San Jose: : 2022 Cornerstone of the Arts Honorees Announced
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Kerry Adams Hapner, Director of Cultural Affairs

Elisabeth Handler, Public Information Manager, Office of Economic Development & Cultural Affairs
408 535-8168;

2022 Cornerstone of the Arts Honorees Announced

SAN JOSE, Calif. (August 4, 2022)
– The City of San José Office of Cultural Affairs and the Arts Commission have announced the recipients for the 2022 Cornerstone of the Arts Awards:
  • Chike Nwoffiah, Founding Director, will receive the Cornerstone of the Arts Award.
  • Mosaic America will receive the Creative Impact Award.
  • Rotary Club San Jose will receive the Community-Based/Business Support for the Arts Award.
The 2022 awards will be presented at the Cornerstone of the Arts event at the Hammer Theatre Center on October 21, 2022, at 6 p.m. The awards event will also recognize organizations and individuals who received grants from the City of San José's Office of Cultural Affairs during Fiscal Year 2022-2023.

"Art brings communities together in celebration of the human experience, and the City is proud to recognize leaders who enhance and enrich the lives of those around them. Congratulations to the 2022 Cornerstone of the Arts Award winners Chike Nwoffiah, Mosaic America and Rotary Club San Jose!" said City of San José Mayor Sam Liccardo.
Chike Nwoffiah, Cornerstone of the Arts Honoree
Chike has been a bona fide staple in the San José Silicon Valley arts and culture ecosystem for the last 25 years. In 2010, Chike created the Silicon Valley African Film Festival (SVAFF) and presently serves as its founding director. SVAFF is an annual festival, at the Hoover Theater in San José, including filmmakers, film enthusiasts, curators, students, academics, celebrities, government officials and community members in a shared appreciation of Africa. As the only film festival in California focused on films from Africa and its diaspora, SVAFF has become a magnet for African and African ancestry people in San José and Northern California.

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A leader and a respected voice in the local, national, and international creative industry scene and a fierce advocate for the arts, he has testified several times before the California State legislature in support of funding for the creative sector. He served eight years as a Trustee and Grants Committee Chairman of the Arts Council Silicon Valley (now SVCreates) and had oversight for the annual distribution of more than $1 million dollars to artists and arts organizations in Silicon Valley. In 2013, he was appointed by the California Superintendent of Education to serve on the California Blueprint for Creative Schools Task Force. Chike is a founding board member of the Alliance for California Traditional Arts. He presently serves on the President's Community Advisory Council of the Silicon Valley Community Foundation, Equity Advisory Council of SVCreates, and board of Pavillion Afriques at the Cannes Film Festival.

He has won several awards and recognition for his work, including the 2019 Cultural Icon Award by Poppy Jasper International Film Festival, several Congressional and California Legislature certificates of recognition, San Jose/Silicon Valley NAACP Freedom Fighter Award, and Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Community Service Award. Chike was a 2021 Creative Ambassador for the City of San José and was inducted into the Silicon Valley Black Legends Hall of Fame Class of 2021 for a distinguished and outstanding career in the arts, music, theater, television, and movies and enhancing the lives of people in the Black Community. The San José /Silicon Valley NAACP best summarized what Chike means to our community: "Prior to Chike Nwoffiah, there was a void in this community of real, educational, entertaining, informative African culture." Read more about Chike Nwoffiah.
Mosaic America, Creative Impact Honoree
Mosaic Festival Silicon Valley premiered on October 2, 2021, as a free, full-day community-focused celebration of diverse artistic forms and disciplines led by artists and culture bearers from more than 20 distinct communities in San José and Silicon Valley. The festival brought together more than 50 partners to create a day of experiential arts engagement for more than 1,500 community members, featuring 28 performances from distinguished local artists and culture bearers, panel discussions, workshops, visual arts, food, and handicrafts at the School of Arts and Culture at Mexican Heritage Plaza in San José. Mosaic America's continuing outreach and engagement work enrich community ties and guarantee that the Mosaic Festival Silicon Valley will remain relevant and reflective of all who live in and around San José. For more details on Mosaic America, visit

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Rotary Club of San Jose, Community-Based/Business Support for the Arts Award Recipient
The Leigh Weimer's Emerging Artists Awards (LWEA) is a program of the Rotary Club of San Jose. The awards were established to honor the legacy of Leigh Weimers, a lifelong champion of the arts, a 40-year columnist/reporter for the San Jose Mercury News, and longtime Rotary Club member. Leigh's column ran in the San Jose Mercury News for more than 40 years, and he was an eloquent supporter of the arts in Silicon Valley. A mention in his column could catapult an actor, singer or painter into the "talk of the town" and launch a career. He and his wife Geri were ubiquitous at the theater, ballet, symphony, art gallery openings, fundraisers, and literary events. For a more complete overview of the LWEA, visit

About the City of San José
With more than one million residents, San José is one of the most diverse large cities in the United States and is Northern California's largest city and the 10th largest city in the nation. San José's transformation into a global innovation center has resulted in one of the largest concentrations of technology companies and expertise in the world. In 2011, the City adopted Envision San José 2040, a long-term growth plan that sets forth a vision and a comprehensive road map to guide the City's anticipated growth through the year 2040.

About the City of San José Office of Cultural Affairs
The Office of Cultural Affairs is the City's champion in supporting and promoting the development of a rich arts and cultural environment for this diverse city's one million residents, its workers who live in neighboring communities, and its many visitors. It fosters cultural development through cultural funding programs, cultural workforce development, cultural facilities, special event services, and public art. Cultural Affairs is a division of San José's Office of Economic Development. For more information, visit

About the Cornerstone of the Arts Awards Program
Established in 2013, the annual Cornerstone of the Arts Award honors individuals who have provided enduring and effective leadership contributing to the betterment of the San José arts community.

Approved by the San José Arts Commission, honorees are considered as part of the foundation of the arts in San José who will be long remembered as a "cornerstone" of the arts community. Past Cornerstone of the Arts honorees include Irene Dalis (2013), former Mayor Susan Hammer (2014), Carmen and Al Castellano (2015), Roy and PJ Hirabayashi (2016), and Elisa Marina Alvarado (2017), Cathleen and Randall King (2018), Bruce Labadie (2019), Andrew Bales (2021), and Dr. Jerry Hiura, posthumous (2021).

Filed Under: Government, City

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