May 28, 2015

2015 Fifth Star Awards will honor Sandra Cisneros, Ella Jenkins, Stanley Tigerman, Norm Winer and The Joffrey Ballet

Awards Honoring the Chicago Artists and Cultural Institutions Will Be Presented at September 16 Tribute in Millennium Park

Christine Carrino, 312.744.0573

Jamey Lundblad, 312.744.2493

The Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE) will honor five Chicago artists and cultural institutions at the second annual Fifth Star Awards presented by Allstate Insurance Company this September 16 at the Jay Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park. The 2015 Honorees are Sandra Cisneros, acclaimed author of several books including The House on Mango Street; beloved children’s music performer and educator Ella Jenkins; prominent architect, theorist and designer Stanley Tigerman; Norm Winer, program director of legendary rock station, WXRT; and The Joffrey Ballet, celebrating 20 years in Chicago this season.

The Fifth Star Awards, inaugurated in 2014, celebrate Chicago’s creativity while honoring exemplary Chicago artists and arts institutions that have made significant contributions in arts and culture. The September 16 event features tribute videos and live performances to honor the awardees.

“Over the years, there have been many ideas proposed for a fifth star on Chicago’s iconic flag,” said Michelle T. Boone, Commissioner of DCASE. “These ideas all share one thing in common: They represent a city always in search of new moments of growth, transformation and enlightenment. And while there are no plans to add a fifth star to our flag, we believe there is beauty and magic in the quest for one.”

Sandra Cisneros (Photo by © Alan Goldfarb)Sandra Cisneros’ The House on Mango Street is required reading in schools across the country and was the Spring 2009 selection for the Chicago Public Library’s One Book One Chicago program. Cisneros has been honored with a MacArthur Fellowship, two National Endowment for the Arts Fellowships and a Texas Medal of the Arts, and she founded the Latino McArthur Fellows (Los MacArturos) as well as two organizations that serve writers. Her other book titles include Caramelo, Loose Woman and most recently Have You Seen Marie? A House Of My Own: Stories From My Life, a book of non-fiction and photos, will be published in October 2015." Photo by © Alan Goldfarb.

Stanley Tigerman has designed more than 175 built works includingStanley Tigerman the Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center in Skokie, Pacific Garden Mission homeless shelter in Chicago and the Ounce of Prevention Education Center in Chicago. He has been an outspoken voice in the world of architecture for more than 50 years and a central figure in the “Chicago Seven,” a group of architects that emerged in opposition to the dominance of Modernism in Chicago. Tigerman is the recipient of the lifetime achievement award from the American Institute of Architects.

Ella JenkinsElla Jenkins, as a performer and an educator, has been singing with children for more than 50 years, and generations all over the world have grown up listening to her nearly 40 albums including Multicultural Children’s Songs, still the most popular Smithsonian Folkways release. She has performed everywhere from Sesame Street and Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood to the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. In 2004, Jenkins was honored with the Grammy Awards Lifetime Achievement Award.

Norm WinerNorm Winer has been Program Director at WXRT Chicago for 36 years, and few program directors are as closely identified with a major market commercial radio station. In a radio world often focused on playing the hits, WXRT has for decades brought new artists and music to the ears of Chicagoans. While others regularly change format and personnel, 93RXT has remained remarkably consistent while remaining at the forefront of new music in Chicago and the world, and no one is more responsible for this than Winer.

Joffrey Ballet Chicago (RAkU Fabrice Calmels & Victoria Jaiani, Photo by: Cheryl Mann)The Joffrey Ballet, celebrating its 60th season, is an internationally renowned company classically trained to the highest standards. Known as “America’s Company of Firsts,” the Joffrey expresses a unique, inclusive perspective on dance, proudly reflecting the diversity of America with its company, audiences, and repertoire which includes major story ballets, reconstructions of masterpieces and cutting-edge contemporary works. The company’s commitment to accessibility is met through an extensive touring schedule, an innovative and highly effective education program including the much lauded Academy of Dance, Official School of The Joffrey Ballet, Community Engagement programs and collaborations with myriad other visual and performing arts organizations.

The lineup of tribute performances will be announced later. For details, visit and join the conversation on Facebook (Fifth Star Awards and Millennium Park), Twitter @fifthstar_CHI and @Millennium_Park and Instagram @Millennium_Park.

The Fifth Star Awards is made possible through generous private support from Allstate Insurance Company.


Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events

The Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE) is dedicated to enriching Chicago’s artistic vitality and cultural vibrancy. This includes fostering the development of Chicago’s non-profit arts sector, independent working artists and for-profit arts businesses; providing a framework to guide the City’s future cultural and economic growth, via the 2012 Chicago Cultural Plan; marketing the City’s cultural assets to a worldwide audience; and presenting high-quality, free and affordable cultural programs for residents and visitors. For more information, visit


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