Tipton awarded Barbara Dixon Lifetime Achievement

Published 9:50 am Wednesday, April 25, 2018

The Longwood Center for the Visual Arts (LCVA) will honor award recipients for the 2018 Community Achievement in the Arts on Friday, April 27, 5-8 p.m. The awards ceremony is free and open to the public.

The awards, established more than 20 years ago, recognize the individuals, volunteers, businesses, and nonprofit organizations that have enriched lives in Southside Virginia through their contributions to the arts.

Joan Tipton will be honored with the Barbara Dixon Lifetime Achievement Award. Tipton is a former Radio City Music Hall Rockette, known for her years of teaching for Southside School of Dance. Over the course of 43 years, Tipton taught and influenced thousands of dancers from Southside Virginia. One of those dancers, Merrianne Thompson Dixon moved on to become a teacher alongside Tipton. Dixon said she “couldn’t think of a more deserving person,” for the award.

Tipton’s Daughter, Tammy Tipton-Nay, said her mother inspired her to follow my dreams. “I am so grateful for her inspiration and to have worked with her at Southside School of Dance,” she said.

“The Community Achievement in the Arts Awards are just one of the many ways we can celebrate the individuals and organizations that have inspired and supported the arts in our community,” said LCVA Executive Director Rachel Talent Ivers.

Red Door 104, Tray Eppes and the Summer Garden Opera will receive the Business, Individual and Organization Awards respectively.

“I take pride in any affiliation with the Longwood Center for the Visual Arts. This recognition is a great honor,” said Eppes.

Tory Wade will be awarded with the Volunteer of the Year. Lucia Butler and Grace Rust will be awarded Student Volunteer of the Year Awards.

“It was a great surprise,” Rust commented. “I’ve loved helping out with the LCVA.” Both Grace and Lucia assisted the LCVA’s education department with programs, including Summer Art Studio and Free Family Workshops.

An all-volunteer committee determined the award winners based on nominations from within the community. Noelle Prince Shear was the chair of the committee, with Tom Dennison, Pat Howe, Richard McClintock, Robin Sedgwick and Greg Tsigaridas served as general members.

Nominees were evaluated based on the community impact of their contributions to the visual, performing or literary arts and participation in activities such as arts education and advocacy, youth/adult services, program development, arts festivals and events, volunteering and mentoring.