Rio Hondo College Newspaper

El Paisano

Rio Hondo College Newspaper

El Paisano

Rio Hondo College Newspaper

El Paisano

WCAF awards art advocates during annual ‘Honors Night’

The Whittier Cultural Arts Foundation (WCAF) presented its 11th annual “Honors Night” on June 26 at the Radisson Hotel in Uptown Whittier.

Hosted by chairman Roberto Chavez, this celebratory dinner showcased four deserving artists and art advocates that were rightfully receiving prestigious awards.

The first winner, Sandra Hahn, friend of the arts, felt extremely blessed to have been recognized for her works. “It’s like a big family in here,” said Hahn during her acceptance speech.

“This is a very special moment for me and I’m very humble to accept this award.” Hahn is known for her popular eatery “Crepes & Grapes Cafe” and her work with the Whittier Chamber of Commerce.

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The second award was given to Maya Hivale, children’s advocate, social worker, and artist. Hivale responded to this award by saying, “I’m truly honored. Thank you WCAF for honoring me with this; this is the kind of energy that I love and seek in life.” Hivale was also recognized as a member of a team that helps kids under various circumstances.

She strives to find what kids are passionate about, which in her cases is often art, and helps emphasize the opportunities that the children have to express their feelings and emotions through art production.

Designer, artist, and multiple award winner Raul Rodriguez received the third award in recognition of his talents in a variety of mediums and his impact on the community.

Rodriguez thanked his former art teacher and long-time inspiration, Yoshio Nakamura, for opening doors of opportunity and showing an extremity of support towards him in his adolescent days.

Known for his mass contributions to the Rose Parade and his artistic abilities, along with his blue Hyacinth Macaw, Sebastian. Rodriguez is a household name that inspires many to create art.

“This night is just a pleasure for me. It’s so nice to be here with my friends and families, and you are all so meaningful to me. All of this stems right here, in Whittier,” said Rodriguez.

The final award was given to another arts advocate, Fran Shields, whom is the director of Whittier’s Parks and Recreation department and a large contributor to Cultural Arts Commission.

Shields has provided art accessibility and helped provide artwork throughout the community with public display of arts throughout Whittier.

Her contributions to visual arts, concerts in the parks, and more exquisite projects have helped the art foundations to develop more programs for the entire community of Whittier.

“After the commission was formed, I traveled to Seattle and discovered that art was literally everywhere. It was all so beautiful. It led me to feel so strongly about the arts in communities and the love of my arts grew,” said Shields.

The winners were appropriately selected on a variety of levels regarding their talents, passions, strong hearts, intelligence, and overall love for Whittier and the community.

Led by Chavez, the 11th annual Honors Night gathered over 100 individuals to celebrate the strong bond between the arts and the city of Whittier, while recognizing four well-deserving advocates of the arts.


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