August 29, 2013

Emory College Center for Creativity & Arts announces the recipients of the 2013 Creativity & Arts Awards, recognizing Atlanta and Emory community members who have made significant artistic and administrative contributions to the arts.

Among the winners are Cathy Fox, founder and editor of; Neda Abghari, executive director of The Creatives Project; Marium Khalid of Saïah; gallery owner Yu-Kai Lin; and Professor Matthew Bernstein of Film and Media Studies.

The awards will be presented at the 6th Annual Creativity & Arts Soiree, September 6, from 6:00 - 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: Cathy Fox

Cathy Fox is executive director and editor of ArtsATL and its chief art critic. ArtsATL was founded in 2009 and serves as the only news source for comprehensive coverage of the arts in Atlanta. Fox was art and architecture critic at The Atlanta Journal-Constitution for 27 years, during which time she was Cox Writer of the Year, twice winner of Cox awards in criticism, and received Green Eyeshade Awards and an award from the American Association of Sunday and Feature Editors. She holds a master's degree in art history from the University of Michigan. She was assistant curator of the Arts Festival of Atlanta's 1981 Site Works Program, has written for ARTnews and other publications, and is a co-author of Noplaceness: Art in a Post-Urban Context, the first volume of Atlanta Art Now, devoted to critical discussion of Atlanta's visual artists. She and her publication have significantly impacted countless arts organizations, artists, and the community as a whole.

Community Impact Artist: Marium Khalid

Marium Khalid, is a founding member of Saiah, an Atlanta-based performing arts group located at The Goat Farm. From Pakistan, Bangladesh, England, the United Arab Emirates to the United States, her family's relocation for business throughout her childhood shaped her. These experiences led her to major in drama at Kennesaw State University, and Khalid runs Saiah with her husband and KSU drama alumni Phillip Justman. She performed in "City of Lions and Gods" (2011), based on the experiences of her great-grandmother during the struggle for Pakistani independence, and she directed "Moby Dick" (2012). She received Arts Atlanta's 2011 Critics' Choice Award for best theatrical performance, and she was praised by the Prague Fringe Festival reviewers for her performance and 'sensitive and nuanced direction.' Her 2012 production was mounted in a huge, decrepit warehouse, but was noted for being visually enthralling in its use of space.

Community Impact Organization: The Creatives Project

The Creatives Project offer arts education opportunities to under-served youth, as well as opportunities for long term housing, studio and art space residencies for artists. These artists in turn provide mentorship to young, under-privileged teens and teach them their crafts. Artists awarded with work space or housing must dedicate a portion of their time to structured youth-arts outreach, developed and overseen by Neda Abghari, executive director. These programs often target low-income communities or special-needs youth. With programs like the Capture Project, The City-Wide Art Supply Drive, photo-journalism projects with Jacob's Ladder Learning Center, and the Do Good Beautification Project in south Atlanta's Capitol View neighborhood, the organization has impacted over one-hundred students throughout metropolitan Atlanta.

Alumni: Yu-Kai Lin

A 2001 Emory graduate with a degree in music, Yu-Kai Lin is owner and director of Kai Lin Art. For more than a decade, he has worked with curators, architects and designers to collect art. Named 'Top 50 Most Creative Atlantans' and voted 'Best of Atlanta' by Jezebel Magazine, he is active in the Atlanta art community, and giving back to his alma mater as president of the newly formed affinity group Emory Alumni Creative (EAC). Kai Lin Art hosted the group's first social event. He has served as a speaker for Emory's industry night for undergraduates, and he also enjoys teaching piano.

