Scholarships for 2006

For Immediate Release
September 25, 2006
John E. Profant Foundation For The Arts
Contact: Marie Profant
(805) 682-8184

Click Here for Ceremony Program (large PDF file)

Profant arts awards recipients gather at the Santa Barbara County Courthouse on September 24.
Joining them are, from left, founders Mignonne, Lyn and Marie Profant and board member, Mary Collier.

Arts Awards Presented

On Sunday September 24th, the 7th Annual Profant Foundation For The Arts Awards were presented in the Mural Room of the Santa Barbara County Courthouse.  This nonprofit organization gives scholarships to local artists, actors, dancers, musicians, and writers of all ages.  These funds are made possible by the proceeds from the annual Fiesta Finale Gala as well as contributions by people commemorating loved ones, while creating scholarships.  Donors have named Legacy Awards in honor of a special teacher, accomplished performer, or in one case, in memory of a pet Standard Poodle.

MC Mignonne Profant welcomed the recipients, and Dr. Mary Collier presented the awards, noting some of the judge’s remarks. Marie Profant thanked the committee and sponsors, pointing out that “more businesses have supported the awards than ever before, including Bega Lighting, Bryant & Sons, Ltd., Citrix Online, Coldwell Banker Real Estate, European Ceramics & Mosaics, Firestone Vineyards, Glenair, Inc, Mid-State Bank & Trust, Only Hearts Club, Prudential Real Estate, as well as many individuals.”  

This year the Robert Profant Award was made possible though a pilot project, a Talent Search fundraiser to benefit the students of Santa Barbara City College.  When the project launched last year, John Romo, President of the College explained that "John Profant's brother Robert was a faculty member for nearly four decades and a major contributor in molding the college into the highly regarded institution and community that it is today. The collaboration between the Profant Foundation and SBCC carries on the legacy of these two inspirational men who cared deeply about students and the arts. The scholarships provided by the Talent Search proceeds will make a big difference to students who might not otherwise be able to pursue their dreams."  On behalf of John and the College, Alice Sharper, Ph.D., Dean of Fine Arts accepted the $3500 Award, which will benefit Film students.

Dr. Collier explained that, “Our individual scholarships, ranging from $500 to $2000, are given to artists of all ages along with special awards for projects benefiting the community.  To maintain objectivity in the selection process, the applications are judged by a committee of ten credentialed professionals located outside the County of Santa Barbara. The decisions are based on basic talent for the art, a desire for a career and financial need. The following are the recipients for 2006.”


Honorable Mention - Misa Kelly
Judges’ Comments: Ms. Kelly is impressive as a performer and has a gift for incorporating humor in her choreography.

Honorable Mention - the Shirley Mueller Award – Anya Ledner
Judges’ Comments: A young talent who deserves a strong foundation and intensive training at this formative time.
The Legacy – This award in memory of Shirley Mueller, known for her love of music, entertainment, and art, will help a young performer follow her dreams to be on stage.

Second Place - Merritt Howard
Judges’ Comments: For such a young age Merritt has developed excellent technique.  She performs very difficult variations with a lovely, light expression.

Second Place - the Paul Michael Toomey Award – Zeke Dascomb
Judges’ Comments:  A young dancer of strong focus who shows extensive promise.
The Legacy – Paul Michael Toomey was an outstanding choreographer and dancer – on ice.  His family treasures his memory, and continues his legacy and love of dance, through this tribute award.  Now celebrated as an “Impresario”, Chris Toomey has contributed annual Legacy Awards.

First Place - the Sheryl Pike Award - Timo Nunez
Judges’ Comments:  A dancer of great charm and charisma, his technique and ability to connect with the audience are evident and carry him as a professional.
The Legacy – Sheryl Pike was known for her joyful personality, endearing charisma, and love of the arts.  Her talented assistance to the Profant Foundation – during the early formation of the committees – is remembered with this tribute. 

