The Missoula Cultural Council’s annual Arts and Culture Awards honor individuals and organizations whose outstanding work in the arts and humanities have made a significant contribution to the community’s quality of life.

The 2015 awards will be presented at the annual MCC Arts and Culture Awards Luncheon from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tuesday, March 24, at the DoubleTree Hotel, 100 Madison St.

This year's Cultural Achievement award, honoring an individual or couple who have consistently supported the arts community in numerous ways, is awarded to William Marcus, director of the UM Broadcast Media Center and Montana Public Radio/Montana PBS.

The Individual Artist, presented to someone who has shown exceptional achievement in their chosen craft, is awarded to Stephen Kalm, internationally acclaimed opera performer and dean of the College of Visual and Performing Arts at UM.

The Arts Educator category, honoring an outstanding local teacher who has devoted a career to the arts, is awarded to Karen Kaufmann, a professor of dance at the University of Montana and director of Co-Motion Dance Project and MoDE (Montana’s Model Dance Education Project).

The Business Support for the Arts, given to businesses that have provided long-term support to Missoula arts and cultural organizations, is awarded to the Downtown Dance Collective.

The Cultural Vision award, honoring artistic programming, is awarded to the Missoula Children’s Theatre for 45 years of theater programming in Missoula and around the globe.

In announcing the award winners, Missoula Cultural Council Executive Director Tom Bensen stated, “These outstanding individuals and organizations have all made tremendous contributions, helping to make Missoula a very special place to work and live.”

Another feature of the Arts and Culture Awards luncheon is that local businesses sponsor tables for their employees and guests. Tickets for the event are $25 each or $200 for a table of eight and may be reserved from MCC at 541-0860 or

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