'Spark' Awards tomorrowby jmaloni
Arts Services Initiative of Western New York presents its inaugural "Spark" Cultural Awards inside the Hotel @ The Lafayette (third and fourth floor ballrooms) Wednesday, from 5:30-8:30 p.m. (awards start at 6:30 p.m.).
The party is "Celebrating Those Who Ignite Arts & Culture." The event will feature the awards, live performances, a gallery featuring the works of the winners and finalists, open bar and food.
Following more than 100 nominations from the field, a panel of cultural representatives from throughout Western New York selected the 2013-14 winners. They are:
Lifetime Achievement - Molly Bethel (Locust St. Neighborhood Art Classes)
Advocate for the Cultural Sector - Lynn Marinelli
DEC Program of the Year - Karen Sirgey, Connections Sculpture Project with Niagara-Wheatfield High School
Rising Star - Infinity Visual & Performing Arts Center
Supporter of the Cultural Sector - Fund for the Arts
Unsung Hero - Dick and Carmen Gilman (1812 Fredonia Opera House)
Winners in the following two categories will be announced at the event:
Artist of the Year:
- Shasti O'Leary Soudant
- Mikel Wintermantel
- MarCe Zerrate
Cultural Organization of the Year:
- Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra
- Squeaky Wheel
- Torn Space Theater
Additionally, a special "Legacy" award will be presented to the family of Burton Notarius.
The event will be hosted by John Beard of WGRZ, and will feature live performances from:
- Gruvology (music)
- Erika Gault (spoken word)
- MusicalFare Theatre (theatre)
- Lukia Costello (site specific photo booth)
- Chuck Tingley (live painting)
Proceeds of the "Spark" Awards will benefit ASI's capacity building, collaboration and advocacy efforts for the cultural sector in five counties - all of which is provided free to those they serve. M&T Bank is the event's title sponsor, and Crowley Webb is the presenting sponsor.