First Place - the Willard Moore Award - Pablo Pizano
Judges’ Comments:  Simply Exquisite!  His technique is impeccable and his performance quality is at once professional, polished and mysterious.
The Legacy – Willard Moore, a Master in the world of dance during the 20th century, was a strong influence in Los Angeles and beyond.  His leadership, particularly for men in dance, is remembered with this award.


First Place - the Collette McGuire Award – Joshua Duvendeck
Judges’ Comments:  A strong young actor who’s selections were well shaped and demonstrated a wide range of both talent and skill.
The Legacy – Collette McGuire, a young actress and producer of live theater in New York, is honored by her mother Haley, with this first place award that will help a developing actor in Santa Barbara.  Now celebrated as an “Impresario”, Haley has contributed annual Legacy Awards.


Honorable Mention - the Caesar Shaar Award – Miller James
Judges’ Comments: Mr. James is both entertaining and original, with a clear desire for a career in literature and developing theater for youth.
The Legacy – Joyce Shaar, a television actress now helping the Profant organization, leads the way in remembering a pet through a Profant Legacy Award.  Caesar Shaar was the most unique of those honored - he was a beautiful, talented and beloved Standard Poodle.  Now celebrated as an “Impresario”, Joyce has contributed annual Legacy Awards.

Second Place - Daniel Jaffe
Judges’ Comments:  A strong writer who demonstrated a professional control of language, an ability to perceive the significant in the ordinary, and masterful use of point of view, dialogue and narration to develop a meaningful point.

First Place - the Wayne & Sharol Siemens Award - Karen Finell
Judges’ Comments:  Ms. Finell demonstrates a keen eye for development of situation, a promising control of language, and the ability to evoke strong emotion.
The Legacy – Sharol and Wayne Siemens launched an award through their support of the Fiesta Finale Gala which is designed to build funds for local developing artists. 

Music - Instrumental

Honorable Mention - Stefan Kinoshita
Judges’ Comments: a very poised violinist who understands the music and plays with admirable finesse and polish.

Honorable Mention - Filipp Kozachuk
Judges’ Comments: a dedicated, disciplined pianist, with fabulous coordination who exhibited success at very different styles.

Honorable Mention - Camille Miller
Judges’ Comments: Camille plays the violin with temperament, good energy to the tone, and nice vibrato. She is quite talented and will be a pleasant recitalist to hear.

Honorable Mention - Isabelle D'Arcy
Judges’ Comments: Isabelle has a very nice touch on the piano, is quite dedicated and showed a wide range of types of music.

Honorable Mention - the David Shannon Award - Thomas Yee
Judges’ Comments:  Mr. Yee performed very advanced works with ease.  His current goals are clear and well focused.
The Legacy – The Shannon Family launched an award honoring David – a father who loved music -  through their support of the Fiesta Finale Gala.

Second Place - the Dorothy Artaud Award – Philipp Richardsen
Judges’ Comments: Already a seasoned artist, Philipp performed well-thought out interpretations of his piano works.
The Legacy – Dorothy Profant Artaud, daughter of two pianists – Henry and Mabel Profant, was a graduate of the Music Academy of the West, became a protégé of Florence Fernald, performed at the Lobero Theater, and continued playing until her death in November of 2006.  She is remembered with this annual award, presented by her daughter Lisa Artaud.

First Place - the Sean McGuire Award - Alan Poyer
Judges’ Comments: beautiful violin playing, with incredible ease - a real talent.  Good character comes out in his demeanor and playing - he serves the music, not himself.
The Legacy – Sean McGuire is honored by his mother Haley for his love of music.  Her generosity and support of developing artists was recognized a few years ago with our Michelangelo Award, Now celebrated as an “Impresario”, Haley has contributed annual Legacy Awards.

Music – Vocal

Second Place - the Nina Terzian Award - Nikolaus Schiffmann
Judges’ Comments: this is, indeed, a wonderful young bass voice - who possesses a rich, warm tone and sings quite expressively.
The Legacy – Nina Terzian and Holley Jacobs have made this award possible through their support of the Fiesta Finale Gala. As Co-Chair of the event, Nina continues to bring friends as well as the support of the Only Hearts Club – a doll company featuring girls with real-life careers. Now celebrated as an “Impresario”, Nina has contributed annual Legacy Awards.

