Profiles in Philanthropy: The Brief but Spectacular History of Kent County’s Kenny Award


It would seem in retrospect that the idea of honoring a volunteer in Kent County who has given their time and energy to help promote the arts in this small part of the Eastern Shore would have been a long-standing tradition. Almost from the day Chestertown and its surroundings formed in the 18th-century, there has been an extraordinary history of art, performing arts, music, creative writing, dance, and all other forms of artistic expression to enrich the County’s quality of life. To give an award to knowledge this unique part of the region’s collective DNA would seem inevitable.

Nonetheless, this special award (and program) is only now entering its 13th year thanks to the support of the Hedgelawn Foundation.

Started after John Schratwieser (then the director of the Prince Theater) and the Kent Council Art Council began to notice other Maryland counties were honoring their best arts movers and shakers, the Kenny Awards became a reality when they compared notes with Ben and Judy Kohl of the Hedgelawn Foundation who were seeking to do that same thing. And in 2005, the first award was issued to Vince and Leslie Raimond.

The Spy sat down with John and Judy Kohl of the Hedgelawn Foundation to talk about the history of the Kennys and recalling this brief but spectacular arch for the arts in Kent County in those thirteen years.  They also gave the Spy a sneak preview of this year’s winners, Diane and Jim Landskroener.

This video is approximately two minutes in length. For more information about the Kenny Award please go here

Past Kenny Award Winners

Vince and Leslie Raimond
Senator Barbara Mikulski
Tom McHugh
Carla Massoni
Andy Goddard
Butch Clark
Judy and Ben Kohl
Keith Wharton
Lester Barrett, Jr.
Jazz Festival – Mel Rapelyea
Marc Castelli
John Wilson
Lani Seikaly
Red Devil Moon


About Dave Wheelan

Letters to Editor

  1. When? Where?
    The Kenny Award will be presented at 7 p.m. Friday, Feb. 2 2018 at the Garfield Center for the Arts.

Write a Letter to the Editor on this Article

We encourage readers to offer their point of view on this article by submitting the following form. Editing is sometimes necessary and is done at the discretion of the editorial staff.
We're glad you're enjoying The Chestertown Spy.

Sign up for the the free email blast to see what's new in the Spy. It's delivered right to your inbox at 3PM sharp.

Sign up here.