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Each year two distinguished awards are presented to qualifying members of the community who are committed to developing the arts. These awards are the Otto F. Dingeldein and Friend of the Arts Award.

The recipients are announced at the annual Otto F. Dingeldein Gala, which is held at a different venue each year sometime between late January and early February. Caroline Kahler, who holds emeritus status on the Board of Directors at the Arts Council, and sitting Chair of the Art Department at Southeast Missouri State University, was named the winner of this year’s Otto F. Dingeldein Award. The winner of the Friend of the Arts Award this year was Ronald Nall. Ronald Nall, recently retired form a long teach career in the Cape Girardeau Public School System as Band Director, including Marching Band, Concert Band, and Jazz Band.

about the awards

The Otto F. Dingeldein Award, set up in 1975, was established to honor living individuals whose artistic achievements have made considerable impact on the cultural enrichment of this community. The award can be given to artists, non-artists, or to organizations. The criteria used in selection of the award winner include an evaluation of the individual's support of, or participation in the areas of Drama, Writing, Visual Arts, Music, or Dance. Other criteria taken into consideration are the person's impact on community enrichment, awards and recognition, and length of time involved in the arts.

This year marks the fifteenth anniversary of the Friend of the Arts Award, established in 2002. It is one of the highest honors the Arts Council can bestow upon an individual, or organization, within the community. Nominees are involved with the Arts Council in a capacity that helps our organization achieve its goals for programming and outreach. This assistance can be delivered either through the nominee's service as a volunteer, or through donations of funds or goods.

                                                     past winners of the Otto F. Dingeldein Award
1975 - Otto F. Dingeldein
1991 - Carol Berry Horst
 2004 - Drs. Robert and Ann Gifford
1976 - Marjorie Suedekum  1992 - Don & Beverly Strohmeyer
 2005 - Mr. Narvol Randol Jr. &
              Herb Wickham
1977 - Jake Wells
 1993 - Bill & Jan Chamberlain
 2006 - William Shivelbine
1978 - Dr. Dan B. Cotner
 1994 - Nick Leist
 2007 - Vicki Outman
 1980 - Aileen Lorberg
 1995 - John H. Wiseman
 2008 - Dodie Eisenhauer
 1981 - Jack & Betty Palsgrove
 1996 - Bill Needle
 2009 - Mike Dumey
 1983 - Wendy Rust
 1997 - Ann Abbott
 2011 - Linda Buis
 1985 - Ruth Knote
 1998 - Freck Shivelbine
 2012 - Dr. John Shelton
 1986 - Grant Lund & James V. Parker
 1999 - Dr. Edwin Smith
 2013 - Don Greenwood
 1987 - Mary Ann Gudermuth
 2001 - Dr. Gary L. Miller
 2014 - Brenda Seyer
 1988 - Dr. Frances Crowley
 2002 - Dr. Jean & Nona Nan Chapman
 2015 - Judy Barks-Westrich
 1990 - Judith Crow
 2003 - Craig Thomas
 2016- Chris Wubbena

 2017 - Caroline Kahler    

past winners of the Friend of the Arts Award

2002 - Sam Blackwell
2009 - Utahna Hancock
2003 - Ron Pilz
2011 - Red Letter Communications& Lori Ann Kinder
2004 - Jeff Maguire (Posthumously)
2012 - Chris Edmonds/Staff - Element 74
2005 - Southeast Missouri Hospital
2013 - Major Brands
2006 - Southeast Missourian
2014 - 573 Magazine
2007 -  Jerry Ford 2015 - Jeanie Eddleman
2008 - Richard Webb  2016 - Sue Burton Cole

2017 - Ronald Nall