ArtServe Michigan Honored Smokey Robinson and other Michigan Notables at the 17th Annual Governors’ Awards for Arts & Culture

SOUTHFIELD, MI (December 4, 2002) – ArtServe Michigan honored Smokey Robinson and other outstanding Michigan individuals and organizations at the 17th Annual Governors’ Awards for Arts & Culture, a November gala held at the Ford Community & Performing Arts Center in Dearborn.

The legendary Motown producer, singer and songwriter Robinson returned to Michigan to receive ArtServe Michigan’s International Achievement Award, sponsored by General Motors Corporation, for his contributions to music worldwide.

One of the highlights of Robinson’s visit was a "Talkback Session" with high school and college students from around the state, including students from his high school alma mater Northern Senior High School in Detroit, the Detroit Symphony Orchestra’s Civic Jazz Orchestra and from as far away as East Grand Rapids. Wayne State University’s Department of Music hosted the session, which was moderated by Detroit Public TV host Ann Delisi.

Smokey reminisced about a variety of topics including his beginnings in Motown, the art of making music and his favorite musical artists. The session prompted a flurry of questions from the students and several local television media, which Robinson graciously answered.

Later the same day, Robinson joined eight other award recipients and more than 600 guests at ArtServe Michigan’s Governors’ Awards for Arts & Culture to enjoy a strolling dinner, formal awards presentation and afterglow.

The Governors’ Awards for Arts & Culture is ArtServe Michigan’s largest fundraising event to help foster arts and culture in Michigan. "These prestigious annual arts awards give us the chance to honor some of the many talented Michigan individuals and organizations that contribute to the vibrant cultural life in communities throughout our state," said Gail Torreano, president of SBC Ameritech Michigan and chair of this year’s event.

The evening’s honorees and awards also included Steven K. Hamp, Civic Leader; Robert L Barnum, Michigan Artist; Jeffrey Frank, Arts in Education; Jean Alicia Elster, Emerging Artist. Receiving Cultural Organization Awards were representatives Carol Rose Fouts, Keweenaw Krayons; Aaron P. Dworkin, the Sphinx Organization; and Brent Dennis, Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park. DaimlerChrysler was recognized with the Business Honor Roll Award.

Rounding out the formal awards presentations were performances by the Mosaic Youth Theatre Singers, the Detroit-Windsor Dance Company and a Tribute Performance to Smokey Robinson by Urseula Walker & the Buddy Budson Trio.

"In addition to honoring this year’s awardees and raising the level of awareness about the importance and relevance of arts and culture to Michigan communities, the Governor’s Awards for Arts & Culture gala is ArtServe’s primary fundraising event," explained ArtServe Michigan’s President Barbara Kratchman. "This year we are proud to have raised $220,000. We are grateful to the contributions of our corporate sponsors and individual donors that enable ArtServe Michigan to continue its programs, services and activities so students, families, artists and all Michigan residents have opportunities to participate in cultural activities throughout the year."

ArtServe Michigan, an independent statewide not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization with offices in Southfield and Lansing, builds support for the arts, artists and cultural activities throughout Michigan through advocacy, education and services.

For more information about ArtServe, its programs and services or to become a member, call (248) 557-8288 or visit

Photo Caption: Pictured with Smokey Robinson, receiving the International Achievement Award at ArtServe Michigan’s Governors’ Awards for Arts and Culture, are (from left) Event Chair Gail Torreano, President of SBC Ameritech Michigan; Deborah Dingell, Vice Chair, General Motors Foundation; Barbara Kratchman, President of ArtServe Michigan; and Vivian Pickard, Director of Corporate Relations, General Motors Corporation.

Media contacts:

Barbara Kratchman
248-557-8288 x16

Margaret Knes


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