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Artpark announces new exec. director, wraps season with news of $11.5 mil economic impact to community

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Thu, Oct 22nd 2015 11:10 am
George Osborne, as portrayed by artist Philip Burke.
George Osborne, as portrayed by artist Philip Burke.

Honors retiring President George Osborne

Artpark & Company paid tribute to its famed outgoing president, formally introduced a new leader, and reported on the performing arts venue's economic impact at its recent annual meeting.

Board Chairman John Camp reviewed the 2015 season and honored outgoing President George Osborne for his 16 years of leadership. Osborne will retire at the end of October. Following a long search, Sonia Clark was hired over the summer and will now take over as executive director.

Osborne is best known for rejuvenating Artpark by creating the popular and successful "Tuesday in the Park" concert series, which draws top rock performers and thousands of fans every summer. After several major renovation projects, numerous community collaborations, a resurgence of visual arts and family programs, and a wall of awards, Osborne's term as president will be highly regarded as a memorable and successful time that brought Artpark back to life.

An integral part of the regional community for more than 40 years, Artpark's award-winning programming generates an economic impact on the community of more than $11.5 million, supporting 345 full-time-equivalent jobs; generating $531,250 in revenues annually for local government and $647,000 in revenues annually for state government. Artpark & Company spends $5.9 million in the local and regional area for services, equipment, supplies and advertising (based on 2015 data). Artpark's team of more than 220 volunteers provides over 7,754 hours of service during the busy Artpark summer months. This past season, 230,864 people came to Artpark for an event.

Camp said, "There is a tremendous growth in Niagara Falls tourism. We need to continue to expand Artpark's offerings to become a destination for tourists by providing diverse, interesting and entertaining programming, and we must better communicate Artpark's status as a not-for-profit-arts organization worthy of investment by local contributors, as well as by foundations and grant makers."

Well-known caricature artist Philip Burke was commissioned to honor Osborne's legacy with an original portrait, which will be displayed in the Mainstage Theater.

Mark Thomas, director of the Western Region for New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, presented Osborne with a letter of commendation on behalf of State Parks Commissioner Rose Harvey. Assemblyman John Ceretto and Village of Lewiston Mayor Terry Collesano presented proclamations recognizing Osborne's accomplishments.

The board re-elected Camp, of HSBC Bank USA, for a fourth year as chairman. Dena Armstrong was elected as vice chair and Brian Geary of Linwood Investments treasurer. Board secretary Vincent Agnello of Niagara University and Vice Chairman Michael Giaquinto will retain their duties. The board re-elected the following directors to three-year terms: Camp, Armstrong, Thomas Bontempo, Joseph Certo, Michael Dowd, Mary Jo Farrell, Skip Mazenauer, Jane Mogavero, Jim Morabito, Robert Rich III and Sophia Smith.

Those elected to a one-year term on the advisory council include Ceretto, Collesano, Town of Lewiston Supervisor Dennis Brochey, Thomas Brydges, Thomas Burrows, Daniel Cantara III, Francine DelMonte, Thomas Fatta, Michele Heffernan, Pamela Jacobs-Vogt, Seymour Knox IV, state Sen. Robert Ortt, Joseph Pillittere, Niagara County Legislator William Ross, Richard Soluri and Lorie Washuta.

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