For almost 30 years, the Ordway has honored members of Minnesota's artistic community with Sally Awards, which recognize and celebrate the contributions and accomplishments of artists, educators, volunteers, philanthropists and leaders who strengthen and enrich our state with their commitment to the arts. Awardees are normally fete in-person during a formal event, but the coronavirus challenged the Ordway to do things with the same impact and creatively.
As a special presentation of the Sally Awards, "Visionaries Who Matter" a video project, highlights the work of three artists whose commitment to racial and social justice and healing has been further inspired by recent events and whose artistry has made a significant impact locally, nationally and globally: Lou Bellamy, 1994 Sally Award Winner and Founder and Artistic Director Emeritus of Penumbra Theatre Company; Gary Hines, 2004 Sally Award Winner and Music Director and Producer of the three-time Grammy Award-winning Sounds of Blackness; and Seitu Jones, 2005 Sally Award Winner and multi-disciplinary public artist and Co-Founder of Frogtown Farm. In a video commissioned for the Ordway, all three artists are interviewed about their work, legacies and involvement in the movement for racial and social justice.
Visionaries Who Matter is directed and executive produced by Robin Hickman-Winfield, Ordway Organizational and Community Partnership Strategist, director of Taking Our Place Centerstage, and executive producer of SoulTouch Productions. Minnesota Public Radio President Duchesne Drew serves as narrator.