It has been four years since Riverfront Times inaugurated our MasterMind Awards, and by now the process has attained a degree of familiarity — at our end, anyway.
The call for nominees. The impatience. The slow but steady response. The brainstorming. The deciding. The second thoughts. The deciding again.
And then, ten days before the issue goes to press, the phone calls to the four winners. These too have a certain sameness, from call to call, from year to year. But when it's done, when the profiles have been written and edited, the portraits shot, the Fall Arts supplement laid out — four years in, the process remains an exciting and gratifying one.
The reason, of course, is simple: New year, new MasterMinds. People (or partnerships) doing all they can to engage us, getting by mostly on passion and aspiration — how could one fail to get a jolt out of that?
At RFT we feel lucky to be able to recognize these smart, creative, determined and resilient St. Louisans and show our admiration and appreciation for what they do.
And, oh yeah, give 'em each a thousand bucks, absolutely no strings attached.
Here, then, are your 2011 MasterMind Award winners:
Angela Mitchell, writer
Sam Coffey, Carson Minow, Ryan Frank and Mike Broy (First Punch Film Production)
Peter Pranschke, artist
James and Brea McAnally (the Luminary Center for the Arts)
Please join us in congratulating them — with food, drink, entertainment and, yes, live body painting — at this year's fourth annual Artopia gala, which takes place tonight, Thursday, August 25, from 7 to 10 p.m. at 2720 Cherokee. Tickets are $20 and can be purchased via our website at www.riverfronttimes.com/artopia, where you'll find more info about the party.
In the meantime, please click through to read our profiles of this year's MasterMinds. These are people worth getting to know.
Tom Finkel, editor