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The Richardson Arts Alliance announced the recipients of the annual "Heart for the Arts" awards at its Garden Party on Thursday, Oct. 25, 2018. Award recipients Ida Kaufman, Jonesy McConnell and Phil Nelson will be honored at the annual Heart for the Arts Gala on Saturday, February 23, 2019.

“I am so thrilled that we have wonderful recipients representing the arts community here in Richardson.  They exemplify what it means to ‘give tirelessly,’ and each one has promoted, supported and advocated for the cultural arts in Richardson,” said David Nethery, President of the Richardson Arts Alliance.

Ida Kaufman will be recognized as the “Patron of the Arts,” which is given to an outstanding community leader who has devoted time and resources to further the arts in the greater Richardson area. “Ida has been active in music in Richardson for many years including serving as Director of the Richardson Choral Club, serving as Director of Music at First United Methodist Church in Richardson and being a supporter, member and leader for the Richardson Community Chorale.  Ida has also supported the Richardson Symphony Orchestra and the Charles W. Eisemann Center and is a long-time member of the Richardson Music Teachers Association,” said David.

Jonesy McConnell, an active painter, will be recognized with the “Artist of the Year Award” for his dedication and excellence in the performing arts.  “Jonesy has been a member of the Richardson Civic Art Society for several years.  He is an accomplished artist and is dedicated to helping create opportunities to showcase the work of local artists. Jonesy has also worked with the Richardson ISD to support the Young People’s Scholarship Show on an annual basis,” said David. 

Phil Nelson will receive the "Ambassador for the Arts Award” for his commitment to the arts.   Phil has served as Administrative and Events Manager for the Eisemann Center for the past seventeen years.  He has built relationships with artists, arts organizations and patrons and is actively engaged in an expansion of the community outreach efforts of the Eisemann Center,” said David. 

The award recipients will be honored at the annual Heart for the Arts Gala on Saturday, Feb. 23, 2019, at the Charles W. Eisemann Center.  The mission of the Richardson Arts Alliance is to promote and develop the cultural arts in the City of Richardson through communication, collaboration and education by individual members and organizations interested in the arts.