The Greeley Arts Legacy will be inducting their 2020 and 2021 honorees into the Greeley Arts Legacy Hall of Fame.
The event will be held on October 28, 2021 at the Hensel Phelps Theater in the Union Colony Civic Center in Greeley. The event will begin at 7:00 pm and is open free to the public.
In order to be selected for the Greeley Arts Legacy Hall of Fame Award, recipients must represent an area of the arts, including but not limited to visual, performing, literary, education, leadership, benefactors, applied, and creatives. The nominee must exhibit a body of work that identifies significant accomplishments, contributions, and has made a substantial commitment to Greeley and its arts community. Residents of the community may nominate individuals or organizations during the nominating period of October – May. Please go to greeleyartslegacy.org for additional information.
Hall of Fame Honorees for 2021
Carl Gerbrandt – Music
Dr. Carl Gerbrandt was a prominent name in the Greeley arts community for over 40 years. As the Director and Conductor of the Greeley Chorale, he directed the 100 voice community choir on six international concert tours and presented ten world premieres. He initiated the Chorale’s English Madrigal Feaste in 1989 and directed the Greeley Childrens Chorale founded by Kay Copley a year later. As the Director of Opera Theater, Voice Professor, and Graduate Student Adviser at the University of Northern Colorado, he brought much to the Greeley community. He retired from UNC in 2005 as Professor Emeritus.
During his lifetime, he sang 70 opera and oratorio roles and directed over 40 operas. He was an author and received numerous international awards, most notably the Visiting Fellow and Scholar research positions from Cambridge University in England. His professional opera directing debut included a staged production of Medelssohn’s “Elijah” at Washington DC’s Kennedy Center and a performance as bass soloist in Handel’s “Messiah” with the Annapolis Naval Academy filmed by PBS-TV and broadcast nationwide. He was also a recipient of the 2010 Lifetime Achievement Award at the National Opera Association. In addition, he received the 2006 Arts Alive Award for his extraordinary service to the arts in the Greeley community. Carl Gerbrandt is survived by his wife Marilyn and daughter Lynee and son Greg.
Judith Meyers – Visual Art
Judith Philipp Meyers spent her life using art to inspire and educate others. She was involved in the Greeley community for over 50 years as an artist, teacher, social activist and philanthropist. After obtaining her BA and MA in Art Education, she taught in the public school systems in Iowa, Oklahoma and Illinois and also in Germany and France. After relocating to Greeley with her family in 1964, she became active in many community projects, including being hired as the school district’s first art teacher in a trial program. Her success allowed for the replication of her program to be developed throughout the district. In addition, to teaching, she was the founder of the Creative Arts Center in Greeley as well as founder and puppeteer of the Meadowlark Theatre. Her other notable involvement came as a founding member of Madison and Main Gallery, Greeley’s local art cooperative. From her paper-cuts, watercolors, calligraphy, puppetry, quilting and sculpture (posthumously), she used her art to provide a voice regarding many various social issues.
Some of Judith’s art include commissioned pieces located at the Greeley Recreation Center, The Active Adult Center, the welcome arch at Centennial Village is based on her paper-cut of the village. Her Meadowlark Theater puppets are part of the collection of the Greeley History Museum. In addition, Judith had solo art exhibitions throughout the state and in Greeley, most notably at the Mari Michener Art Gallery and Tointon Gallery. Her depicted paper cut sculptures are included in the Uptown Tree collection as part of the City’s Public Art program. She donated a great deal of art and time to the community. Judith is survived by her daughter Liza Sigel, son Brad and families.
Anna Green – Literature
In 1870, Anna M. Green arrived in the Union Colony with her husband and other first settlers to farm ‘the Great American Desert’. During her years here, she raised two children and supplemented her family’s income through baking, teaching and babysitting, but her greatest contribution to the arts legacy of Greeley is the book she wrote about her life in the colony. The book is entitled “Sixteen Years on the Great American Desert; or the Trials of a Frontier Life. The book documented the struggles of living in this land and her engaged interests in literary and thespian pursuits. Most of the documented events listed in the book included unfortunate disasters in the early Union Colony: floods, tornadoes, deaths in the family and the ceremony for the late Nathan Meeker and his family who was killed in the Meeker Massacre on Colorado’s Western Slope in 1879. In addition, she added poems, songs, and various letters she had received, as well as conversations she had. She also describes becoming a playwright and founded an amateur acting troupe, the Union Colony Victim Company to stage a play based on her writings. Her memoir is a unique look into the lives of American women and farmers in the US West after the Civil War. In addition to writing, she opened the colony’s first school. After returning to Philadelphia for several years, she returned to Greeley where she rests with her husband William at Linn Grove Cemetery.
The Hall of Fame Honorees for 2020 who were unable to be inducted due to Covid will be inducted this year.
Lydia Ruyle – Visual Art
Lydia was a scholar, leader, mentor and of course a leading local artist with a strong national recognition. She was best known for her Goddess Banners or “the girls” as she suggested calling. These colorful banners were designed and displayed with female images from cultures around the world. As a world traveler, Lydia showcased her banners by raising awareness for women’s issues. She also taught Women’s Studies and Art History at the University of Northern Colorado.
Fortnightly Music Club – Music
The Greeley Fortnightly Music Club was formed in 1907 by a group of ladies whose strong musical interest was designed to present music be to the young community of Greeley. With instruments and voices, they helped to develop the stimulation of music throughout the community. Starting with ten members, Katie Bullock, Louise Bunker, Katherine Darby, Lucy Delbridge, Alice Doane, Eva Earle, Blanche Hughes, Elizabeth Kendel, Mary Shattuck and Edith Strong, they preceded to develop a membership that has lasted 113 years. With an active membership, the club is still active with members performing, directing and teaching.
The Stampede Troupe – Theatre
The community troupe was founded in 1974 by Harold Hamler, Jim DeMersseman and Kent Smith as a way to fill what they perceived as a gap in performance opportunities for non-student-aged actors, singers, musicians and dancers. The first performance of “Annie Get Your Gun” was held at Greeley Central High School in 1974. During its history, the troupe has won several awards for its productions, including awards presented for “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” and Shrek the Musical. Tylene Gagnon, producer and education coordinator has dedicated a great deal toward identifying and presenting local talent to the community for many years and continues to stretch the envelope with high profile musicals and dramatic entertainment. Her family, Scot, Mary and Kathrine continue to be involved with the development of each production. The troupe is forty six years old and has produced nearly 200 shows featuring more than 2,300 community members.
Honorees inducted in 2019 were:
Helen Langworthy – Theatre, Jill Rosentrater- Leadership, Ruth Savig – Visual, Howard Skinner – Music, Bob Tointon – Benefactor, the Greeley Philharmonic Orchestra – Music.