Sheila Kinnard, long-time vocalist and actress, and Ellamonique Baccus, talented artists, are 2023 Arts Awards recipients and will be recognized at the 53rd Annual Arts Awards Dinner on Thurs., Nov. 9, 5:30 p.m. at the Wichita Art Museum.  

Kinnard, a retired drama instructor with USD 259, has been entertaining people across the state of Kansas for years.  She is an in-demand vocalist and a long-time member of ARISE, the spiritual ensemble that brings history to life. She’s often featured in area theatrical productions including most recently in “The Color Purple” at Roxy’s Downtown, and “Once on this Island” and “Memphis the Musical” for the Forum Theater, “Ragtime” with Music Theater Wichita.  

She’s also expanded into professional directing at the Crown Theater, for “Canaan” in collaboration with The Kansas African American Museum.

“As the Negro National Anthem says, ‘Lift every voice and sing’ and I’ve been lifting my voice in life and music and will do so for the rest of my life,” said Kinnard.  “All the things that have made me who I am have brought me to this place — my family, friends and community support  — and I’m grateful.” 

Artists Ellamonique Baccus, along with artists Matthew Mazzotta, LK Architects, Design and the Wichita Parks and Recreation Department, will receive the Chris Cherches Award.  The award, named after the former Wichita city manager, recognizes a public project that best exemplifies Cherches’ aesthetic vision for the city.

It’s Baccus’ paintings used in the park to depict the history of the Civil Rights legend.  She’s a talented public artist with more than 30 installations across the country.  Her work historically depicting the life of Jackie Robinson is on display in the League 42 entry on the 17th Street side of McAdams Park.  Her work is also amongst the artwork on display along 9th Street, heading from I135 east to Hillside.  

Baccus, is an art therapist and the Executive Director of Wichita’s Arts Partners, a comprehensive educational program that integrates visual and performing arts into all areas of school curriculums.  Through this position, she has been able to contract with many local artists to share their talent in area schools.  

Other 2023 Arts Council Art Award Winners:

Athalia Altit: Youth Recognition Award

Dr. Tim Jones: Burton Pell Award

Woolsey Hall, Wichita State University Barton School of Business: Special Project – Group Award

Rick Bumgardner, Roxy’s Downtown: Art Advocate – Individual Award

Designing Women, Mark Arts: Art Advocate – Group or Business Award

Martha Dooms: Arts Educator Award

Dr. Alan and Sharon Fearey: Gordon W. Evans Award

Ann Elizabeth Garvey: Hall of Fame Award

The annual Arts Council Awards were established in 1969 by the Wichita/Sedgwick County Arts and Humanities Council in order to recognize and honor those businesses, foundations and individuals who have displayed consistent and exemplary support of the arts and humanities in our community.

The awards will be presented on Join us in celebrating this year’s honorees on Thursday, November 9 from 5:30-8:30 p.m. at the 53rd Annual Art Awards dinner, to be held at the Wichita Art Museum.

Ella Baccus

Since 1996, Bonita has served as as Editor-in-Chief of The Community Voice newspaper. As the owner, she has guided the Wichita-based publication’s growth in reach across the state of Kansas and into...