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Tickets available for 5th annual Spark Awards

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Thu, May 3rd 2018 11:35 am
Hosted by Arts Services Initiative of WNY, event 'Celebrating Those Who Ignite Arts & Culture'
Arts Services Initiative of Western New York will host the fifth annual Spark Awards, presented by M&T Bank, on Wednesday, May 16. The event will run from 6-9 p.m. at the Hotel Henry, located at the Richardson Olmsted Complex. WKBW-TV Channel 7's Mike Randall will serve as emcee for the evening.
The event will feature the awards ceremony, live performances and live art creation, plus open bar and food. Tickets are currently available for $100 each, with sponsorships and program book ads also available at www.asiwny.org.
Following more than 80 nominations from the field, a panel of arts representatives from throughout Western New York selected the 2018 winners. They are:
Arts Integration - Learning Disabilities Association of WNY (Starlight Studio & Art Gallery)
DEC Program of the Year - Lockport Public Arts Council (Sweet Chalk Festival)
Legacy Award - Robert G. Wilmers, chairman and CEO, M&T Bank
Lifetime Achievement - Thomas Burrows, executive director, UB Center for the Arts (retired)
Rising Star - Buffalo String Works
Supporter of the Cultural Sector - John and Carolyn Yurtchuk
Trailblazer of the Arts - Michael J. Beam, Castellani Art Museum curator
Unsung Hero - Friends of the Japanese Garden
The panel also selected finalists in the following categories, with the winners to be announced at the event:
Artist of the Year Finalists:
  • Fotini Galanes
  • Keith Harrington
  • Gary Earl Ross
Arts Organization of the Year Finalists:
  • Buffalo Arts Studio
  • Niagara Falls National Heritage Area
  • Resource: Art
"Every year, we are amazed by the number of nominations and all the wonderful artistic work being done in our community," ASI Interim Executive Director Jen Swan said. "ASI wants to highlight all the hard work and commitment of the people working in the arts, and we want to honor the organizations, artists, and supporters at this fun awards party!"
Proceeds of the Spark Awards will benefit ASI's services and resources to artists and the nonprofit Western New York arts community. ASI services include: professional development workshops, funding opportunities, collaboration and promotion. The funds from the Spark Awards will also support ASI's efforts to make the arts accessible to the community through public programming.

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