Faculty: Dr. Matthew Bernstein

Dr. Matthew Bernstein is Chairman of the Department of Film and Media at Emory University. Bernstein was co-chair of the Atlanta Jewish Film Festival for the 2011 and 2012 season and continues to serve on and co-chair festival committees each year. He curates film series and lecture series on campus that are open to the public. Since 1998 he has hosted and moderated the Atlanta Cinema Club, which previews and disucsses new foreign and American independant films at the Midtown Art Cinema each fall and spring. Bernstein received an IMAGE award for both his academic work and efforts to promote film in Atlanta. In 2005 he received the Katherine S. Kovacs Essay Award by the Society for Cinema and Media Studies, one of the most prestigious awards for scholarship in film studies. Other achievements include the National Endowment for the Humanities Collaborative Research Grant, National Endowment for the Humanities Independent Scholar Research Fellowship. His book, Screening a Lynching: The Leo Frank Case on Film and TV, was a finalist for the Theatre Library Association's 2010 Richard Wall Memorial Award. His book Walter Wagner, Hollywood Independent, is regarded as the definitive biography of this important classical Hollywood era producer. He is also the editor of four anthologies on Orientalism, John Ford, film censorship, and the documentary filmmaker Michael Moore. Bernstein is a native of Long Island, New York. He received his BA from University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1980 and a PhD in 1987 and has been teaching film history and criticism at Emory since 1989.

Staff: Robert McKay

Robert "Bob" McKay is Managing Director of the Schwartz Center for Performing Arts, joining the university shortly after his wife Maggi took a position in Development in the Health Sciences. He oversaw the transition of Emory Concerts Division to the Schwartz Center Administration and was responsible for the opening of the building. During the 10 years since the opening in 2003, Bob has managed and curated the Candler Series, ensured that the Music faculty and classes have good use of the Cherry Emerson Hall for rehearsals, recitals and performances, and been an advocate for the arts across campus. Prior to Emory, he was at the University of Florida in Gainesville Florida for 20 years, 10 as Business Manager for the Stephen C. O'Connell Center, and 10 as Assistant Director of the Phillips Center for Performing Arts.

Healthcare: DaVida Lee-Williams

DaVida Lee-Williams joined the staff of the Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University as the manager of Volunteer Services 5 years ago, and she has worked hard to build the volunteer department not only in numbers but in quality of services offered as well. A large part of the service quality improvements have involved the introduction of the arts to her programs. As DaVida began recruiting volunteers she purposely sought out individuals that possessed artistic and creative insights and that had interest in bringing their talents and skills to the patients and employees of the Winship Cancer Institute. DaVida has grown our volunteer department from 10 volunteers to over 200 volunteers. She has worked with her staff of volunteers to raise the funds to cover all of the expenses associated with any program offered. Thus, allowing patients to participate without any cost to them. DaVida is an active member of the Creativity and Arts Initiative for Emory Healthcare. With her insight and guidance the Patient Appreciation Week program she developed for the Winship Cancer Institute has now been adopted across Emory Healthcare.

Undergraduate student: Benito Thompson

Described as bridging the classical and pop worlds, Benito is a double major in physics and music, performing first violin for the Emory University Symphony Orchestra. Benito's campus involvement includes serving as music director and primary arranger for Emory's all-male A Cappella group, No Strings Attached; sings bass in the Emory Concert Choir and Emory Mastersingers. He won the 2009-10 and 2012-13 EYSO Concerto Competition, and he received the 2012-13 Friends of Music Award. Off campus, he is music leader at his church and a violin instructor.

Volunteer: Dr. Henry Siegelson

Henry "Hank" Siegelson launched the new Emory Jazz Alliance, a support group for the Music department's jazz program. He has hosted events in his home, worked with Gary Motley, director of Jazz Studies and the development office to secure donors. He has been an enthusiastic support of the arts at Emory for many years, a loyal patron, and Candler series subscriber despite the demands of his full-time job as an emergency room doctor.

Healthcare Volunteer: Wayland Moore

Wayland Moore is a professional artist of some 55 years and created the 'Art with Heart' art class in the HeartWiseSM Risk Reduction Program to help stimulate and challenge the minds of patients following a heart event (heart attack or surgery). Moore happens to be a patient with the program for 13 years, donating his time to notice and intermediate artists to expand their skills in a fun and supportive environment. The class of 'patient artists' has been full to capacity, and they exhibit annually. Donated monies from the class help to fund the scholarship program which allows patients who experience a financial crisis to continue to exercise in a medically supervised cardiac rehabilitation program.


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.