SAN JOSE — Artists in a variety of disciplines throughout Santa Clara County are encouraged to apply for the Leigh Weimers Emerging Artists Awards, which will present a $5,000 unrestricted grant to the selected artist or artists. A program of the Rotary Club of San Jose, the awards honor the legacy of late San Jose Mercury News columnist Leigh Weimers, a lifelong champion of the arts and longtime member of the club.
Applicants should be artists who have shown extraordinary originality and dedication in their creative pursuits, but who have not enjoyed the recognition and rewards of being more widely known.
The deadline for applications is July 6, 2015, and a panel of community and arts leaders will select the winning artist or artists. Award recipients will perform or present their art on Sept. 23, 2015, at a Rotary Club of San Jose program in downtown San Jose. Guidelines are available online at www.weimersawards.com. Nominations should be sent to email@example.com.
“I’m honored to work with many of Leigh’s friends to recognize emerging artists, which was something very close to his heart. We all miss him terribly, and he would be pleased to see his support of the arts and artists continue,” said Steve Borkenhagen, chair of the awards program.
Previous laureates have been: dancer/choreographer Lauren Baines (2013); jazz vocalist Jackie Gage (2013); sculpture artist Charlotte Kruk (2013); hip hop artist Demone Carter (2014); installation artist Genevieve Hastings (2014); lighting designer Nick Kumamoto (2014); and stage director Jeffrey Lo (2014).
The awards are funded by contributions from the Knight Foundation Endowment of the Silicon Valley Community Foundation, the Rotary Club of San Jose and friends of Leigh Weimers.
About the Leigh Weimers Emerging Artists Awards:
The Leigh Weimers Emerging Artists Awards were established to encourage artists in Santa Clara County while also honoring the legacy of late Mercury News columnist Leigh Weimers. Leigh wrote his column in the Mercury News for 40 years until his retirement in 2005. Throughout his career, Weimers championed the arts in the Santa Clara Valley, encouraged the creation of arts groups and frequented galleries and performances with his wife, Geri Weimers. Leigh Weimers passed away in August 2012 at the age of 76.
The Leigh Weimers Emerging Artists Awards is a program of the Rotary Club of San Jose, with significant funding provided by the Knight Foundation Endowment of the Silicon Valley Community Foundation. It was created with seed funding from the Spirit of San Jose award committee. The Spirit of San Jose award was created to recognize individuals for their contributions to and support of the City of San Jose, its economic growth, its arts and its community. Leigh Weimers was the first recipient of the award. Additionally, the program receives funding from the Rotary Club Foundation, Rotary Club members and friends of Leigh Weimers.