Rinker, D-26 honored with Rotary Community Image Awards

An arts/downtown activist and a local trades school recently received Robert “Bob” Shoemaker Community Image Awards from the Anderson Rotary Club.

Levi Rinker, downtown development director for the City of Anderson, was recognized for his efforts in that position as well as co-founding and helping run the A Town Center, an artists’ co-op in downtown Anderson.

A Town Center offers creative space for local artists and yearly scholarships for artist assistantships, hosts First Friday gallery openings, offers painting and printmaking classes and provides movie nights, camps for children and musical/theatrical events.

Rinker was the driving force behind Anderson’s Walking Man public art project and has organized several mural paintings in Anderson. Among his other interests, Rinker is a board member of the White River Watchers.

Anderson Schools’ D26 Career Center was honored with a Community Image Award for “fostering a culture of service within its programs,” according to the awards selection committee.

“By prioritizing the development of students’ skills and encouraging them to contribute positively to society, the center nurtures a sense of responsibility and service among youth, preparing them to become future leaders who value community service.”

The committee also noted the career center’s role in addressing local workforce needs and its commitment to education and workforce readiness.

The Community Image Award, named in honor of longtime Anderson Rotary leader Bob Shoemaker, emphasizes Rotary ideals of impactful service and contributions to the community and its image. Community Image Awards have been conferred annually since 1966, other than in 1982 and during the COVID pandemic of 2020 and 2021.

This article appeared in The Herald Bulletin.