Media Contact:
Betsy A. Pandora, MCRP
Executive Director

Celebrate the passion, personalities, and faces of the Short North Arts District

The Short North Alliance is pleased to announce it will honor 14 individuals, businesses, and organizations at the 2020 Short North Gala. Honoree categories are: Unsung Hero, Business Beacon, Architectural Star, Community Partner, and for the first time ever, The Sandborn D. Wood Award For Leadership & Service.

Honorees in all categories are nominated by the community. This year’s honorees and the individual award categories are described below.

Early-Bird Pricing Ends April 24
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Honorees in this category have served as catalysts to bring a broad range of visitors to the District, and have inspired others to invest in and nurture the Short North Arts District.

Chuck & Charlotte Kubat,
Magnolia Thunderpussy Records

Chuck Kubat has devoted his life to supporting musicians and sharing his love of music. Originally from Cleveland, he began his career planning concerts in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood-era Los Angeles, returning to the midwest to found Magnolia Thunderpussy Records in Michigan, which he relocated to Columbus in the University District in 1971. The store boomed on campus until redevelopment prompted Chuck to buy a building at High Street and 4th Avenue and relocate to Short North Arts District in 2000. A true north-end pioneer, Magnolia continues as a beacon for music and vinyl lovers of all kinds, many of whom enjoy hearing Chuck’s stories and discovering new and old favorites on vinyl. Now managed by Chuck’s daughter Charlotte, the store enters its 20th year in the Short North Arts District as the second oldest continuously operating retailer on High Street.
Brad Konya & Ryan Lang, Middle West Spirits
Ten years ago, when two marketing and design professionals moved from Seattle and Charlotte, respectively, to Columbus to work at a major retailer headquartered here, their spirited spouses brought with them a vision that Columbus could become an epicenter for a midwestern distillery. Building upon family bootlegging roots and a obsessive commitment to quality and passion, Ryan Lang and Brady Konya founded Middle West Spirits - the first distillery of its kind in Columbus - to the Short North Arts District. Over time, they have not only transformed the space they occupy in the District into a world-class restaurant and distillery, they have been leaders in the regulatory transformation of Ohio’s liquor industry, making it more accessible for entrepreneurs.
Kevin, Katy, & Darren Malhame,
Northstar Café & Brassica

Kevin, Katy, and Darren Malhame have created and maintained beautiful restaurants that have been serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner in the Short North Arts District for 16 years. Founded in 2004, Northstar Cafe has grown to become an anchor at West 2nd Avenue that has expanded into an institution filled with friendly staff and happy guests sharing delicious, wholesome food. Its colorful sister, Brassica, was incubated by the Short North Arts District and provides thousands of quick meals with creative Mediterranean flair and the same standard of quality that has become the signature of the Malhames. Both restaurants are gathering places in historic buildings that are beacons of consistency, no matter how the neighborhood evolves, and play significant roles in attracting daytime visitors that support the economy of the Short North Arts District.
Josh & Nikki Quinn, Tigertree
When Josh and Nikki Quinn opened Tigertree in a little space off of Brickle Street in the Short North Arts District in 2007, they were a couple of Los Angeles fashion industry expats without any long term plans to stay in Columbus. Fast forward thirteen years and two storefront moves later, and Tigertree has grown into an iconic shop for the District, not only serving as one of the biggest destination stores in all of Columbus, but a treasured brand among locals and visitors alike. The Quinns are tireless advocates for small businesses, and are idea people - never shy to share their hopes and dreams for how the District and our City can be made better - both of which are assuredly better because of their outspoken, creative style.

Honorees in this category are selected for the contributions they have made over the years to the artistry, diversity, community, and spirit of the Short North Arts District.

Kris Harrison & Gina Cronley, Orbit Design
Kris Harrison and Gina Cronley have been champions, cheerleaders, advocates, and community leaders in the Short North Arts District since they first moved into the District in 1988. They have each volunteered hundreds of hours on committees, at events, and in service to the former Short North Business Association and now Short North Alliance, the Italian Village Commission, Via Colori, Short North Civic Association Tour of Homes, and countless others. Not only do they both live and work in one of the most iconic buildings in the Short North Arts District, they also run 26-year-old business Orbit Design and are deeply engaged in and dedicated to every facet of the Short North Arts District and the broader neighborhood.

Honorees in this category have contributed substantially to the architectural quality, preservation, or design of the Short North Arts District.

Stonewall Columbus
In late 2019, leaders of Stonewall Columbus renovated and expanded their existing buildings, unveiling an incredible new community center and facility to serve the Columbus LBGTQIA+ community after a substantial and collaborative capital campaign. The new Center on High features high quality facilities for needed social services, stunningly preserved historic spaces for community gatherings, and  a gallery that showcases the work of LGBTQIA+ artists in partnership with Short North Arts District and other local galleries and arts groups.

Honorees in this category have deep collaborations with the Short North Arts District resulting in significant advancement of the District’s quality of life.

Dress For Success
Since opening its doors in the Short North Arts District in 2007, Dress For Success has served thousands of women to help them achieve their potential in the workplace and community. Their services not only equip women with the clothing and style to enter the job market with confidence, they also provide clients with the intangible assets needed for a successful profession, including interview coaching, career skills development, mentoring, and more. The Columbus chapter, which sits on the corner of 5th Avenue and High Street, welcomes women from throughout the Columbus community, many of whom ultimately go on to start their careers in the Short North Arts District.

Honorees in the category have made lasting contributions to the Short North Arts District through their life and service.

Joel Pizzuti
The Sanborn D. Wood Award for Leadership & Service makes its debut in 2020. Awarded to a former board member of the Short North Alliance or Short North Special Improvement District who has demonstrated exemplary leadership as steward of the Short North Arts District, the award is named for the godfather of the modern Short North Arts District, Sanborn D. Wood (known affectionately as Sandy).

The award’s inaugural recipient is Joel Pizzuti, who was the founding Short North Alliance Board President and is President of The Pizzuti Companies. Devoting nearly eight years of service to the Short North Alliance and the community, Joel embodies Sandy’s signature leadership qualities as a steward of the community: diplomacy, integrity, visionary thinking, and an unwavering commitment to supporting the distinct culture of the Short North Arts District.

Short North Gala Sponsorship

Funds raised for the Gala support the projects, services, and mission of the Short North Alliance - to nurture the Short North Arts District as a vibrant, creative, and inclusive community and leading arts destination.

Copyright © 2020 Short North Alliance, All rights reserved.

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