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'Spark' Awards tomorrow

by jmaloni


Tue, Jun 24th 2014 11:00 am

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.

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