The Carbonell Awards Board of Directors announced Tuesday that it is renaming the annual competition as The Jack Zink Memorial Carbonell Awards Scholarship in recognition of the journalist who died Aug. 25 seven years ago.
The group gives three scholarships to high school students who want to pursue careers in journalism or theater.
Zink wrote for almost 40 years for the Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel, Miami Herald, Palm Beach Post and Variety. He founded the Carbonell Awards in 1975 to honor the thriving theater and nightlife scene in South Florida and was active in the organization until his death, often producing and directing the annual Carbonell Awards ceremony.
He received numerous honors during his lifetime and served as the head of the American Theatre Critics Association’s Foundation.
The “As we approach the Carbonell Awards’ 40th anniversary, we are inspired by those who made the organization what it is today, one of the oldest and most prestigious regional theater awards programs in the country,” said Donald R. Walters, president of the Carbonell Awards Board of Directors. “Jack Zink was not only the organization’s founder but also the man who shepherded the awards through its evolution. We believe that renaming the scholarships for Jack is the best way to honor him and his dedication to theater and journalism in South Florida.”
By email, Jack Zink’s widow, Cynthia Zink of St. Augustine, and his sister, Carol Bruening of Lorain, Ohio, said they were touched when told of the honor.
“I would like to thank the Carbonell Awards for honoring Jack with the Jack Zink Memorial Carbonell Awards Scholarship,” wrote Cynthia Zink. “He covered the arts in South Florida for almost 40 years. He especially loved live theater. It was a love affair I witnessed firsthand. It made him laugh, gave him energy, made him reflect and at times almost made him cry. He always wanted more, to see what splendor was being produced and by whom. Thank you once again for honoring his life.”
Bruening said, “Some people touch our lives, Jack touched our hearts too. I want to thank the Carbonell Board of Directors from the bottom of my heart. These tears of mine are both from the sadness in my heart from our loss of Jack seven years ago, to the happiness that his legacy and love of everything theatre will carry on. Thank you for not letting him be forgotten.”
The 40th annual Carbonell Awards ceremony will be held Monday, April 4, 2016, at Broward Center for the Performing Arts in Fort Lauderdale. For more information about the Carbonell Awards, visit CarbonellAwards.org.