The Evanston Chamber of Commerce will host Evanston Mayor Lorraine Morton’s final State of the City Speech this Friday at the Hotel Orrington.

The luncheon event, presented by North Shore University Health System, starts at 11:30 a.m.

Mayor Morton leaves office this spring after serving 16 years as Evanston’s top elected official.

Each year, she has discussed the critical issues facing Evanston during her State of the City Speech and used the platform to announce new initiatives and guide public policy.

In addition to the speech, Mayor Morton will present the Annual Award for the Arts, recognizing significant contributions to the arts and quality of life in Evanston.

The Mayor’s Award for the Arts is given to one Evanston artist and one Evanston arts organization for their contributions to the community through excellence in the arts. 

This year, a former member of the Evanston Public Art Committee, Margherita Andreotti, is being recognized for her work to document and bring attention to the status of historic art in Evanston schools.  She has worked to complete a lengthy report on public art in Districts 65 and 202 school buildings, in collaboration with Dr. Christine Bell and Nancy Flannery. 

The other mayor’s arts award is being given to Shorefront Journal, led by Morris E. (Dino) Robinson, Jr., a historical society developed with the goal of providing Evanston and surrounding communities with information, publications and exhibits of African-American history.

The Evanston Arts Council’s Arts and Business Committee will present its annual Leadership Award to Romano Brothers & Company. The award honors an Evanston business that has been very supportive of the arts in Evanston, either financially or through the provision of in-kind services, or both.

The financial investments services company was chosen because of its ongoing financial and in-kind support for the Evanston Symphony Orchestra, Light Opera Works and other arts organizations including the Evanston Art Center, Evanston Dance Center, Theatre and Interpretation Center at Northwestern University, and First Night Evanston.

Luncheon reservations can be made online.

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