The Illinois Alliance for Arts Education, a statewide organization in partnership with the Illinois Arts Council, annually celebrates the excellence of nominees in the fields of the four fine arts of music, dance, theater, and music.
Winners are awarded in conjunction with Illinois Arts Education Week which was March 17- 23.
Rock River Valley recipients are: Rhonda Hulteen, Music Educator Award. Hulteen is music instructor at Woodlawn Arts Academy in Sterling. She taught private music lessons in piano, voice, and bagpipes for 36 years.
She has developed, taught, directed, performed, and accompanied local schools, churches, colleges, and ensembles since 1973.
Kristy Geil accepted the Business and Industry Award for Fine Arts Support on behalf of CGH Medical Center for its support of the arts and in assisting the Woodlawn Arts Academy through monetary support and employee assistance.
Employees volunteer their time at events, as well as serving on committees.
Julie Woessner, Music Educator Award. Woessner’s career began for 8 years as a first-grade teacher. For the last 9 years, she has been the music instructor at East Coloma, now East Coloma-Nelson Elementary School.
Receiving the Public and Community Service Award for the Arts were Russ Siefken, original treasurer, and Patty Martinez, president of the Sterling Mural Society. From an idea of community leaders was born the Sterling Mural Society and the 19 murals created by artists to portray the history of the city of Sterling.
That idea has created an identity to the community as each mural was based on a historical postcard. The final mural was dedicated, through the fundraising efforts of this organization, as a community appreciation of art.