2012 Creativity

August 27, 2012

ATLANTA (August 27, 2012)—Emory College Center for Creativity & Arts announces the recipients of the 2012 Creativity & Arts Awards, recognizing Atlanta and Emory community members who have made significant artistic and administrative contributions to the arts. Among the winners are Daren Wang, executive director of the Decatur Book Festival; Blake Beckham, co-artistic director of The Lucky Penny; Ariel Fristoe, co-artistic director of Out of Hand Theater; and the late Maximilian Aue, associate professor of German studies at Emory.

Awards will be presented at the Creativity & Arts Soiree, September 7, from 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. in Emory’s Schwartz Center for Performing Arts. The soiree celebrates the beginning of the Arts at Emory season with performances and activities; it is free and open to the Atlanta community. 

Read more about this year’s award winners: 

Community Impact Arts Administrator: Daren Wang

Daren Wang co-founded the Atlanta Journal-Constitution Decatur Book Festival in 2005; convening booksellers, presenters, authors, arts advocates, and community leaders for a weekend of free entertainment and enlightenment. The Decatur Book Festival is now the largest independent book festival in the country, bringing more than 75,000 book lovers of every age to downtown Decatur. Wang is also the co-founder of Eddie and Agnes, a music series that unites Eddie’s Attic and Agnes Scott College, and worked in public radio for 15 years, specializing in programming focused on authors, literature, and the arts. 

Community Impact Artist: Blake Beckham

Co-founder and co-artistic director of The Lucky Penny, a presenting organization that “supports the creation and presentation of cutting-edge contemporary art, aiming to advance artistry and cultivate community.” As a choreographer, she has created “PLOT,” a site-specific blending of performance art, choreography, and visuals along with the more recent “Threshold,” a multilayered meditation on the stability and tenuous nature of home that took place in an architectural installation made entirely of cardboard and designed by architects Mack Scogin and Merrill Elam. Beckham also served as Director of Development with Moving in the Spirit, has danced with a variety of choreographers in Atlanta, and is currently a member of the Agnes Scott dance faculty. 

Community Impact Artist: Ariel Fristoe

Ariel Fristoe is the founder and co-artistic director of Out of Hand Theater, creating innovative new work. By partnering with passionate experts on a variety of interesting subjects, Out of Hand develops “compelling, intimate theatrical events, engaging communities around ideas that matter.” Original works include “HOMINID,” a collaboration with world-famous behavioral scientist Frans de Waal which toured five cities in Europe; and “GROUP INTELLIGENCE,” an interactive theatrical event modeling origins of life chemistry on a human scale and created in collaboration with the NSF/NASA Center for Chemical Evolution. In addition to her work with Out of Hand, Ariel is an award winning director, actress, and a member of the Emory theater studies faculty.

Alumni: Leo Saguiguit

A 1987 Emory graduate, Leo Saguiguit is an accomplished solo and chamber musician, dedicated saxophone scholar and music educator. An associate professor in the department of music at the University of Missouri, Saguiguit has held teaching gaculty positions at Northwestern University, the Sewanee Summer Music Center and Festival, and Emory. As a musician, he has performed in over nine countries with numerous ensembles including the Athens (Greece) Saxophone Quartet and the Chicago Saxophone Quartet. He has recorded six albums of saxophone music and is in high demand as a guest clinician and performer.

Faculty: Dr. Maximilian Aue

The late Maximilian Aue, associate professor of german studies at Emory, was a member of the Emory faculty since 1968, serving in a variety of leadership roles including multiple terms as chair of German studies and as a core member of the faculty in comparative literature. An avid lover of the arts, Aue never missed a Theater Emory production, providing “perceptive, thoughtful, and constructive” responses to performances making him an “exemplar of the important contribution that a spectator makes to the performing arts.” Aue’s research and teaching interests ranged from German romanticism to contemporary Austrian literature. He had a particular interest in Robert Musil and also translated four volumes of the work of Ludwig Wittgenstein. At the time of his death, he was at work on a manuscript on the reinvention of Venice in twentieth-century German literature and thought. Among his many contributions to Emory was his role as the creator of the summer study abroad program in Vienna, which began in 1973 and remains a cornerstone of the German studies program. 

Staff: Hal Jacobs

Senior Editor of Emory College Magazine, Hal Jacobs has taken the lead or been involved in countless creative, innovative and artistic projects; playing a key role in making Emory an arts destination. Jacobs is the writer and editor of many arts-related documents for Emory publications, including the “Arts Blueprint,” which documented the history, catalogued accomplishments, and identified future goals of the arts at Emory. In addition to written contributions, he has produced numerous videos that have given Emory’s arts a virtual presence via the Center for Creativity & Arts website, YouTube, and iTunesU. In addition to his work for Emory, Jacobs is an artist in the community and recently published his book, “Ball Crazy: Confessions of a Dad-Coach.”

Healthcare: Maureen Jenci Shelton

Maureen Jenci Shelton is the director of clinical pastoral education with the Emory Center for Pastoral Services. As the creator of the Creativity and Arts Initiative for Emory Healthcare, Shelton established a committee to initiate and grow a program that brings the creative arts into Emory Healthcare facilities, helping to form a bridge between the university and healthcare through the arts. She was also pivotal in the introduction of live therapeutic music at Emory hospitals and other healthcare facilities.

Undergraduate student: Rebecca Levitan

Rising senior Rebecca Levitan has served as museum docent at the Michael C. Carlos Museum for three years, developing interactive tours for students in elementary and middle schools. After being awarded the prestigious Andrew W. Mellon Fellowship, Levitan assisted the curator of Greek and Roman art conducting for upcoming exhibits and preparing a manuscript for further publication. She has also worked with museum conservators, most notably reconstructing the hand of the oldest mummy in North America. 

Volunteer: Dr. Jim Hund

Jim Hund is the founder of the Friends of Music at Emory and has been a faithful member of the executive board since its creation. Outside of establishing the Friends of Music organization, Hund has been the driving force behind the many grants given to the department of music for the past 26 years.


The Emory College Center for Creativity & Arts (CCA) advances the creation, scholarship and enjoyment of the arts. The CCA aims to make encounters with art and creativity cornerstones of the Emory experience by encouraging artistic collaboration, experimentation, and participation.