MAC Award Recipient

The Multicultural Awareness Council (MAC) of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra (CSO) announced Tracy Wilson as the 2020 recipient of its highest honor: the MAC Award for Diversity and Leadership in the Arts. This annual award recognizes local artists, administrators and visionaries who have forged paths for the inclusion of underrepresented communities in the arts.

Wilson is the longest serving African American administrator of any of Cincinnati’s largest eight arts organizations. She has been with Cincinnati Opera for 35 years and is currently that organization’s Director of Community Engagement and Education.

“Tracy’s career has been dedicated to making the arts more accessible and community focused,” said MAC Chair Daphney Thomas. “Her many accomplishments include the wildly successful ‘Opera Goes to Church and Temple’ concerts, which Tracy started 15 years ago and continues to lead. She is generous, innovative and widely respected throughout the community. Our only regret in making Tracy this year’s honoree is that we aren’t able to celebrate her extraordinary contributions in person because of the current pandemic.”

Wilson has also created and produced several Cincinnati Opera community events and programs, including the Community Open Dress Rehearsal, the award-winning and nationally acclaimed Hangin' with Mr. Walker, and dozens of free events presented in anticipation of Cincinnati Opera’s productions including Blind Injustice, Rise for Freedom: The John P. Parker Story and Margaret Garner.

A veteran arts administrator, ambassador, and producer, Wilson is regarded by many as a trailblazer in the Cincinnati arts community and regularly serves as a community engagement consultant, presenter, video content producer, and director of production for a number of local and national organizations and events including Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati, ArtsWave, Dada Rafiki: A Celebration of Women, Black Dance is Beautiful Festival, The Urban Appalachian Conference and Showcase, Linton Chamber Music’s Mayor’s 801 Plum Concert Series, Last Poet Standing, South Shore Opera Company-Chicago, and Opera America.

Wilson is the founder and director of The Firelytes Steel Drum Band and has performed fun and festive music throughout the U.S. at events including the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, the 99th Annual NAACP National Convention, and a 2008 presidential campaign rally for Barack Obama in Cincinnati. She has also performed with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and the legendary Trinidadian composer and "Pan Man" Ray Holman.

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