Virginia Beach Arts & Humanities Commission Selects Barbara Lewis as the City’s First Champion for the Arts

Thursday, July 28, 2016

​The City of Virginia Beach Arts & Humanities Commission is proud to announce that Barbara Lewis has been selected as the first recipient of the city's new Champion for the Arts Award. 

The idea for the award was generated through the development of the city's first strategic plan for the arts, Virginia Beach Arts Plan 2030, to recognize community members dedicated to furthering the arts in Virginia Beach. 

"The commission felt that honoring a citizen who goes above and beyond to raise awareness for the arts in Virginia Beach was the first initiative to implement from the Arts Plan 2030," said Laura Nguyen, a commission member and chair of the Champion for the Arts Award Committee. "The commission is thrilled to honor Ms. Lewis with this well-deserved award. We could not have chosen a more enthusiastic supporter of the arts in Virginia Beach. We are so thankful for Ms. Lewis' passion."

Lewis is the founder and president of the Town Center City Club, a leading private business venue for corporate events and special occasions. She owned Charm Associates for more than 20 years and established the Hampton Roads Woman of the Year Awards to recognize the region's top businesswomen. Lewis was instrumental in raising more than $2.5 million to ensure the success of the Sandler Center for the Performing Arts. 

Lewis is on the board of the Virginia Musical Theatre and is the creator of Dancing with the Hampton Roads Stars. The annual fundraising event, which will take place Saturday, Aug. 6, at the Sandler Center, has raised more than $300,000 for local arts organizations, including Virginia Musical Theatre, The Virginia Symphony Orchestra, An Achievable Dream, Symphonicity, The Little Theatre of Virginia Beach and the Virginia Beach Chorale.

"Barbara Lewis has been a friend of the arts for many years, and the Arts and Humanities Commission recognizes her continued commitment and dedication to numerous arts projects in Virginia Beach," Commission Chair Carolyn Garrett said.

The names of award recipients will be etched in brick and displayed in a Champions for the Arts path in front of the Sandler Center for the Performing Arts, near the intersection of Commerce and Market streets.

About the Virginia Beach Arts & Humanities Commission:
In partnership with the City of Virginia Beach, the Office of Cultural Affairs and the arts community, the Virginia Beach Arts and Humanities Commission promotes excellence in the arts and humanities by initiating and supporting programs, activities and policies that inspire, nurture and reflect the cultural diversity of the area.

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