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November 11, 2011 > Alameda County Arts Leadership Award

Alameda County Arts Leadership Award

Submitted By Guy Ashley, Photo by Violet Juno, Program Coordinator, Alameda County Arts Commission

The Alameda County Arts Commission has recognized five individuals for their achievements and contributions impacting the arts community and residents of Alameda County. Mr. James Bell, Ms. Bonnie Randall Boller, Mr. Andrew Johnstone, Ms. Huma Naqvi and Ms. Marlene Teel-Heim have received the 2011 Alameda County Arts Leadership Award and were commended by the Alameda County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday, October 4, 2011. The event was presented in conjunction with the County's celebration of California Arts Day, National Arts and Humanities Month and the launch of the 2012 Art IS Education program.

Mr. James Bell of Berkeley, representing Supervisorial District Five, is an arts supporter and arts advocate. He is the President of Bell Investment Advisors in Oakland and, in partnership with his wife Bonnie Bell, is a major supporter of numerous arts organizations in the East Bay with a special focus on programs for youth. Over the past 15 years, the Bells have provided leadership and funding for many organizations including the Oakland East Bay Symphony, Cazadero Music Camp, Oakland Symphony Chorus, Oakland Youth Orchestra, East Bay Performing Arts, Oakland Ballet and Piedmont East Bay Children's Choir. Additionally, in 2010, Mr. and Mrs. Bell founded the local group Business and the Arts Networking Circle.

Ms. Bonnie Randall Boller of Alameda, representing Supervisorial District Three, is an artist, arts educator and arts advocate. She is the current board president of two non-profit organizations in the City of Alameda: Alameda Women Artists and Island Alliance of the Arts. She is also a ceramics teacher at the Alameda Adult School at Mastick Senior Center, Alameda. Some of her numerous past accomplishments include her participation on the board of directors for the Association of Clay and Glass Artists of California and the Alameda Art Center.

Mr. Andrew Johnstone of Oakland, representing Supervisorial District Four, is an artist, arts educator and arts advocate. He is the director of The Big Picture Arts Project, a Tides Center project, aimed at art mentorship with at-risk youth. The Big Picture Arts Project recently completed a major project at the Dewey Academy, a continuation high school in Oakland. He also works as a professional muralist and in late 2010 completed a major mural project for the Chabot Space and Science Center.

Ms. Huma Naqvi of Fremont, representing Supervisorial District One, is an artist and arts educator who provides free visual art classes for children with special needs including children with speech and language delays. Ms. Naqvi offers her free classes through the Fremont Unified School District's Glankler Early Learning Center, a special education pre-school. Ms. Naquee also provides free visual arts classes for students at Mattos Elementary School, Fremont.

Ms. Marlene Teel-Heim of Hayward, representing Supervisorial District Two, is an artist, arts educator and arts advocate. She is a former appointed member of the Alameda County Arts Commission and founding member and founding chairperson of the Hayward Arts Council. In early 2011, she worked with the Hayward Arts Council, John O'Lague Galleria, Sun Gallery, A.R.T.Inc. and the Castro Valley Library to coordinate a major celebration of the internationally known artist Corita Kent.

The members of the Alameda County Arts Commission selected these individuals 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. The annual program recognizes five individuals, one from each supervisorial district.

For more information about the program or the award recipients, please contact the Alameda County Arts Commission at (510) 208-9646 or by email at

PHOTO CAPTION: (l-r), Ms. Bonnie Randall Boller, Mr. Andrew Johnstone, Ms. Marlene Teel-Heim, Ms. Huma Naqvi, Mr. James Bell and Mrs. Bonnie Bell who received a Certificate of Appreciation.

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