Houston Press Artopia 2013 - The Winners are In

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In today's edition of the Houston Press we are announcing this year's winners of our MasterMind Award. For five years now we've handed out checks of $2,000 to three individuals or groups for doing what we believe is outstanding work in the Houston arts community.

As in years past, the 2013 winners come from different fields in the arts. Opera, stage and dance are represented this year and at this Saturday's awards ceremony during our Artopia party at Winter Street Studios, all three will show us a brief onstage sample of what made them winners.

Past winners have used the money they received to help them start new programs, move buildings or just pay the bills. We don't put limits on what they can do with the money they receive.

Equally, if not more important, many have told us, is the recognition they receive from the award, in the local community and beyond.

So without further ado, here's this year's winners. But go ahead and read the entire cover story by Night and Day Editor Olivia Flores Alvarez to get more details on three pretty amazing stories.

This year's winners are:

Opera in the Heights: Operating out of a converted church building in the Heights, this opera company has seen the quality of its productions rise dramatically in the last year. Now it's attracting even more singers of top caliber. At the helm as artistic director is Enrique Carreon-Robledo, a conductor who's internationally known for his interpretations of opera, ballet and symphonies.

Karen Stokes Dance: Karen Stokes Dance, a modern dance company known for quirky work, was born in 2011. This past year, Stokes added cameras to the mix, filming performances as a way to get their work out to more people and using video to train her dancers between rehearsal sessions. Karen Stokes Dance also reaches out to the community, setting up a field trip program so area school kids get to see performers.

Stark Naked Theatre: Philip Lehl and Kim Tobin launched Stark Naked Theatre because they believed there was a shortage of smaller theaters in Houston doing high quality work and paying the actors at competitive levels. Their first play of the 2012-13 season Body Awareness received critical acclaim and Tobin supplemented the performances by bringing in a visual art exhibition with work from local artists related to the play's theme. In addition, Tobin continues to run her actors studio founded in 2009 at Spring Street Studios where she teaches Konstantin Stanislavski and Stella Adler acting techniques.

All of this year's winners will be honored in a special ceremony at the Houston Press Artopia Party - celebrating the arts - Saturday, January 26 at Winter Street Studios, 2101 Winter Street.

Keep the Houston Press Free... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Houston with no paywalls.

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