Since 1991, the SVLaureate program has awarded more than 150 of the finest artists the South Bay has to offer with honors, recognition, and a cash prize to assist them in pursuing their craft. This year, awards were given in several different categories: Off Stage (an artist working offstage, backstage, or pre-performance), On Stage (a performing artist), On the Wall (a visual artist working in traditional or mixed media), Off the Wall (a visual artist working in sculpture), and Emerging Artist (a young artist in any medium who shows promise for continued growth and excellence). This year the program added a new award, the SVNexus Award, honoring an artist who uses technology to fuel their creative work.
These artists are chosen based on the work they have created and their commitment to their communities. Through their work as teachers, artists, and performers, each of the SVLaureates has shown a devotion to their craft that includes mentorship, service, and forging new cultural understanding.
Kimberly Mohne Hill: Off Stage Recipient
Kimberly Mohne Hill grew up in the small Northern California town of Kelseyville. At age nine, she saw her first play—a high school production of Annie Get Your Gun—and was immediately hooked on the possibilities of live theater. After studying acting at UC San Diego, San Jose State, and A.C.T. in San Francisco, she performed in a number of productions around the Bay Area. A natural teacher, with an ability to empathize with both characters and actors, Hill eventually shifted gears to directing as she helmed The Seafarer for the San Jose Stage Company in 2009. She has had continued success with productions of In the Next Room, Venus in Fur, and others.
“I have always had a vivid, deeply empathetic imagination. When I read a novel, I believe in the circumstances of the characters so easily and fully…the stage is a place where that kind of active empathy has a home; I am able to live inside the stories I read for an extended time. Theater is the place where I feel normal, like my way of looking at the world isn’t weird, but required.
“I’m inspired in different ways by different people for different reasons. My daughters inspire me to seek out stories that encourage and uplift women. My husband inspires me to do work that is worthy of taking my time away from him and our family. As I age and our kids get older, I realize that time is precious and I want to spend it on quality experiences, quality art, and quality time with quality people. I feel very blessed to get to do what I do; if this award opens doors for me to help advance the arts and cultural landscape in San Jose, then that would be the best part about receiving this honor.”
Written by Nathan Zanon
Photography & Videography by DSOTM
This article originally appeared in Issue 10.3 “Profiles”
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