August 16, 2000

WSU Achievement Awards highlight 'Celebration of the Arts'

Advocate, six alumni to be honored

Note: Photos are available on the web at

The Arts Achievement Awards program begins at 4:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 14,in the Schaver Music Recital Hall in the Old Main Building at Wayne State University.

The award program honors a community arts advocate and six prominent alumni whose achievements have been widely recognized.

President Irvin D. Reid will present the 2000 Arts Advocate Award to Maggie Allesee of Bloomfield Hills. Recipients of the 2000 Arts Achievement Awards are: Art and art history - Carol S. Pylant of Madison, Wis.; art education - Marian Stephens of Detroit; communication - George Cantor of West Bloomfield; dance - Carol Halsted of Bloomfield Hills; music - William Foster of Tallahassee, Fla; and theatre - Tom Sizemore of Los Angeles, Calif.

The program is part of the annual Celebration of the Arts that runs Monday -Friday, Sept. 11-15, to showcase the variety of arts programs and activities that are regular features at the university.

The arts celebration runs concurrent with activities for Wayne State's Welcome Back Week Sept. 11-15 and the Detroit Festival of the Arts, Sept.15-17.

Most activities are free and open to the public and include displays of art, music and dance. Among the scheduled events, along with phone numbers to call for information are (all are in the 313 area):

Monday, Sept. 11

Arts Awareness Week kickoff, 7 p.m., Maggie Allesee Dance Studio, 3317 Old Main Building, 577-4272;

Tuesday, Sept. 12

Dance slide lecture, "The Power and Passion of Dance: The Relationship of Dance and Photography," Carol Halsted, 11:45 a.m., Maggie Allesee dance studio, 3317 Old Main Building, 577-4272;

  • Communication discussion, "Detroit Journalism: Past Present and Future," George Cantor, 6 p.m., 226 Manoogian, 577-2943;

Thursday, Sept. 14

  • Art and Art History lecture, "Past and Current Paintings," Carol Pylant, 10 a.m., Schaver Music Recital Hall, 0412 Old Main Building, 577-2985.
  • "From Detroit to Hollywood: A Conversation with Tom Sizemore," Theatre Q-and-A session, 10 a.m., Hilberry Theatre, 577-3511.
  • Music lecture, "Fifty Years in Music Education," William Foster, 11:45a.m., Music Recital Hall, 0412 Old Main Building, 577-1783.
  • Presentation of Arts Achievement Awards, 4:30 p.m., Music Recital Hall, 0412 Old Main Building, 577-2246.

Friday, Sept. 15

Unveiling of Hudson's Art in the Park, 5 p.m., 577-5088;

  • Art a la Carte evening, 6 p.m., Scarab Club, 577-5088; and Wednesday, Sept 20
Art education master class, "Using Your Art Skills to Enhance Your Teaching," Marian Stephens, 5:30 p.m., 156 Community Arts Building, 577-0902.

Arts Advocate Award-Maggie Allesee, community supporter, friend and fund-raiser has been honored locally, regionally and nationally for her commitment to volunteerism and philanthropy. Allesee is a founding board member of the Metropolitan Ballet Theatre, trustee and board member of the Michigan Opera Theatre; and trustee and board member of the Music Hall.

WSU's Maggie Allesee Department of Dance is the result of her $2 million endowment on Jan. 29, 2000. Allesee has a long history of generosity to Wayne State as well as the arts and education throughout southeastern Michigan. She previously funded WSU's main dance studio, the Maggie Allesee Dance Studio, and has made important grants to the departments of music and theatre.

She helped fund the Michigan Dance Archives at the Walter Reuther Library of Labor and Urban Affairs.

Allesee graduated from Florida State University in 1949 with a bachelor's degree in English and journalism. She also completed graduate studies in English at the University of London, England in 1949. She received both a master's degree in education, guidance and counseling in 1982 and a postmaster's degree in gerontology in 1984 from Wayne State.

Art and Art History - Carol S. Pylant, a professor of art at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, has shown her paintings throughout the United States and abroad.