First Place - the Adele Wilkie Award - Christina Ikeda
Judges’ Comments: this is an extraordinarily beautiful young mezzo voice.  She has a lovely sound and sings with ease.
The Legacy - The last time we saw Adele, she was conducting a performance, and changing outfits for each song, from the business suit for New York New York, to the bridal gown and then the Rhinestone Cowboy - she brought joy to so many through the music she shared. Now celebrated as an “Impresario”, Adele’s daughter Bonnie has contributed annual Legacy Awards.

Visual Art

Special Gift - Joan Manchak
Ms. Manchak focuses on landscapes, florals and seascapes, and this gift is for materials so that she may continue her lovely painting.

Special Gift - Gail Brendle
A visual artist who shares her talents with others by teaching art, at the same time balancing a full life of work and family. This gift is to assist her in buying materials as she continues to develop as an artist.

Honorable Mention - the Pauline Award - Kevin Hosseini
Judges’ Comments:  an articulate painter, Kevin has found his voice in his painting.  His work is expressive, mature, and compositionally masterful.
The Legacy – The Pauline award is named for someone who turned down a career in art in order to support her family, but who touched many lives by teaching art and discovered talent amongst the handicapped as they discovered joy in artistic accomplishments.

Honorable Mention - the Rose Award - Devon Wilson
Judges’ Comments: Mr. Wilson exhibits great skill with clay that translates articulately to the human form.  Your work will indeed thrive under the watchful tutelage of the Great Masters showcased in the Museums of Italy.
The Legacy – The Rose Award is named for a woman who didn't start painting until she was 70.  We know that sometimes life gets in the way of our dreams, and these awards are designed to help artists of all ages to pursue their talent.

Second Place - the Tasia de Halle Award – Brenda Mercado
Judges’ Comments: A talented artist who’s work is on the precipice of finding a heartfelt voice – the colors and landscapes are waiting to expand into surreal brilliance.
The Legacy – A young man was introduced to the work of a well known artist by a friend named Tasia.  He went on to collect many paintings by this artist, some of which had been donated to our organization and sold through the Fiesta Finale Auction.  Now celebrated as an “Impresario”, his generosity has made this award, dedicated to his friend Tasia, possible.

First Place - the Abercrombie Award – Robert Gronendyke
Judges’ Comments: An artist who’s work shows a glimpse into his multifaceted life story and is worthy of exhibition as a retrospective.  Robert – continue your life’s passion and share your story with other young artists who need to know that an artist’s journey is forever!
The Legacy – Katherine Abercrombie and her friend William Lane, through their support of the Fiesta Finale, have dedicated this award.  It may not be widely known that Stewart Abercrombie was an artist – exploring his talent late in life, and leaving only one painting.  His tribute at the Gala included a glimpse of the artwork, and a photo collage of memories, but also launched this scholarship, and helped fill the Sunken Garden with friends and contributors.   Now celebrated as an “Impresario”, Katherine has contributed greatly to the Legacy Awards.

Special Projects Benefiting the Community

Karsen Lee Gould, Arts for Humanity!
Ms. Gould is a director/producer/choreographer who runs a company that works with developmentally disadvantaged persons.  The company is very capable, organized and professional in it’s presentation, and performs a notable service to the Santa Barbara

Cliff Baldridge, Santa Barbara Arts TV
Mr. Baldridge is truly devoted to promoting the arts community of Santa Barbara - using all the technology at his disposal to ensure that the performances of local artists are available to as wide an audience as possible. This grant is made to assist him in purchasing new equipment to continue this endeavor.

Rosalina Macisco, Santa Barbara Dance Institute 
A professional performer, Ms. Macisco has founded an organization to share the joys of performance with the children of Santa Barbara by bringing dance education to the schools.   A very well organized and structured program, her enthusiasm and infectious energy brings out the best in students who have never experienced such training.