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Evanston arts activists honored

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The mayor’s awards for the arts were presented this noon at the Hilton Orrrington hotel in Evanston.

Harvey Pranian, founder of the Young Evanston Artists program

The mayor’s awards for the arts were presented this noon at the Hilton Orrrington hotel in Evanston.

Young Evanston Artists (YEA!) received the arts organization award and this year two people were selected to win the individual award: Dr. Stamata Blanas and Jill Brazel.

Young Evanston Artists (YEA!) is a nonprofit volunteer-driven organization that gives Evanston children an opportunity to display their artwork, sing, play instruments and perform in the Dempster/Chicago shopping district each spring. YEA! was founded by Harvey Pranian, who accepted the award.

Winners are chosen from nominations submitted by the public.

Dr. Stamata Blanas is the organizer of the annual Faces of Evanston photography contest, now in its seventh year, and is a past president of the Kiwanis Club of Evanston, which supports the contest.

Submitted photographs are displayed in a traveling exhibition throughout Evanston and also are available online and through social media.

Jill Brazel.

Jill Brazel served on the Evanston Arts Council for six years and served as chair of the council for three years.

During her tenure, she established Art Under Glass, the displays of artwork placed in vacant Evanston storefronts to brighten up the streetscape. A professional photographer, she often volunteers to cover events or create graphics for local nonprofit organizations.

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