The Bezonki Awards were given by The Ann Arbor Chronicle to individuals and organizations that made significant contributions to the community. The awards were announced at an annual open house held by The Chronicle each summer from 2011 through 2014.
Each of the six physical Bezonkis is unique, made in part with bits salvaged from equipment at the former Ann Arbor News. They were crafted by local artist Alvey Jones, whose Bezonki cartoons were published monthly in The Chronicle.
Each winner of a Bezonki was asked to be a steward of the physical award for a year, then hand it off to the next year’s winners. The intent was that the awards would create connections year after year between people in the community – people who might not otherwise have crossed paths.
In 2014, The Chronicle announced plans to close the publication. So their request to the 2014 Bezonki winners was to take responsibility for passing along their Bezonki to highlight the great work of others, as they encounter it in the coming months or years.
The 2014 winners were also asked to convey this same message to the next steward of Bezonki, whoever that might be – so that the awards continue to create positive connections throughout our community.
This Ann Arbor LocalWiki page was created to keep track of the lineage.
2014: "Finding Your Political Voice" program at the Arrowwood Hills Cooperative
2015 (post-Chronicle): Omari Rush – Ann Arbor Art Center's POP-X Festival (Ryan Burns presented the award at the Nov. 13, 2015 Ignite Ann Arbor event.)
2012: Ann Arbor District Library digital archiving team
2014: Tom Fitzsimmons
2013: Ann Arbor Active Against ALS
2012: Anna Ercoli-Schnitzer
2014: Jeannine Palms – Cobblestone Farm Market, the Buhr Park Children’s Wet Meadow Project and its new extension, the Buhr Food Forest.
2013: Dan Ezekiel
2012: Common Cycle
2011: Vivienne Armentrout
2014: Mary Jo Callan
2013: Derrick Jackson
2012: Jeff Micale
2011: Matt Yankee & Jason Brooks – Washtenaw County clerk's staff