Lied Center announces 2018–19 IMPACT Award winners

The Lied Center of Kansas is proud to announce Johannah Cox and Joshua Bell as the recipients of the 2018–2019 IMPACT Awards.

Derek Kwan recognized Johannah Cox as the 2018–19 educator IMPACT Award recipient at the Lied Center’s Annual Friends of the Lied Fall Celebration Dinner on September 10, 2018. Photo credit: John Clayton

Each season, the Lied Center recognizes one USD 497 educator for distinguished service to arts education and one artist or group for distinguished service to the performing arts.

The IMPACT Awards will be presented to the two winners on the Lied Center stage before Joshua Bell’s performance on the evening of Thursday, October 4, 2018. “In addition to being the world’s greatest violin soloist, Joshua Bell is deeply committed to increasing youth access to arts education. Johannah Cox is a legendary music educator who has positively impacted thousands of students in Lawrence and beyond over the last four decades. It is a privilege for the Lied Center of Kansas to recognize them for inspiring creativity in our community and throughout the world,” said Executive Director Derek Kwan.

Johannah Cox has been teaching band for 39 years, with the past 33 years at Liberty Memorial Central Middle School, and the 6 six years prior to that in the Salina Public Schools. She earned a bachelor’s degree and a master’s in music education, both from Fort Hays State University. Cox has served as President of the Kansas Bandmasters Association (KBA), and she was the first female president of KBA in 1989. She received the Outstanding Young Bandmaster award in 1985 and the Outstanding Bandmaster award in 2013 from KBA. Additionally, Cox was named Teacher of the Year in 2009 by the Lawrence Public Schools. She has taken bands to Kansas Music Educators Association In-Service Workshops in 2001, 2003 and 2006. She maintains an active clarinet studio and also serves as personnel manager of the Lawrence City Band. Cox said of the Lied Center IMPACT Award, “I am very honored and humbled to receive this award, especially on the year that coincides with the Lied Center celebrating its 25th year.” As the educator recipient, she received a complimentary pair of tickets to each main stage Lied Center performance during the 2018–19 season.

With a career spanning more than 30 years as a soloist, chamber musician, recording artist and conductor, Joshua Bell is one of the most celebrated violinists today. Bell has recorded more than 40 CDs garnering Grammy, Mercury, Gramophone and Echo Klassik awards, and he is the recipient of the Avery Fisher Prize. As the music director of the Academy of St Martin in the Fields in 2011, he is the only person to hold this post since Sir Neville Marriner formed the orchestra in 1958. He has been touted by The Washington Post as “One of the most imaginative, technically gifted and altogether extraordinary violinists of our time.”

Bell advocates for music as an essential educational tool, as both a way for classical music to find diverse audiences, and also to deepen his audience’s connection to the art. He maintains active involvement with Education Through Music and Turnaround Arts, which provide instruments and arts education to children who may not otherwise be able to experience classical music firsthand. In 2014, Bell mentored and performed alongside National YoungArts Foundation string musicians in an HBO Family Documentary special, “Joshua Bell: A YoungArts Masterclass.” Bell continues to work alongside young talent to foster the next generation of classical music ambassadors, and currently serves as senior lecturer at his alma mater, the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music.

Each year, after the season is booked, the Lied Center administration selects up to five artists or groups to be considered for the IMPACT Award based upon the established criteria of leadership in their field, artistic integrity, commitment to arts education and the creation of new and innovative work. In August, all current and former Friends of the Lied board members vote for one of the nominees via electronic ballot. The educator is selected with the assistance of USD 497 ambassadors to the Lied Center and the Adventures in Imagination Board. This selection is based on the teacher’s service to arts education. This year’s winners will be added to the list of esteemed recipients, including Wynton Marsalis, Imani Winds and Black Violin; and USD 497 educators Lois Orth-Lopes, Sara Bonner and Deborah Woodall Routledge.

Learn more about the IMPACT Awards and previous award recipients >

Joshua Bell, 2018–19 artist IMPACT Award recipient. The recipients will be honored before Bell’s performance at the Lied Center on Thursday, October 4, 2018.