Since 1990, the Independent Weekly has recognized groups and individuals who make extraordinary contributions to the cultural life of the Triangle. The goal is to identify people who are working away from the spotlight, who are quietly organizing, educating, enlightening and, above all, entertaining. We look for grassroots endeavors, as well as arts professionals who go above and beyond their job requirements.
This year's quintet of honorees are a diverse group doing just that. Aaron Greenwald and Chris Tamplin are, among other things, music promoters of wildly different kinds—one institutional and one freelance—who each make a profound impact on live music. The University of North Carolina's Performance Studies program has inventively pushed the boundaries of theater, while a loose-knit Durham group turned their shared passion into a network called the African American Quilt Circle. And then there's the annual afternoon of family-friendly revelry and bawdiness known as the Beaver Queen Pageant—an irreverent, kooky event that arose from nowhere to fill a social and environmental void.
To 2010's winners, we offer congratulations. —David Fellerath