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Mayor Javier M. Gon­za­les and the City of Santa Fe Arts Com­mis­sion present this year’s Awards for Ex­cel­lence in the Arts. Es­tab­lished in 1989, the awards rec­og­nize the out­stand­ing achieve­ments of lo­cal artists, art pro­fes­sion­als, and arts or­ga­ni­za­tions. The 2015 list in­cludes five award win­ners work­ing in the ar­eas of vis­ual arts, dance, mu­sic, and arts ad­vo­cacy. The re­cip­i­ents are the Aspen Santa Fe Bal­let; JoAnn Balzer, a com­mu­nity arts ad­vo­cate for more than 30 years; Arthur López, a san­tero who works with tra­di­tional and con­tem­po­rary tech­niques and men­tors young artists; best­selling au­thor Michael McGar­rity, a for­mer Santa Fe County deputy sher­iff whose nov­els are set in New Mexico and who helped es­tab­lish cre­ative writ­ing schol­ar­ships for stu­dents at sev­eral re­gional col­leges and univer­si­ties; and Richard Snider, a mu­si­cian and teacher who taught at Santa Fe High School, St. Michael’s High School, and other schools, and who served as Youth Phil­har­monic Con­duc­tor with the Santa Fe Youth Sym­phony As­so­ci­a­tion. The an­nual Melissa Enge­strom Youth Artist Award goes to Gabriella Ot­ters­berg En­riquez, a singer, dancer, and ac­tor with ex­pe­ri­ence at the Na­tional Dance In­sti­tute of New Mexico, the Rock­ettes Sum­mer In­ten­sive dance pro­gram at Ra­dio City Mu­sic Hall, and other dance pro­grams around the coun­try.

The awards cer­e­mony and din­ner take place in the Sweeney Ball­room in the Santa Fe Com­mu­nity Con­ven­tion Cen­ter (201 W. Marcy St.) at 6:30 p.m. on Thurs­day, Oct. 15. The cost to at­tend is $70 per per­son ($700 for a ta­ble of 10), avail­able through the City of Santa Fe Arts Com­mis­sion (505-955-6707). Reser­va­tions are re­quired and can be made online through www.santafeartscom­mis­sion.org. — Michael Abatemarco

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