A dozen of Westport's most accomplished artists -- representing emerging and long-established talent in music, literature, theater, fine arts and other areas -- will be honored Sunday afternoon, Oct. 21, during the 2012 Westport Arts Awards.

The awards ceremony is planned at 2 p.m. in the Town Hall auditorium, and is free and open to the public. A reception will follow at the Westport Historical Society, 25 Avery Place.

Honorees range from up-and-coming artists in theater and music to mature Westporters cited for their bodies of work in literature, fine art, music, film and other disciplines.

Also to be honored are a local champion of the arts and a longtime volunteer.

Sunday's ceremony will be the 19th annual. The awards were established to honor artists with strong ties to Westport who have distinguished themselves.

Horizon Award

The award, established in 2001 to recognize emerging young talent groomed in Westport, is presented to artists under the age of 32 who have demonstrated measurable excellence in either visual, film, theater, music or literary arts.

Peter Duchan, film and theater: Duchan co-wrote the screenplay and was associate producer for "Breaking Upwards," a film that premiered at South by Southwest in 2009 and was released by IFC Films in 2010.

Nicholas Britell, music: Britell is a composer, pianist and producer who recently finished the score for the film "Gimme the Loot" by Adam Leon which won the Grand Jury Prize at SXSW in March 2012.

Leslye Headland, theater: Headland is a New York-based playwright, screenwriter and director whose theater experience includes: "Bachelorette" (Second Stage), "Assistance" (Playwrights Horizons) and the rest of the Seven Deadly Plays series: "Cinephilia," "Surfer Girl," "Reverb" and "The Accidental Blonde."

Lifetime Achievement

Mary-Lou Weisman, literature: Weisman, of Westport, is the author of four books, a screenplay, and numerous nonfiction articles and essays that have been published in The New York Times, The Atlantic Monthly, The New Republic, Newsweek, and The Atlantic, for which she won an award.

Doris Goltzer, music: , Goltzer, who held the position of solo English horn player with the New York City Opera for over 50 years until her recent retirement, lived in Westport for many years and still maintains a teaching studio there.

Jak Kovatch, art: Kovatch, a longtime Westport resident and former faculty member of The Famous Artists School, has been recognized nationally and internationally since 1949 when he first exhibited at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.

Frank Jacoby and Doris Storm, film and new media: Jacoby, a veteran of the "Golden Age" of television, helped put Channel 13 WATV on the air in 1948 and was soon hired by NBC as a network director. Storm, Jacoby's business partner in Jacoby/Storm Productions a wife for 66 years, worked in early television as a writer, performer, and co-producer with her husband and, on her own, as the TV spokeswoman for many companies.

Anne Keefe, theater: Keefe, artistic advisor at the Westport Country Playhouse, was previously co-chairwoman of the Artistic Advisory Council with Joanne Woodward as well as associate artistic director with her from 2000 to 2006 and interim artistic director with her in 2008.

Tyler Hicks, visual arts and photography: Hicks, a 1988 Staples High School graduate, is a staff photographer for The New York Times who has documented conflict in Kosovo, Chechnya, Congo, Ethiopia, Syria, Libya, Sudan, Iraq and Afghanistan.

Champion of the Arts

The award was created in 2006 to recognize contributions of those whose ongoing efforts have made a difference in the vitality and success of the arts in the community.

John Franklin: He is the former head of the Westport Arts Center and a consistent and supporter of music, dance and the arts.


The award was founded in 2009 in honor of volunteer Mollie Donovan, the award's first recipient.

Joan Miller: Miller served for 17 years with Donovan on the Westport Schools Permanent Art Collection committee and as co-chairwoman for eight years.


In addition to the aforementioned awards, the Westport Arts Awards Committee will also present six Heritage Awards in the memory of Westport artists community who have died in the past year or have not yet been honored.

The honorees include:

Oboist Albert Goltzer; caricaturist David Levine; author J.D. Salinger; graphic designer Paul Rand; art critic Hilton Kramer; concert pianist Natalie Maynard; painter Arlene Skutch; arts promoter Marianne Liberatore; Broadway producer and director Burry Fredrik; and actor and playwright Jerome Kilty.

The committee established the Westport Arts Awards to recognize the accomplishments of past and present artists with ties to the town, in the fields of literature, music, theater and the visual arts.

Since its founding in 1994, the committee has presented awards to more than 150 individual Westport and Weston artists for their careers in music, theater, film and new media, visual arts and literature.

Highlights of the upcoming awards ceremony will include performance samplings from each of the Horizon Award winners and an appearance by an ensemble of the Staples High School Jazz Band.