Ottumwa Native Named Miss Joyce Award Winner


An Ottumwa native has been awarded the 2023 Miss Joyce Award for her distinguished service to Arts & Humanities in Southeast Iowa.

Crystal Carr James is regarded as an active member of the arts community. According to a press release, she taught English and drama
in the Ottumwa school district for over 35 years before retiring, but still volunteers and is a substitute teacher for the district. She volunteers in hospice centers, education programs, and Blessings Kitchen, is a member of multiple organizations in the area, and is active in her church. James is a Board member of Civic Music, Ottumwa Area Community Choir, and Southeast Iowa Symphony Orchestra.

James has directed many productions herself, including The Music Man, Lil Abner, and Annie Get Your Gun at Ottumwa Community Players, and performed as well with the organization.

“I participated in The American Gothic Arts throughout the years and have enjoyed working with such talented and enthusiastic people. Fine Arts/Humanities are around us and mold our lives. Timeless, and true examples of written spoken and musical experience in all walks of life. They are treasures.” 2023 MIss Joyce Award Winner Crystal Carr James

She will be honored at a luncheon, Wednesday, June 14, at noon at the Temple of Creative Arts, located at 529 E. Main St. AGPA Performers will perform several music selections.

In 2021, the AGPA Board of Directors established an honorary award to recognize outstanding contributions made to the Arts and Humanities in Ottumwa and beyond. It is named after its inaugural recipient Joyce Kramer.

Tickets for the luncheon available at

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