Mayor Durkan announces recipients for the 2018 Mayor’s Arts Awards

Recipients will be honored at the Mayor’s Arts Awards ceremony on
Thursday, August 30 at 4 p.m. at the Mural Amphitheatre

SEATTLE – Mayor Durkan announced the recipients of the 2018 Mayor’s Arts Awards. The award honorees are Tarik Abdullah, Paula Boggs, Fulgencio Lazo, Jorge Enrique González Pacheco, and Karen P. Thomas. All five recipients have shaped Seattle’s arts and cultural landscape through their contributions to the community, education, arts and race and social justice.

“Artists in Seattle inspire, and these artists represent the rich diversity of innovation and talent in our community,” says Mayor Durkan. “The arts are the creative soul of our city and reminds us of our humanity, history and our greatest achievements.”

The Mayor’s Arts Awards recognize celebrates the people and organizations that broaden our horizons and humanize our city and our world. The winners will be honored at the Mayor’s Arts Award Ceremony on Thursday, August 30 at 4 p.m. at Seattle Center. Recipients will be presented with an original artwork award by local emerging artist, Tzyy Yi Amy Young.

The Mayor’s Arts Awards are presented in partnership with Bumbershoot and One Reel with media sponsor City Arts and event sponsor Chihuly Garden and Glass.

For more information about the Mayor’s Arts Awards, including past recipients, visit


Tarik Abdullah— Tarik Abdullah is a chef, artist, innovator, and community activist. His culinary creations honor traditions from North Africa and the Mediterranean; and inspired by the tastes and flavors of his childhood. Growing up in a Muslim family and broader community where ethnic foods were the norm, his artistry comes through not only in his food, but in his everyday interactions with people – sharing his passion for cooking with the younger generation by teaching week long summer camps called “In the Kitchen with Chef T”. Abdullah also appeared on ABC’s “The Taste,” a competitive cooking show on which he spent six episodes winning Anthony Bourdain’s favor, shortly after, “The MUNCHIES Guest to Washington State” on VICE, and more recently, a Visit Seattle and REVOLT TV co-production called Turning Tables, a new primetime series that connects music with food. He is a founding member of Black & Tan Hall, and a valuable member of the Hillman City Collaboratory.

Paula Boggs— Paula Boggs is a musician, public speaker, fundraiser and philanthropist. She is also a Board Member of numerous for-profit and non-profit organizations. Boggs and the 6-piece Paula Boggs Band traverse jazz, world, rock and Americana. Boggs is also a public speaker, volunteered for a presidential
campaign as national surrogate, serves on boards, and raises or gives money in support of many causes — including music education, KEXP’s New Home, veterans and civic engagement. President Obama appointed her to the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities where she served before resigning in August 2017. Her current civic and professional activities include serving on the boards of Avid Technology, Inc., Seattle Symphony; American Bar Association Board of Governors and Peabody Institute of Johns Hopkins University Advisory Board.

Fulgencio Lazo— Artist Fulgencio Lazo works predominantly with acrylics on canvas at his studios in Seattle and in his hometown of Oaxaca, Mexico. He has had more than 50 solo shows throughout the United States, Mexico, and Japan and is represented by galleries in Oaxaca, Mexico City, Monterrey and Valle de Bravo. In Seattle, where he has lived since 1990, he is most known for his tireless work to create programs and spaces that are inclusive and reflect diverse audiences. He has co-founded some of Seattle’s most iconic traditions within the Latino community, including Seattle’s annual Oaxacan celebration known as Guelaguetza, International Children’s Day, and the Day of the Dead celebrations at many venues, including the Seattle Art Museum. Most recently he co-founded Studio Lazo, an organization of artists and community members creating a welcoming venue that especially showcases the creativity of Latino artists, writers and musicians.

Jorge Enrique González Pacheco— Jorge Enrique González Pacheco is a Cuban Poet and a Film Industry Professional. He came to the U.S. in 2003, living a couple years in Miami and then moving to Seattle in 2006. Jorge Enrique is the Founder and Chief Programmer of the Seattle Latino Film Festival (SLFF), a 501(c)(3) Non-Profit Organization. From 1995 to 2003 he worked at the well-known Cuban Film Institute in Havana as a first assistant director and a screenplay researcher. Gonzalez Pacheco has published five books, including the Spanish and English poetry edition, “Under the Light of My Blood” (“Bajo la luz de mi sangre”). His poetry has been translated into French, English and Portuguese. He has taught contemporary Cuban literature and Latin-American cinema in universities of the United States, Spain, France, and Mexico. In Havana, Cuba, 1996, Jorge Enrique received the “Delia Carrera Poetry Prize”. In San Francisco, 2015, he received a “HIPGivers Award” for his literary and entrepreneurial work, an award recognizing the philanthropic contributions of Hispanics. Through the SLFF, Jorge Enrique, in the 10 years of the festival has brought an art and social platform to Seattle where the non Latinx can learn more about Latin American societies.

Karen P. Thomas— Karen P. Thomas has served as the artistic director and conductor of Seattle Pro Musica since 1987. With Seattle Pro Musica, she has produced eleven critically-acclaimed commercial recordings and has received the Margaret Hillis Award for Choral Excellence and the ASCAP-Chorus America Award for Adventurous Programming of Contemporary Music. She regularly introduces new music, including new commissions from living composers, and makes adventurous programming decisions. Thomas has led efforts to make Pro Musica fully welcoming for LGBTQ individuals and accessible for youth and low-income residents of the greater Seattle area. As a board member of Chorus America, she has also worked to help choruses throughout the US become welcoming and safe places for trans and non-binary singers. In addition to her conducting career, she is an internationally-performed composer of choral, instrumental, and stage works. She has received grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, The American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters, Artist Trust, and numerous others.

Office of Arts & Culture | Seattle
The Office of Arts & Culture envisions a city driven by creativity that provides the opportunity for everyone to engage in diverse arts and cultural experiences. The Office is supported by the 16-member Seattle Arts Commission, citizen volunteers appointed by the mayor and City Council. Find out more at Follow @SeattleArts or