2022 Arts Awards

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About MCA’s Awards

Marion Cultural Alliance’s Arts Awards, established in 2016, are a highlight of the Annual Applaud the Arts event held each fall. The awards honor individuals or organizations for their positive impact on the arts in our community.   Nominations for the 2022 Arts Awards are now open.



Recognizes an arts educator who utilizes the arts as a tool for achieving excellence.



Recognizes an individual or an organization in Ocala/Marion County for their outstanding advocacy of the arts.



Recognizes an exceptional individual for their dedicated volunteerism in the arts and contribution to the arts community.




The awards will be announced at the 15th Annual Applaud the Arts, on October 8, 2022, at The NOMA Black Box at the Reilly Arts Center.




Awards are open to Ocala/Marion County arts for profit or nonprofit organizations, city, county, schools, arts organization volunteers, and arts enthusiasts in Ocala/Marion County.

Nominations for these awards will be evaluated based on each nominee’s level of excellence in:

  • Advocacy for the arts
  • Promotion of the arts
  • Support of the arts


The MCA Award winner in each category will receive all the above plus:

  • A specially designed award
  • Post-event media release announcing the final honorees
  • Recognition on social media


Nomination/Application Instructions

The application form and required support materials are located on mcaocala.org.  Self-nominations are accepted. Entries must be submitted online.

Please be prepared to upload supporting materials or images. DEADLINE: Monday, September 12, 2022


Selection Process

The MCA Arts Awards Selection committee, chaired by an MCA Board member, will review all applications based on the criteria stated above and completion of the application materials. Two finalists will be chosen in each category and will be reviewed and approved by the MCA Board of Directors.


Questions? Please contact Jaye Baillie, MCA Executive Director at 352. 369.1500

Congratulations 2021 Arts Awards Winners

Brooke Hutto


Ken Colen


The Phillip Leppert Family


Gerald Ergle




ARTS EDUCATOR AWARD: Recognizes an individual or organization in Ocala/Marion County for outstanding advocacy of the arts.


Brooke Hutto


For the past 15 years, Brooke has been teaching music to children of all ages and abilities.


She is the K-5 music teacher at Harbourview Elementary School; the lead elementary music teacher for Marion County Public Schools; and the president of the Marion County Music Association. Brooke supports teachers and administrators throughout the county. She also organizes two largescale county events, the Charlie Dixon Music Festival, which involves nearly 1000 students and their families; and the Marion County Elementary Honor Choir, which involves 100 students and their families. These events offer students the experience of performing in venues including The Reilly Arts Center. Due to her effectiveness with teaching students with special needs, Brooke has become a state-wide presenter with Arts4All Florida, an organization whose mission is “to provide, support and champion arts education and cultural experiences for and by people with disabilities.” She consistently volunteers her personal time to form an arts-rich community and is an asset to our School District and to the State.



SERVICE AWARD: Recognizes an exceptional individual for their dedicated volunteerism in the arts and contribution to the arts community as a whole.


The Leppert Family Service Award Winner


The Leppert Family includes Grandmother Phylis, Dad Philip, Mom Sarah, and oldest child David, Sweetest child Rebekah, and Youngest child Jonathan

Time restrictions keep us from presenting the entire Leppert Alphabet, so be sure to check it out on mca’s website!

Here we go!

A is for Acting – Philip, David, Rebekah, and Jonathan have performed in over 50 mainstage and youth productions.


B is for Box Office – Phylis and Sarah have logged over 1000 hours helping with ticketing, reservations and patron relations.


C is for Concessions – Phylis, Sarah, and Philip have all volunteered in the concession stand for several hundred hours.


D is for Dresser – Sarah has volunteered as a dresser backstage on several shows and Rebekah now works part-time in the costume shop as a designer and seamstress E is for Education –David has taught for several years as part of our education team.


F is for Fund Raisers – The family has helped sell raffle tickets, including Philip who often makes the curtain speech.

Jumping ahead a few letters:


L is for Light Board Operator – Sarah, David, and Jonathan have all run the light board.


O is for Overtime – The Leppert’s are always the last ones to leave the building when there is work to be done.


S is for Stage crew – The Lepperts have been on so many stage crews we stopped counting when it reached 50.

As you can tell, they are, as an amazing family, worthy of this year’s Service Award.



VISION AWARD: Recognizes an arts educator who utilizes the arts as a tool for stimulating learning.


Ken Colen


The On Top of the World website says that Ken Colen’s vision for his communities is about beauty and giving people tremendous value for their home. His support of that beauty, through the arts, has been apparent in everything he has touched. Ken understands that the arts fuel the soul and strengthen the fabric of thriving communities. He once said that the arts bring people closer to the divine. Residents and visitors are greeted by two members of the Horse Fever herd at Circle Square Commons.


Master the Possibilities, a public lifelong learning center with 25,000 annual student registrations, has four art studios providing hundreds of courses and events each year. The 930-seat Circle Square Cultural Center hosts over 75 art related events annually. Examples include concerts, arts and crafts shows, a quilting expo and more. Sholom Park, a vision of Ken’s father and mother Sydney and Ina, was executed by Ken and is home to art shows, plein air art, festivals, and performances. His latest all-ages development Calesa Township recently commisssoned a 130’ long pedestrian tunnel which includes an artistically designed full-color mural for the community’s residents to enjoy. The Colen Foundation has quietly funded important cultural programs throughout Marion County for decades. Although Ken Colen’s vision for the arts has impacted hundreds of thousands of people throughout Marion County and beyond, his vision never includes personal recognition. MCA is pleased to honor him with the 2022 Spirit Award.



SPIRIT AWARD: The Spirit award is conferred on an individual that that embodies the giving spirit of Ocala.


Gerald Ergle


Gerald has been an integral part of all things MCA since our inception in 2001. He involved in the establishment of the organization itself and served on the Board for several years. Gerald has literally had his hands on every single horse from all four Horse fever public art projects. He has moved them, installed them, built bases, built movable platforms, and assisted with anything logistically to do with any of the horses from day one. He has assisted at all auctions and events. He installs the memorial bricks in our courtyard.


Gerald has never turned in a receipt (unless he was forced to) for all the many personal expenses he has incurred from building and repairing things for us- not to mention the gas and wear and tear on his tractor and truck. This award is not only for Horse Fever but for MCA and The Brick itself. There is nothing that we can’t and perhaps, have not, asked of Gerald and he has always been there, no matter the circumstance, or the inconvenience to him. He has also been invaluable to MCA as a long-term councilman and former Mayor. His can-do spirit has been invaluable. MCA would not be the same without his service.

ARTS Awards Sponsored by: