The Arts and Education Council presented the 2008 Arts Awards before 625 guests and sponsors at the Khorassan Ballroom. Event chairs were Bill Donius and Cary Hobbs, who were assisted by production chairs Peter Sargent and Mary Ann Hogan, decorator Tom Manche, emcee Jim Connett and retiring president Jim Weidman.

Serving as representatives of the diverse arts community throughout St. Louis were this year’s honorees: Gyo Obata, Lifetime Achievement in the Arts; Mary Ann Lee, Excellence in Philanthropy; Ivor David Balding, Gerald Early and Stages St. Louis, Excellence in the Arts; Thompson Coburn LLP, Corporate Support of the Arts; and Linda Packard, Art Educator of the Year. Since 1963, the Council has raised nearly $95 million in support of local arts, arts education and outreach programs, with 80 organizations to be served this year.

http://pictopia.com/perl/gal?process=gallery&gallery_id=33508&provider_id=753"> http://www.laduenews.com/art/brownbutton.jpg" /> to purchase party photos!