The artist has presented lectures and conducted workshops throughout the states as well as Ireland, Italy and France.

Her work has been favorably reviewed by critics across the nation and in Germany and West Germany. She is a frequent guest juror/critic in the United States and Ireland.

Plyant received a bachelor of fine arts degree in 1977 and a master of fine arts degree in 1979, both from Wayne State.

Art Education - Marian Kinney Stephens is past chair of the art department at Cass Technical High School and has taught fashion design at both Wayne State and the Center for Creative Studies.

She is an art consultant for the Detroit Public Schools. Her many honors and awards vary from High School Art Teacher of the Year from the Michigan Art Education Association to a plaque from HUD for promoting fair housing.

Stephens received a bachelor of science degree in art education in 1956, a master of education degree in 1962 and completed 20 hours of post degree work in 1985. She also completed 20 hours of post degree work at Marygrove College in 1995.

Communication - George Cantor is a longtime Detroit News columnist and News editorial board member. He has written numerous travel, history and sports books, including the recent Bad Guys in American History. His award-winning series on Israel was reprinted in booklet form and distributed as a study guide to schools in Michigan.

Another of Cantor's publications, Black Historic Landmarks, was honored by the National Library Association for distinguished achievement. Since 1997 he has written features on travel for The History Channel. He received a bachelor of science degree in journalism from Wayne State in 1962.

Dance - Carol Halsted, chair of the department of music, theatre and dance at Oakland University, recently published The Power and Passion of Dance, a catalog of dance photographs. She has been president of the American College Dance Festival Association, Michigan Dance Teacher of the Year, editor of the Detroit Dance News and a visiting scholar at U.C.L.A. She has choreographed for the Oakland Dance Theatre, The Eisenhower Dance Ensemble and Meadowbrook Theatre.

As artistic director of Other Things and Company, a children's touring dance theatre company, Halsted presented numerous workshops and papers about dance education. She received a bachelor's degree in speech and education from the University of Michigan in 1962. She received a master's degree in dance education in 1975 and a doctorate in teacher education in 1985, both from Wayne State.

Music - William P. Foster, former chair of music and director of bands at Florida A&M University, is known nationally as the "Dean of America's Band Directors." President Bill Clinton nominated and the U.S. Congress approved Foster as a member of the National Council on the Arts. He is credited with revolutionizing marching band techniques and re-shaping the world's concept of collegiate marching bands. The internationally famous 329-piece FAMU Marching Band has appeared in three films, three commercials, numerous magazine and newspaper articles, 60 Minutes, 20/20 and PM Magazine telecasts and 34nationally televised performances on all networks. WSPN Television 2 produced a30-minute documentary of the band. In 1998 NBC's Today Show presented a documentary on Foster's achievement with the band.

Among many national and state honors of the Eminent Professor and Emeritus Director is the first United States Achievement Academy Hall of FAME Award. He also was elected to the National Band Association Hall of Fame for Distinguished Band Conductors.

He has been an officer and board member of many prestigious national and state organizations. Foster received a bachelor of music education degree from the University of Kansas in 1941, a master's of arts degree in music from Wayne State in 1950 and a doctorate in education with a major in music from Teachers College, Columbia University in 1955. In 1998 he was awarded an honorary doctorate of humane letters from Florida A&M.

Theatre - Tom Sizemore, Golden Globe-and Screen Actors' Guild-nominated actor, is the star of numerous films including Saving Private Ryan, Bringing Out the Dead and Natural Born Killers. He won the Best Actor Award at the 1997 Madrid Film Festival for his performance as a tough Chicago detective in The Relic. On television he starred as John Gotti in NBC's Witness to the Mob and in HBO's Witness Protection.

Sizemore is currently in production on Red Planet opposite Val Kilmer, scheduled for release in summer 2000. He next will be seen in The Florentine. The native Detroiter received a bachelor of fine arts degree from Wayne State in 1983 and went on to earn a master's degree in theater from Temple University.

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