2016 – Barbara Gaines, Criss Henderson, Chuck Smith and Henry Godinez

 Christine Toy Johnson (National Equal Employment Opportunity Committee Chair); Dev Kennedy (Central Regional Vice President); Chuck Smith (Goodman Theatre Resident Director); Sean F. Taylor (Assistant Executive Director/Central Regional Director); Barbara Gaines (Chicago Shakespeare Theater Founder and Artistic Director); Criss Henderson (Chicago Shakespeare Theater Executive Director); and E. Faye Butler (National Equal Employment Opportunity Committee Vice-Chair).

The annual Spirit, A Celebration of Diversity – an event presented yearly by the National Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) Committee – honors individuals, theatre companies, producers and organizations that provide ongoing opportunities for members of color in the Central Region. Spirit took place on Monday, March 7, 2016, at the award-winning Chicago Shakespeare Theater on Navy Pier.

This celebration of spirit, pride and accomplishment included the presentation of the Kathryn V. Lamkey Award. Named after the longtime Central Regional Director, this special honor is awarded to an individual and/or organization that helps to maintain and enforce Equity’s goals of diversity and inclusion. The four incredible recipients included Chicago Shakespeare Theater Founder and Artistic Director Barbara Gaines and Executive Director Criss Henderson; Goodman Theatre Resident Director Chuck Smith; and Goodman Theatre Resident Artistic Associate Henry Godinez.

EEO Committee Members and event Co-Chairs Christine Bunuan and Sandra Delgado organized and hosted the celebration, and Central Regional Vice President Dev Kennedy and Central Regional Director Sean F. Taylor gave welcoming remarks. National EEO Committee Vice-Chair E. Faye Butler gave a brief history of the Spirit celebration and praised Central Region producers for their ongoing commitment to Actors’ Equity members.

Spirit continues to highlight the strong relationship between Actors’ Equity and Central Region producers and theatres.

Editor’s Note: As was announced at Spirit 2016, Business Representative Luther Goins is retiring this year and thus was presented a proclamation in recognition of his many years of service and dedication to Actors’ Equity.