Wayne State University

WSU’s College of Fine, Performing and Communication Arts Honors Five of its Talented Arts and Communication Alumni and Advocates at 39th Arts Achievement Awards Ceremony

The College of Fine, Performing and Communication Arts at Wayne State University presents its 39th Annual Arts Achievement Awards, honoring outstanding alumni and former students. The honorees will be recognized for their dedication to, and advocacy for, the arts and communication and for achievements in their respective fields.

The 2018 Arts Achievement Awards will take place on Thursday, April 5 from 4-6 p.m., at WSU’s Student Center Ballroom, located at 5221 Gullen Mall, Detroit, MI 48202. The event is free and open to the public. RSVP by March 30.

2018 Arts Achievement Awards Honorees:

Sarah Ryley (Career Achievement Award in the Field of Communication) is the first Department of Communication graduate to win the most coveted of Pulitzer Prizes, the 2017 journalism prize for public service. In conjunction with ProPublica and the New York Daily News, where she was a reporter at the time, she exposed the New York Police Department’s abuse of eviction rules to force hundreds of mostly poor minorities from their homes and businesses over alleged criminal activities. The series lead to the passage of 13 laws, a class-action lawsuit, and a city investigation. Her data-driven reporting at the Daily News also resulted in sweeping reforms to the NYPD’s Broken Windows policing tactics, including the decriminalization of several minor offenses that put hundreds of thousands of mostly black and Hispanic people through the criminal justice system each year. Ryley credits her reporting skills and her social justice-informed approach to the training she received at Wayne State. While a student, she served as editor in chief of the South End and interned at the Detroit News, the Brooklyn Daily Eagle, and the Oakland Press. She currently works as an investigative reporter for The Trace, a national non-profit journalism outlet that covers American gun violence.

Michael Luchs (Career Achievement Award in the Field of Art and Art History) is one of Detroit’s most celebrated contemporary artists. He was a pioneer to a unique form of postmodernist art, during the 1960s and 1970s, and was a major figure in Detroit’s renowned counter culture art movement called the “Cass Corridor”. In 2017, Luchs’ work was featured in a solo exhibition at the Simone DeSousa Gallery, in Midtown Detroit; and was included in the infamous “Kick Out the Jams: Detroit’s Cass Corridor, 1963-1977” exhibition at the Detroit Institute of Arts. Luchs continues to prolifically produce paintings and sculptures that are as relevant today, as the work that cemented his reputation in the 1960s.

Michael Krajewski (Career Achievement Award in the Field of Music) is a much sought-after conductor of symphonic pops, known for his entertaining programs and clever humor. Krajewski is the Music Director of The Philly Pops and Principal Pops Conductor of the Atlanta and Jacksonville Symphonies. He previously served as Principal Pops Conductor of the Houston Symphony for 16 seasons. As a guest conductor, Krajewski has performed with the Cleveland and Philadelphia Orchestras; Boston and Cincinnati Pops; San Francisco, Baltimore, Detroit, Indianapolis, Seattle, Dallas, St. Louis, Pittsburgh and National Symphonies, and numerous other orchestras across the United States. In Canada, he has led Ottawa’s National Arts Centre Orchestra, Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Calgary Philharmonic, and the Edmonton, Winnipeg and Kitchener-Waterloo Symphonies. Other international appearances include performances in Dublin and Belfast with the Ulster Orchestra as well as performances with the Hong Kong Philharmonic, Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra, Iceland Symphony Orchestra and Spain’s Bilbao Symphony Orchestra.

David Calhoun (Career Achievement Award in the Field of Theatre) is currently serving a third term as President of the Association of Press Agents and Managers IATSE Local 18032. Through a position in the theatre department while an undergraduate student, Calhoun was led to an administrative internship with the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, after which Calhoun moved to New York City. His first job was as the Box Office Treasurer for the Manhattan Theatre Club. Calhoun worked as an assistant to the general manager and where he assisted the company managers on the Broadway transfers of “The House of Blue Leaves,” “Sarafina” and “Speed The Plow”.  LCT sent him on the road as the associate company manager with “Anything Goes”.  Shortly after the tour closed, he reunited with friend and fellow WSU alumna, S. Epatha Merkerson on August Wilson's “The Piano Lesson”.  He has managed over 15 shows on tour and on Broadway. For the last 22 years, he has been a house manager for the Nederlander Producing Company of America, currently managing the David T. Nederlander Theatre on Broadway.

Howard Hertz (CFPCA Arts Advocacy Award) specializes in entertainment law and is the lead attorney for Hertz Schram's Entertainment Practice Group. Since 1976, he has represented numerous artists and entities in the entertainment field, including authors, screenwriters, recording artists, radio personalities, producers, songwriters, athletes and more. Among others, his most well-known clients have been Eminem, Jack White, George Clinton, Sippie Wallace, Marilyn Manson, The Romantics, The Bass Brothers, The GO, Mike Posner, Original 1265 Recordings, the Marshall Mathers Foundation, Warner Tamerlane, and Atlantic Records. Hertz travels to MIDEM, the International Music Festival in Cannes, France, annually, on behalf of his clients. Among the many organizations and honors to Hertz's credit, he is currently a member of the board of the directors and president of the Detroit Music Awards Foundation, MusiCares' Program and Services Committee and Board of Directors of the Sphinx Organization. Hertz is a 2004 recipient of the John Hensel Award for significant contributions to the arts community and recognized by "Best Lawyers in America" and "Super Lawyers".

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Contact: Patrick Field, CFPCA Alumni Officer
(313) 577-1087
patrick.field@wayne.edu