Hancher executive director presented Larry Eckholt Award

Hancher executive director presented Larry Eckholt Award

Chuck Swanson portrait
Chuck Swanson

The Iowa Cultural Corridor Alliance presented Hancher Auditorium Executive Director Chuck Swanson with the 2017 Larry Eckholt Award for arts advocacy Nov. 8 at its annual Celebration of the Arts. The award is the ICCA’s highest individual honor, presented annually to a south corridor-area community member.

Larry Eckholt was the development director for the Iowa City Public Library at the time of his death at age 56 in 2002. He previously served as the University of Iowa Foundation’s director of development for the Iowa Center for the Arts, where he was responsible for fundraising for all of the UI’s arts programs. He initiated efforts to raise funds for the Iowa Dance Residency program, worked to establish a long-term relationship with the Joffrey Ballet, and served on several cultural organization boards and committees.

Swanson, who began work at Hancher in 1985 and took over as executive director in 2002, was nominated for the award by John Kenyon, director of the Iowa City UNESCO City of Literature. In his nomination, Kenyon wrote:

“Chuck has been a tireless advocate for the arts in our area for decades, and that advocacy has not been limited to his role at the helm of Hancher. One could make a case for his worthiness for this award on that basis alone. However, Chuck’s work over the last nine years to keep the Hancher flame lit has been just amazing. When Hancher lost its building in the flood of 2008, Chuck did more than find a home for their programs. He sought out partnerships corridor-wide, elevating the profile and reach of several facilities and organizations. Those efforts resonate today, even as Hancher settles into its stunning new home. Chuck is simply an energizing presence in the corridor arts scene, championing work and enhancing opportunities for artists and patrons of the arts alike. “

The Iowa Cultural Corridor Alliance is a partnership of cultural organizations throughout 11 counties in and around Iowa’s Creative Corridor. Its mission is to promote the varied cultural activities of its partner organizations and to nurture a sustainable cultural community.