The awards were presented during a ceremony in Roanoke College’s Wortmann Ballroom on September 2.
Co-sponsored by Hollins University and Roanoke College, the Kendig Awards program is celebrating 30 years of recognizing distinction in arts and culture in the Roanoke Valley. Awards are presented in each of the following categories: Individual Artist, Individual or Business Supporter, and Arts and Culture Organization.
Patterson, this year’s Individual Artist award recipient, is the author of five novels for children. All have been honored on Master Reading Lists in 10 states, and three have been adapted and performed for the professional stage. Upon retiring after 33 years as a teacher and administrator with Roanoke City Schools, she joined the adjunct faculty of the University of Virginia, teaching graduate courses in literature for children and young adults as well as memoir writing. She has spoken at more than 500 national conferences and workshops and has written numerous articles on the craft of writing. At her 2002 induction into the Virginia High School League’s Hall of Fame, Patterson was cited as “one of the most sought-after writing teachers in the country.”
The Foundation for Roanoke Valley, the community foundation serving the cities of Roanoke, Salem, Lexington and Martinsville, the counties of Roanoke, Botetourt, Craig, Floyd, Franklin, Henry, and Alleghany, and other surrounding areas, received the Kendig Award for Individual or Business Supporter. Since its establishment in 1988, the foundation has had an extraordinary economic and cultural impact on the region by supporting a wide range of projects. It fulfills its mission by:
- Enabling donors to carry out their charitable intent through endowment funds
- Providing responsible stewardship for entrusted funds
- Making creative grants for current and future community needs and opportunities
- Offering comprehensive services to encourage and advance effective philanthropy
- Promoting and participating in collaborative efforts to shape a healthy, caring community
- Providing opportunities to strengthen local nonprofits
The Kendig Award in the Arts and Cultural Organization category was presented to the Southwest Virginia Ballet (SVB). Founded in 1990, SVB serves over 10,000 children and adults annually and provides pre-professional quality performances of varied repertoire including classical ballet, contemporary, and modern works. The company is a training ground for regional dancers possibly seeking a career in dance or dance related fields. In addition to full-length productions, SVB performs throughout the year at area festivals and events and has collaborated with the Roanoke Symphony Orchestra and Opera Roanoke. SVB’s annual production of The Nutcracker is a holiday tradition and routinely brings together as many as 180 SVB company and community members.
Named for the late Perry F. Kendig, who served as president of Roanoke College and was an avid supporter and patron of the arts, the Kendig Awards program was established in 1985 and presented annually by the Arts Council of the Blue Ridge through 2012. Hollins and Roanoke College first partnered the following year to bestow the honors, and congratulate the 2015 winners.