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Artist & Cultural Organization of the Year named at ASI Spark Cultural Awards

by jmaloni


Mon, Jun 1st 2015 12:25 pm

The Niagara Arts and Cultural Center was announced as 2015 Cultural Organization of the Year at the Arts Services Initiative of WNY Spark Cultural Awards presented by M&T Bank. Blues singer/songwriter/guitarist David Michael Miller was selected as Artist of the Year.

ASI previously announced three finalists in each category. The other finalists also were recognized at the awards party for their achievement:

Artist of the Year:

  • Sarah Fonzi (Sculptor)
  • Ntare Ali Gault (Spoken Word, Playwright)

Cultural Organization of the Year:

  • Albright Knox Art Gallery
  • Lucille Ball Desi Arnaz Center for Comedy

In addition to The NACC and Miller, ASI presented awards to these previously announced winners:

  • Lifetime Achievement - Jonathan Rogers (Animator, Artist)
  • Cultural Ambassador - Tom Calderone (President, VH1)
  • Advocate for the Cultural Sector -Paul Hogan (The John R. Oishei Foundation)
  • Arts Integration - Dr. Timothy Murphy and the University at Buffalo Clinical and Translational Research Center
  • DEC Program of the Year - Opportunities Unlimited of Niagara Fine Arts Program
  • Rising Star - Danceability
  • Supporter of the Cultural Sector -Rigidized Metals/Silo City
  • Unsung Hero - Gerald Mead (Artist, Art Collector, Mentor, Buffalo State College)

The Spark Cultural Awards party featured live performances by Critt's Juke Joint (with Miller sitting in) and Amor & Heritage Traditional Dance Co.; live art creation by Chuck Tingley and Jenn Mayberry; videos from Squeaky Wheel Film & Media Art Center's Tech Arts for Girls program; and a popup gallery featuring work from the winners and finalists.

"When you look at the list of winners and finalist, it speaks volumes about the depth, breadth and quality of the Western New York cultural sector," ASI Executive Director Tod A. Kniazuk said. "We congratulate and celebrate these individuals and organizations for all they do."

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