2023 Red Goat & Samara Art Awardees

MAD celebrates the 2023 Red Goat Awards and Todd Samara Art Fund Award Recipients!

On Sunday November 5th, the Kingston Midtown Arts District (MAD) honored three Kingston-based artists and community leaders with this year’s Annual Red Goat Award and Todd Samara Art Fund Award. This year MAD is delighted to award Joe Gonzalez and Jalani Lion with the Red Goat Award, and to Jess Costa the Todd Samara Art Fund Award.

The 8th Annual Red Goat Awardees

The Red Goat Award recognizes and thanks people in the community for their outstanding service to the arts – people that are MAD (making a difference) in Kingston every day. Originally, the focus was on Midtown because of the MAD mission to use art to revitalize and reinvigorate a neglected part of Kingston. It was so named because the Red Goat was a recognized symbol of grassroots art and creative expression in Kingston. Generously donated by Bailey Pottery, artist Sue Tirrell beautifully handcrafts the Red Goat Awards and the MAD Board of Directors selects the awardees.

Joe Gonzalez
Joe wears many hats in the Hudson Valley including organizing & producing events, production management, and as an artist. He is the co-creator of Art Walk Kingston and the winner of Arts MidHudson’s 2022 Volunteer of the Year at the Ulster County Executive Arts Awards. He’s a resident of midtown Kingston and can often be found sipping coffee at one of the local coffee shops. @cupojoeg

Jalani Lion
Father, muralist and business owner, Jalani Lion is a man on a mission. Jalani’s murals can be seen all around Midtown and are beloved by the community. Among others, Jalani painted the mural of the four boys and his brother on the corner of Furnace St. and Franklin St., whom all passed away in 2015, in partnership with O+.Taking great pride in being a Light in his community. Jalani embodies the statement, “Move with a Purpose.” @iamyounglion2

“In ‘Black Lives Matter’ (2020), Jalani Lion’s rich portraits of the late Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, and Ahmaud Arbery are set among Dina Kravtsov’s paintings of resilient and medicinal Hudson Valley plants, with lettering by Matthew Schulze painted throughout. The image memorializes and honors Black lives, calls for an end to racial violence and police brutality, and the dismantling of systems of oppression while offering healing to those who have endured these inequities for generations.’ -Excerpt from O+ Blog

Todd Samara Art Fund Awardee

The Todd Samara Art Fund Project is dedicated, in part, to keeping Todd’s legacy alive in Kingston with an annual $1,500 award. The Art Fund Project selection committee picks the awardee.

Jess Costa
Jess was selected for this year’s Todd Samara Award to support her short film Bubbled that is shot and produced in Kingston. Bubbled is a film about a retro-futuristic world that experiences a COVID outbreak, that results in every town being encased in a bubbled. This happens as three college graduates return to their hometown to start their first tour. This film is about the dreams and heartache of being an artist out to change the world amidst a pandemic, and the ways we learn to save the world right where we are.

Jess is a Kingston-based filmmaker and activist who crafts escapist fantasies that shed light on verboten topics such as addiction and grief in a surrealistic, stylized manner. Her work has been recognized at festivals like Toronto International Shorts and Soho International. Costa leads each project with compassion and self-care, changing the industry one film at a time. jesscosta.com