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Nominations now open for Arts Services Initiative of WNY's Spark Cultural Awards

by jmaloni

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Mon, Jan 19th 2015 11:15 am

Awards party to take place May 20 at the Hotel @ The Lafayette

Nominations are now open for Arts Services Initiative of Western New York's second annual Spark Cultural Awards, taking place May 20 at the Hotel @ The Lafayette. Nominations are welcome in several categories from Allegany, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Erie and Niagara counties. Anyone can submit a nomination, including those for their own organization or for themselves, at www.asiwny.org/cultural-awards. Winners will be chosen by a panel made up of representatives of the ASI board of directors and other community leaders.

The categories are:

•Lifetime Achievement: This award honors an organization, individual at an organization, or individual artist for a career-long body of work.

•Organization of the Year: This award honors a not-for-profit or for-profit cultural organization for achievements in 2014.

•Individual Artist of the Year: This award honors an individual artist in any discipline for achievements in 2014.

•Rising Star: This award honors a relatively new organization, someone new in a position or organization, or a group or artist entering the next phase in development.

•Supporter of the Cultural Sector: This award honors an individual or an organization outside the cultural sector for work in aiding the cultural sector.

•Advocate for the Cultural Sector: This award honors an individual or organization outside the cultural sector for efforts to call attention to the importance of the cultural sector in Western New York.

•Volunteer of the Year: This award honors an unpaid individual or organization making a major impact on a cultural organization or the sector through volunteerism.

•Arts Integration: This award honors a non-arts project, program or initiative that has used arts and culture to significantly enhance its work.

ASI also will present an award to the DEC Program of the Year, an exemplary program of the Erie and Niagara County NYSCA regrants administered by ASI, and present a special Cultural Ambassador award to a Western New York native who has found success in the cultural sector outside of this region, but who continues to promote and support Western New York in some significant way.

Finalists for the Cultural Organization and Individual Artist of the Year, as well as the winners of the other categories, will be announced in March. That's also when tickets will go on sale and details of the event will be announced. Sponsorships and tables are available now at www.asiwny.org/cultural-awards.

"The inaugural Spark Cultural Awards party last year was an amazing success in celebrating the best of Western New York's cultural sector in a very cool and very fun way," ASI Executive Director Tod A. Kniazuk said. "A big part of that success was having a deep and diverse pool of exemplary nominees, so we're hoping to get another great group this year."

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