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2011

1. Maggie Ginestra and Ameila Colette Jones, are founders of SLOUP, a monthly dinner where artists present project proposals and soup patrons discuss, vote and grant proceeds from the dinner to the winning proposal.

2.  Katy Fisher and Hilary Skirboll, who organize dozens of local photographers, stylists, volunteers, and non-profit agencies each year for Help Portrait—an event where those less fortunate get professional portraits taken.

3. Eduardo Vigil is the longstanding ticket czar of KDHX. While the station’s DJs get a good degree of attention in/from the community, Eduardo’s daily, tireless volunteer actions make countless listeners as happy as any on-air voice.

4. Yeyo Arts Collective is dedicated to women’s art and topics surrounding women’s issues, including family, youth, and community. They practice intergenerational collaboration, encourage creativity and inventive efforts in daily life practice, support independent, arts based entrepreneurial efforts and as women, work against gender stereotyping in the arts and society at large. They also operate Gya Community Gallery and Fine Craft Shop at 2700 Locust, where they showcase the work of local and national artists and hold a number of events year ’round, including GirlsCreate a series of workshops for girls 7-14; art exhibits; poetry readings; film screenings; fashion shows and more.

5. Veronica Holden and her family operate La Mancha Coffeehouse, around the corner from Crown Candy. More than just a coffeeshop, it is a community gathering point, a “third place,” frequented by residents of the Old North St. Louis, St. Louis Place, and Hyde Park neighborhoods and beyond. For the past several years, Veronica has also headed up the 13th Street Community Garden, transforming it from weedy, empty lot to a productive farmlet that includes a miniature prairie, chicken coop and crops including okra, greens, tomatoes, and watermelon. This last year, Veronica also served as marketmaster for the North City Farmer’s Market, which, along with the 13th Street Garden and the Old North Grocery Co-op, strives to provide fresh, local food in an area where it can be hard to come by.

6. Pam Garvey and Words on Purpose. Pam is a poet and Assistant Prof (English) at Meremac. She also heads up Words On Purpose, a committee of socially concerned writers who organzie a benefit reading series to raise money and awareness for grassroots nonprofits/causes. They do three readings a year at Black Bear Bakery. Readings are always on Saturday afternoons, with a recommended donation of $5; 100% goes to the nonprofit. Some Beneficiaries have been ACORN, RAVEN, Women’s Support & Community Services, Veterans for Peace, Studio STL, etc.

7. The St. Louis Curio Shoppe has been providing a retail option for STL artists and creatives of all sorts. Located in the Cherokee antiques district, the store sells sodas and salsas, chapbooks and seven-inch singles, under the management of Kristin Emerson Gassel. A great, one-stop shop for your local gift-giving needs, found in a classic Cherokee storefront.

8: Bridget Weible & Flowers to the People. We think you all know Bridget, her shop and her biz, which, among other things, is transforming special events & weddings throughout the community.

9: Jean Ponzi is host of Earthworms, part of KDHX’s Monday night talk block. She’s been that – and a lot more for the local environmental community – for many years and is overdue for a Kick Ass Award. This year, one’s got her name on it. She joins Eduardo Vigil as another fine KDHX volunteer/winner.

10. Depending on the day, Bob and Jovan Hansman may describe each other as father and son, student and teacher, and sometimes as friends. Bob is the founding director and Jovan is the artistic director of City Faces, a program that works with teens and young adults living in public housing, just south of downtown. Using the visual arts as “the way in”,  City Faces participants learn about problem solving, cooperation,  and self-evaluation while discovering talents they didn’t know they had.  Bob and Jovan’s story is amazing and the duo continues to make deep impressions in a community many would rather forget.

11. The Bi-State Pet Food Pantry is a wonderful organization that distributes cat and dog food to families in need. Two incredible women, Sandy Lynn and Kylie Shafferkoetter, started the pantry a couple of years ago moved by an increasing number of stories about families who were down on their luck and could no longer afford to feed their pets. Families were being forced in a difficult economy to make the awful choice to surrender their beloved pets to a shelter – which must be one of the worst moments of anyone’s life – and Sandy and Kylie took action. They continue to be motivated by the incredible relief on people’s faces when they know that they won’t have to face this choice and can keep their family together. It is with great pleasure that we look forward to giving these ladies Kick Ass trophies and recognition of their incredibly kind and generous work for our community.

12: We are 98.9% sure that Juan M. Montana will be accepting a Kick Ass Award this week, thanks to his efforts at the Cherokee Photobooth and his writings for the cherokeestreenews.org website, as well as his general, day-to-day, “small” efforts to improve life in his immediate neighborhood and the world at large. Our initial dozen, then, is 98.9% complete.

13. Mystery winner: selected on the night of the event, from the assembled audience.

Our most recent event took place at the venerable Joe’s Cafe. A summary of the event can now be found in the 2010 section, available here. You can read about the history of the series, meanwhile, here.

We anticipate holding our eighth party in the fall of 2011, in late October or early November. If interested in supporting the event in some, way, shape or form (not limited to financial support, though that’s more than welcome), please contact: thomascrone @ yahoo.com.

Meanwhile, we’ll add updates here, as developments merit.

We’ll leave you with some video from our 2010 event, as captured by Brian Villa. Musician Raven Wolf, take it away:

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