Nominees vie for cultural award

By Michael Berg

Nominees of local residents and organizations striving to promote cultural endeavors in the community have been selected, but only one will win the Altrusa Cultural Award next month.

Judges will choose among eight nominees the person or group which has contributed the most to the cultural environment in the DeKalb/Sycamore community, said Marie Maxwell, chairperson of Altrusa, a professional women’s organization.

“People in the community had the opportunity to nominate anyone they chose who they felt contributed something to the cultural environment,” she said.

Maxwell said the definition of culture was left up to the nominator. “We don’t define culture,” she said.

According to Maxwell, the eight nominees include the Stage Coach Players, Inc., a not-for-profit community theatre; Lucille Aikins, an educator and member of the Stage Coach theater; Marilyn and Nelson James, writers of original plays and programs and supporters of local groups; Sharon Tourville, president of the DeKalb Friends of the Arts; Joiner History Archives, a room in the restored county courthouse dedicated to the preservation of DeKalb County memorabilia; Steven Duchrow, who revitalized the NIU Fine Arts Committee; Dimitri Liakos of ALPHA-Friends of Antiquity, a group dedicated to fostering greater understanding of earlier people and cultures and the DeKalb County Historical-Genealogical Society to preserve local historical material.

“Five judges choose the winner,” Maxwell said. “We invite them to serve and they consent. There’s one judge from Altrusa, one from Kishwaukee College, one to represent NIU and two people from the community.”

The award plaque will be presented at the Annual Altrusa Flower Show at 7 p.m. on April 1 in DeKalb’s Egyptian Theater.

Maxwell said various floral pieces will be displayed at the show and given away to members of the audience. The show is the chief fundraiser for Altrusa, which uses the money to do altruistic projects in the community, she said.