Detroit, MI 48202
The College of Fine, Performing and Communication Arts at Wayne State University presents its 34th Arts Achievement Awards. Outstanding alumni and former students of Wayne State University are recognized for their dedication to, and advocacy for, the arts and communication and for achievements in their respective fields.
Wayne State Arts Achievement Awards honorees for 2013:
Dean’s Award for Community Impact, College of Fine, Performing and Communication Arts
Harry Leibowitz, founder and co-chair, World of Children Award
In 1996, Harry Leibowitz co-founded with his wife, Kay Isaacson-Leibowitz, the World of Children Award, a global program that funds children’s issues throughout the world and honors those who selflessly devote their lives to improving the lives of children. In its 17-year history, the World of Children Award has invested $5 million in programs led by 95 honorees serving children in 140 countries, touching the lives of an estimated 30,000,000 children. Leibowitz conducted doctoral work at Wayne State from 1964 to ’67.
Career Achievement Award in the Field of Communication, Department of Communication
Gregory Andracke, filmmaker, Andracke Productions
Greg Andracke is a film director, cinematographer and camera operator with professional credits spanning back to the early 1980s, including the 2008 Academy Award-winning best documentary Taxi to the Dark Side, 1997’s Emmy nominated documentary Talked to Death and 1988’s Academy Award-winning short film You Don’t Have to Die. Andracke earned a bachelor’s degree in radio and TV at Wayne State in 1966.
Career Achievement Award in the Field of Art and Art History, James Pearson Duffy Dept. of Art and Art History
John Hunter, painter, art historian, retired professor, Cleveland State University
In the 1960s and ‘70s, John Hunter studied painting at Wayne State. He went on to become an education curator at the Detroit Institute of Arts and later a professor, department chair and associate dean at Cleveland State University. He retired to New York City in 2003 where he works in his own painting studio. Dr. Hunter mounted studio shows in 2007, ’08 and ’10 and exhibited work at the Metropolitan Playhouse in 2011 and Wayne State’s Alumni Exhibition in 2012. Hunter earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees at Wayne State in, respectively, 1965 and ’71.
Career Achievement Award in the Field of Music, Department of Music
James Lentini, professor and dean, School of Creative Arts at Miami University of Ohio
Jim Lentini is an award-winning composer and guitarist and a professor of music. His compositions have been performed by distinguished artists and ensembles such as the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, the Krakow Philharmonic and the Bohuslav Martinu Philharmonic. Dr. Lentini has served as a juror for the Segovia International Guitar Competition, where he also received the composition prize. Lentini earned a bachelor’s degree in music at Wayne State in 1982.
Career Achievement Award in the Field of Dance, Maggie Allesee Dept. of Theatre and Dance
Elizabeth Schmidt, artistic director, Spotlight Dance Works
Liz Schmidt created a pre-professional training program at Spotlight Dance Works that has grown to the honorable status of “Top 20 Studios” in North America as named by Dance Spirit Magazine in 2011. This achievement was followed by her selection as Dance Teacher Magazine’s 2012 Dance Teacher Award winner in the private studio/conservatory category. Schmidt earned a bachelor’s degree in dance at Wayne State in 2004.
Guests are asked to RSVP by March 19, 2013, to (313) 577-0300 or online at