music, the Cammy Award for best jazz vocalist, best male vocalist and best percussionist in a poll conducted by Cincinnati’s Entertainer Magazine, best jazz performance in the Michelob Jazz Search WNOP competition and the Image Maker award. He performs overseas, in concerts, at festivals and for events that benefit the arts and children issues.

A reception will be held at the Forest Park Community Center prior to the concert on Saturday, August 1, 2009. Guests have been invited to meet the award recipients and to greet the talented artists that will be performing later in the evening.

The awards will be presented during the concert which begins at 6:00 pm. The concert attracts jazz enthusiasts from Chicago, Atlanta, Michigan, Columbus, Kentucky and Indiana. More than 8,000 people are expected to attend this year.

The Smooth Jazz in the Park Festival is a free family oriented community arts project sponsored by the City of Forest Park, The Hamilton County Park District, Duke Energy, Community Action Agency, Best Western Hotel, Cincinnati Art Museum, Time Warner Cable, and the Cincinnati Herald.

For additional information regarding the Art and Music Pioneer Awards, Award Recipients, the concert and other festival activities visit http://www.projectartreach.org/.

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