2021 Community Excellence Awards presented for outstanding contributions to Gainesville’s quality of life

Front row (l-r): Mark Armbrecht, Shannon Regan and Merina Ingram (Strong Roots Movement), Jessica Foster, Eileen Ahlquist, Amy Vigilante Longini; Back row (l-r): Iryna Kanishcheva, Christine Denny (First Magnitude Brewing Company), Nature Operations Manager Linda Demetropoulos, John Denny (First Magnitude Brewing Company), Brandon Telg (MusicGNV). Not Pictured: Oak Hammock, Mary C. Rosier, Dion Dia Records.

Press release from City of Gainesville

The Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs  Department of the City of Gainesville, in association with the Public Recreation & Parks Board; Nature Centers Commission; Gainesville Art in Public Places Trust; and the Gainesville Cultural Affairs Board presented the 2021 Community Excellence Awards at a recent ceremony.

The Public Recreation & Parks Board presented the Albert “Ray” Massey Citizen Volunteer Award to Merina Ingram and Shannon Regan on behalf of Strong Roots Movement for dedicating their time and energy to promote and/or improve recreational activities in the City.

In recognition of positive contributions to Gainesville’s natural environment, the Nature Centers Commission presented the Star Volunteer Award to Eileen Ahlquist and the Star Green Business Award to Oak Hammock at the University of Florida and to First Magnitude Brewing Company.

For making significant, impactful, and enduring contributions to conserving Gainesville’s natural resources, the Amy Carpus Lifetime Achievement Award was established in honor of the late Amy Carpus, its first recipient. It was presented to Mary C. Rosier, the award’s second recipient. 

The Gainesville Art in Public Places Trust presented the Public Art Award to Amy Vigilante Longini for her contributions spanning more than three decades to enhance the public art and museum/gallery spheres in Gainesville, the state, and the nation. 

Recognizing businesses that have contributed significantly to the arts by offering and sponsoring art programs and events, the Gainesville Cultural Affairs Board awarded the Business Arts Awards to Dion Dia Records and to Monochronicle and its founder Iryna Kanishcheva. 

For contributing significantly to the arts in the city, the Individual Arts Award was presented to Jessica Foster. The COVID-19 Essential Arts Award was presented to MusicGNV for its response to the impact of the pandemic on Gainesville’s music community.

Lastly, visual artist, musician, and poet Mark Armbrecht was presented the Lennie Kesl Lifetime Arts Award for his significant and sustained contributions to the arts.