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Spirit of Diversity Awards


by Luther Goins and Clare Kosinski


The 13th annual Spirit, A Celebration of Diversity — an event presented yearly by the National Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) Committee — honors individuals, theatre companies, producers and organizations that provide ongoing opportunities for members of color in the Central Region. Spirit took place on Monday, March 7, 2016, at the award-winning Chicago Shakespeare Theater on Navy Pier.

This celebration of spirit, pride and accomplishment included the presentation of the Kathryn V. Lamkey Award. Named after the longtime Central Regional Director, this special honor is awarded to an individual and/or organization that helps to maintain and enforce Equity’s goals of diversity and inclusion. The four incredible recipients included Chicago Shakespeare Theater Founder and Artistic Director Barbara Gaines and Executive Director Criss Henderson; Goodman Theatre Resident Director Chuck Smith; and Goodman Theatre Resident Artistic Associate Henry Godinez.

EEO Committee Members and event Co-Chairs Christine Bunuan and Sandra Delgado organized and hosted the celebration, and Central Regional Vice President Dev Kennedy and Central Regional Director Sean F. Taylor gave welcoming remarks. National EEO Committee Vice-Chair E. Faye Butler gave a brief history of the Spiritcelebration and praised Central Region producers for their ongoing commitment to Actors’ Equity members.  

Spirit continues to highlight the strong relationship between Actors’ Equity and Central Region producers and theatres.

Editor’s Note: As was announced at Spirit 2016, Business Representative Luther Goins is retiring this year and thus was presented a proclamation in recognition of his many years of service and dedication to Actors’ Equity.

CAPTION: Christine Toy Johnson (National Equal Employment Opportunity Committee Chair); Dev Kennedy (Central Regional Vice President); Chuck Smith (Goodman Theatre Resident Director); Sean F. Taylor (Assistant Executive Director/Central Regional Director); Barbara Gaines (Chicago Shakespeare Theater Founder and Artistic Director); Criss Henderson (Chicago Shakespeare Theater Executive Director); and E. Faye Butler (National Equal Employment Opportunity Committee Vice-Chair)


Award pages:

Arizona Theatre Service
Diversity on Broadway
Spirit of Diversity

Cheryl Lynn Bruce, Kathyrn Lamkey, E. Faye Butler

Recipients of the Kathryn V. Lamkey Award are:
Year Recipient Company/Theatre/Organization
2008 Elizabeth Geddes Chicago Agent
Harrise Davidson Chicago Agent
Jacquelyn Conard Chicago Agent
2009 Charlie Newell Court Theatre, Chicago, IL
Jack Reuler Mixed Blood Theatre, Minneapolis, MN
Dennis Zacek Victory Gardens Theatre, Chicago, IL
Roche Schulfer and Robert Falls Goodman Theatre, Chicago, IL
2010 William "Bill" Brown Independent Director
Ron "OJ" Parson Independent Director
Russ Tutterow Independent Director
Frank Galati Independent Director
2011 Cree Rankin Court Theatre
Michelle T. Boone Joyce Foundation
Kathryn V. Lamkey Central Regional Director, Actors’ Equity
2012 Erica Daniels Steppenwolf Theatre
Evan Hatfield Steppenwolf Theatre
Lois Weisberg Chicago’s Commissioner of Cultural Affairs
Luther Goins Central Region Business Representative
2013 Sandy Shinner Producer, Director, Theatre Instructor
Jamil Khoury Silk Road Rising
2014 E. Faye Butler AEA Member
Tom Joyce AEA Member
2015 Ellen Alberding Joyce Foundation President
2016 Barbara Gaines Chicago Shakespeare Theater Founder and Artistic Director
Criss Henderson Chicago Shakespeare Theater Executive Director
Chuck Smith Goodman Theatre Resident Director
Henry Godinez Goodman Theatre Resident Artistic Associate

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