Distinguished Educator: Dr. Isidore Rudnick (South West)

Dr. Rudnick is the Fine Arts Curriculum Manager for Cincinnati Public Schools. In response to art teachers’ concerns over “lack of supplies,” and “over-crowded classes” among other problems, Suzanne Nall writes that Dr. Rudnick “immediately went about fixing these problems, believing arts education was integral to our students’ education. Dr. Rudnick visited each of our 54 schools, met with all specialists individually, and met with the school board to educate them on our dire needs. The result? This year, for the first time, all art classrooms were completely stocked with art supplies, and our school administrators are more closely following class size limits.” Nominator Mary Anne Donovan writes about how Dr. Rudnick created a district-wide art exhibition/music and dance performance called the “Community Collage.” Busses were sent to all 54 schools, 1,000 children were gathered up, and they spent the day at the University of Cincinnati participating in dramatic readings, music and dance performances. An enormous collaborative mural resulted. Dr. Isidore attends all exhibitions, auditions, and performances; creates meaningful professional development; forges relationships and communication between the 54 art educators in Cincinnati, and arranges private tours at area museums for the art teachers. Adrian Vance Hawk writes, “Dr. Rudnick wears his heart on his sleeve. His heart is so very big and a majority of that big heart is consumed by passion for the arts.”


Distinguished Citizen: Richard Duarte Brown (Central)

Nominated by Mindy Staley, Richard Duarte Brown is a Teaching Artist for the Ohio Alliance for Arts and Education. Mr. Brown is the founding Master Artist with the TRANSIT ARTS Youth Arts Program, mentoring the next generation of artists and arts educators in the region. Jackie Calderone reflects, “Duarte has been the creative guide and extended family member to growing numbers (thousands) of children, young people and adults over the years that I have known him. He has the special gift of engaging people from all backgrounds and bringing them together through his creative spirit. His joy in helping each of us find our own creative light is irresistible. Isn’t that the best kind of educator possible?” Over the years, Mr. Brown established and facilitated art making opportunities with various groups such as the Egypt Girls and the Ebony Boys, Bebe’s Squad, Short Stop Youth Center, the King Arts Complex, and Southeast Christian Academy. Staley also writes “Students could see that the work he does comes from his heart, and they were in awe of his authenticity. His art maintains a dialogue with students as it nurtures and protects issues of the heart. Duarte acts like a mirror for people to see themselves in his art and his words.” Donna Collins further affirms that Mr. Brown’s name and teaching are from the heart: “To understand the meaning of what it is to be a distinguished citizen is to know Richard Duarte Brown. He puts people first, he makes art in heart, and he gives to the world what he hopes for his own family: love, kindness, humanity, respect, and dignity.”


Distinguished Business/Organization: Ohio Arts Council (Central)

The Ohio Arts Council (OAC) was created in 1965 “to foster and encourage the development of the arts and assist the preservation of Ohio’s cultural heritage.” With funds from the Ohio Legislature and the National Endowment for the Arts, OAC provides financial assistance to artists, schools, and arts organizations throughout Ohio. Last year alone they supported 27,197,954 arts experiences, and awarded 700 grants. How? In two ways: securing various grant funding programs to provide support to artists and to make arts activities available to a broad segment of Ohio’s public; and providing services that help to enhance the growth of the arts. OAC created the State Arts Plan 2015-2017, in response to the needs of everyday Ohioans; they surveyed all 88 counties. The Plan serves as the foundation for the agency’s future, conceptualized in four areas: Invest, Engage, Innovate, and Lead. The Plan includes bold, smart investments in Ohio’s arts and culture, including funding in all 88 counties with initiatives to revamp arts education programing for accessibility; to support Ohio artists and creative entrepreneurs; to meet regularly with Ohio artists, administrators, educators, and other community leaders; to build regional, state, and national partnering relationships; and to lead Ohio’s arts and cultural sector with sound policy development, clear vision and dynamic communication. Nominator Jan Fedorenko quotes Jarrod Hartzler, current OAAE Board President: “The Ohio Arts Council is a steadfast champion for arts education. Their work positively impacts what is good for students and provides resources for teachers and principals to supplement the good work arts educators are already doing in schools. The OAC is second to none across the nation.”


Distinguished Educator for Art Education:   This should be an individual in Education (NOT Art Education) who
has contributed to Art Education (such as a superintendent, principal, teacher of another subject).
Distinguished Citizen for Art Education:   This should be an individual outside of the fields of education and visual
art who has contributed to Art Education in some special way.
Distinguished Business or Organization for Art Education::   This should be a profit or non-profit organization,
regardless of size, which has supported Art Education.
  • The Regional Director will provide all award nomination information on the Service Award Nomination Form, nomination forms must be submitted online by the close of the annual OAEA Conference.
  • It is the responsibility of the OAEA Awards Chair to oversee the distribution of the proper awards forms to the nominator.
  • It is the responsibility of the nominator to complete and return all required forms and paperwork to the OAEA online awards submission portal system by January 31st.
    • If only one person is submitted and less than 50% of the members deem the nomination appropriate, the nominee should be dropped.