KCYA Presents Annual Awards

The Lighton Prize for Teaching Artist Excellence will be presented to Heather Nisbett-Loewenstein of StoneLion Puppet Theatre. . In memory of Gertrude W. Lighton, this award recognizes excellence by KCYA teaching artists who provide interactive arts education programs to students. Lighton Prize winners provide programs that exhibit high artistic quality and a strong connection to school curriculum.

Heather Nisbett- Loewenstein is the Founding Artistic Director of StoneLion Puppet Theatre in Kansas City, Missouri. She has performed, designed, and/or directed more than 90 different productions for StoneLion. She started StoneLion over twenty years ago to change the though patterns of the young and young-at-heart with art, believing each of us can make a positive difference in the world around us if we just step up. StoneLion has focused on literature and environmental education creating unique programming that is the vehicle to deliver proven scientific messages from such organizations as The Environmental Protection Agency, Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) and many city governments. 

Last year StoneLion troupe performed over 300 shows world-wide. She has received the Award of Excellence from the Kansas Association of Conservation and Environmental Education and helped win KCPT a regional Emmy for Bark Park Place as the lead designer, puppet director and performer. StoneLion has been sponsored by The National Endowment for the Arts, Missouri Arts Council and ArtsKC. She holds a Bachelor of Theater Arts degree from Boise State University and earned a Certificate of Theatre at the University of Dublin, Trinity College.

“I am thrilled to be honored with such a prestigious award but more thrilled to be an on-going part of such a great arts organization such as Kansas City Young Audiences.” Heather Nisbett-Loewenstein.

The Distinguished Educator Award will be presented to Kellie Brady of University Academy. This award honors educators who recognize the correlation between high academic achievement and arts education and are dedicated to provide these programs to their students.  

Kellie Brady, Director of Admissions & Community Outreach at University Academy Charter School in Kansas City, MO, has been working in education for 13 years. She earned her bachelors in elementary education and early childhood education from the University of Central Missouri and is currently pursuing a masters in administration from UMKC. Kellie began her career teaching through an internship in the Kansas City Public School District where she taught third grade. She then assisted in the opening of University Academy in 2005 as a Kindergarten teacher. Kellie then transitioned into leadership in 2007 in an effort to assist all UA families with their children’s educational endeavors​.

The bAm! because ARTS matter event will be from 5:30 to 7:30 pm on Friday, April 1, 2016. Guests will enjoy great conversation, hors d’ oeuvres, drinks and live performances by KCYA Teaching Artists.





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