Last year’s Angel of the Arts award recipients Selena and Louie Espinoza pose with their award and Arts Commission member Lisa Wentworth. (Port Townsend Arts Commission)

Last year’s Angel of the Arts award recipients Selena and Louie Espinoza pose with their award and Arts Commission member Lisa Wentworth. (Port Townsend Arts Commission)

Deadline nears for Port Townsend Arts Commission award nominations

PORT TOWNSEND — The Port Townsend Arts Commission is having a final call for nominations for its Angel of the Arts award, a tradition since 1999.

Nominations are due Saturday and are meant to honor the people who work behind the scenes to ensure local artists continue to thrive.

“It’s an award for the unsung heroes of the arts here,” said Arts Commission member Lisa Wentworth. “There’s also been artists who use their art for a cause that have won as well.”

The award is meant for an individual, though on two occasions it has been awarded to a couple — Selena and Louie Espinoza in 2015 and Harvey and Karen Putterman in 2011.

The honorary title of Angel of the Arts is to show appreciation for an individual’s volunteer efforts that have contributed to the creation, production or performance of the arts in Port Townsend, according to Wentworth.

“When we vote, we’re looking mainly for community service,” Wentworth said. “Obviously some involvement with an art form as well.”

Selena and Louie Espinoza won the award last year for their community service. The couple runs Louie’s World, a local music company where they provide music for events either as a singing duo, by renting out a DJ or by renting out karaoke service.

“They just do so much for the community,” Wentworth said. “They’ve done a lot of music for a lot of events for good causes and a lot of fun causes and all out of their own pocket. There wasn’t any gain for them.”

While it is an annual award, nominees are often longtime volunteers in Port Townsend, often being nominated multiple times before actually winning the title of Angel of the Arts, according to Wentworth.

Currently, there have only been four nominations turned in for the 2016 award, though Wentworth said she’s hopeful a few more will roll in before the Saturday deadline.

“We usually have a half dozen to a dozen forms each year,” Wentworth said. “I know I’ve personally handed out 65 forms. Now it just depends on how many I get back.”

Forms can be downloaded from the Port Townsend Arts Commission website, www.cityofpt.us/ptarts, or can be picked up on the second floor of City Hall at 250 Madison St.

Wentworth said forms can be turned back in at city hall or emailed to her at lisawentworth@hotmail.com.

The winner of the title of Angel of the Arts will be announced at an event March 10, along with the Patron of the Arts award which is also decided by the Port Townsend Arts Commission.

“We’ve already made the decision on that, we’re just not allowed to announce it yet,” Wentworth said.

The Patron of the Arts award is similar to the Angel of the Arts, though it is generally awarded to a venue or business, according to Wentworth.

“That’s an award for a business that is hanging art or hosting art or helping artists without asking anything in return; businesses that don’t have anything to do necessarily with the arts scene but promote it anyway” Wentworth said.

Both awards will be announced at an event in the Cotton Building, details for which will be announced closer to the event.

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Jefferson County Editor/Reporter Cydney McFarland can be reached at 360-385-2335, ext. 55052, or at cmcfarland@peninsuladailynews.com.

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