Don Lewis of Pleasanton, a music artist and synthesizer innovator, has won the prestigious 2016 Alameda County Arts Leadership award.
He is one of eight recipients of the annual award, sponsored by the Alameda County Arts Commission. The winners will be commended by the Alameda County Board of Supervisors at its public meeting at 10:45 a.m. Sept. 27 in the Supervisor’s chambers in the county administration building, 1221 Oak St., Oakland.
The event will be held in conjunction with the county’s celebration of California Arts Day and National Arts and Humanities Month in October.
The county Arts Commission selected the eight award winners from a group of nominees whose names were submitted by the public. Award recipients were selected based on their achievements within the arts field and their contributions to the community.
Besides Lewis, the other recipients are Kathleen Breedveld of Livermore; Susan Longini, Fremont; Sergio Suarez, Hayward, and Bruce Beasley, Ayodele Nzinga and the team of J.K. Fowler and MK Chavez, all of Oakland.
Lewis’ pioneering efforts are the subject of a documentary to be released in 2017, titled “The Ballad of Don Lewis.” He has taught courses at UC Berkeley Extension and guest lectured at Stanford University and San Jose State University.
He also has mentored students through school programs and “Young Expressions” performances. His "Say YES to Music!” assemblies have inspired thousands of students of all ages throughout the Bay Area and beyond. During his six-decade career, he has presented concerts worldwide, including at the Newport Jazz Festival and at Carnegie Hall. He also toured with The Beach Boys, and appeared with several symphony orchestras.
Lewis is an active member of the Rotary Club of Pleasanton and participates in service projects locally and internationally.
For more information on the Arts Commission and its program and on other 2016 Arts Leadership awards, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org/