The 34th Annual Emancipation Proclamation Observance and Pioneer Awards ceremony was held on Jan. 1, with the theme being “A Salute to the Arts.”
Among the honorees were Morton Theatre Facility Supervisor Lynn Green "for unselfish and dedicated service" in the arts. She manages the Morton and Athens Creative Theatre.
A University of Georgia graduate, Green has a degree in drama and theater. For over two decades Lynn she has served the Morton Theatre including as a member of the theatre staff for 17 years, and previously as a contractor, board member, and interim Arts Division Administrator.
The Morton Theatre was honored with an award, as well. Built in 1910 by Monroe Bowers Morton, it is one of the first and the oldest surviving African-American vaudeville theaters in the United States. At one time, the Morton building formed the core of the downtown Black business district. The theatre was the primary entertainment facility for the city’s Black community for many years and is the only theatre from the early twentieth century that survives in Athens-Clarke County. It is now a facility of the Athens-Clarke County Leisure Services Department.
Also honored was the late Lois Thomas-Ewings, who in 1985 moved to Athens and began mentoring young girls at the East Athens Community Center and founded the East Athens Educational Dance Center which took on a life of its own.