CINCINNATI (December 11, 2014) – On December 10, ArtsWave honored acclaimed author Leah Stewart with its 2014 Rosa F. and Samuel B. Sachs Fund Prize at a reception and reading at The Mercantile Library.  The award recognizes Stewart for her award-winning novels and contributions to Cincinnati’s literary scene. Stewart read from her recent book, The History of Us, which is set in Cincinnati.

“Individuals like Leah Stewart bring national attention to our region and help tell the story of Greater Cincinnati as a home for creativity and innovation,” said Alecia Kintner, President & CEO of ArtsWave. “ArtsWave is honored that the Sachs family has provided this legacy to recognize these individuals and their achievements.”

The Rosa F. and Samuel B. Sachs Fund Prize was first awarded in 1929. It was provided for in the will of the late Samuel B. Sachs to honor outstanding accomplishments in the arts— inclusive of visual arts, music, theatre, dance, literature, sculpture and architecture. Since its first award, the Sachs Fund Prize has recognized individuals who have made an outstanding contribution to the cultural life of Cincinnati. A committee of local arts experts, led by ArtsWave Life Trustee Dick Rosenthal, selects a recipient each year to receive the prize.  Recent recipients include conductor Erich Kunzel, artist Shepard Fairey, collector and champion of local artists Phyllis Weston, choreographer Frederic Franklin, composer and lyricist Stephen Sondheim, and architect Zaha Hadid.

Leah Stewart is the author of four novels: Body of a Girl, The Myth of You and Me, Husband and Wife, and The History of Us. In 2010, she won a National Endowment for the Arts Literature Fellowship. Her upcoming fifth novel, The New Neighbor, will be released in 2015. Her book set in Cincinnati, The History of Us, was chosen for Target's Recommended Reads; the Midwest Booksellers Association's Midwest Connections; the Choose to Read Ohio 2015-16 booklist; and as a finalist for the Ohioana Prize. She directs the Creative Writing Program at the University of Cincinnati and lives in Cincinnati with her husband and two children.

"Leah Stewart writes deeply satisfying fiction.  We’re extremely fortunate to have her in town," said Albert Pyle, Executive Director of The Mercantile Library.