Artpark & Company held its annual meeting at The Buffalo Club on Oct. 18. Senior leadership – President Sonia Clark and Vice President Dave Wedekindt – reported to the board of directors on the organization’s highlights and accomplishments for its 50th season. The 2023 campaign featured 189 events, workshops and programs that served nearly 100,000 visitors. Artpark & Company’s estimated economic impact to the region was $9.7 million.
Also at the meeting, reelected officers were announced, including: Joanne Bauer of Employer Services Corp. as board chair; Christopher Leardini as vice chair; Stephen Turner of the Bonadio Group as treasurer; and Vincent Agnello, recently retired from Niagara University, as secretary.
The board also elected Dr. Lyn Dyster as a new member. Dyster is a clinical development consultant and serves actively on several organizations throughout the Western New Community to benefit women’s health, visual and performing arts, and social services.
The board reelected the following directors: Anthony Bannon, Francine DelMonte, Marcy Newman, Michael Vitch, Jeffrey Williams and Max Willig.
Thomas Brydges, Daniel Cantara III, Terry Collesano, Thomas Fatta, Brian Geary, Seymour Knox IV, Alison Lytle, Sophia Slaysman and Richard Soluri were elected to the advisory council for a one-year term.
The Artpark & Company board of directors and advisory council members can be viewed here.
A press release stated, “Artpark reached a demographically diverse community with programs accessible to all, and audiences of all ages enjoyed concerts in multiple genres, outdoor festivals, opera, cirque, visual arts, family programs and more.
“The 2023 season explored pathways toward building new programmatic threads in opera, cirque and visual arts. A new major opera program was launched under the new leadership of Gil Rose, who is now a permanent part of the team as the director of opera and sonic exploration.
“In an unprecedented case for Artpark and the current industry, Artpark sold out the performance of Carl Orff’s ‘Carmina Burana’ featuring Barcelona’s La Fura Dels Baus, and the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra and Chorus conducted by Gil Rose. The large-scale production featured over 200 artists and performers. This performance was one of three North-American premieres, also including ‘EXIT’ by French group Cirque Inextremiste and a Philip Glass’ quartet No 9 (King Lear) by ensemble CS4.
“Programming included 15 rock and pop concerts in the amphitheater, nine shows in the Mainstage Theater, three outdoor festivals and over 180 workshops, classes and performances on park grounds, including its Native American Peace Garden, the Gene Davis’ “Niagara 1979” “Painted Parking Lot,” Emerald Grove stage, Mainstage Theater terrace, and the “Story-telling place.” In addition to its concert program featuring acts including Styx, Barenaked Ladies, Pixies & Modest Mouse, Ben Folds and Tori Amos among others, Artpark invested close to $1.3 million in free or subsidized programs, family events and community services serving over 12,000.
“The 2023 season saw a strong return of audience from outside the immediate area with visitors from across Canada, Central New York and the tristate area for events like the Strawberry Moon Festival featuring Jennifer Big Eagle and DJ Shub, smoke dance competitions and Indigenous arts and crafts market; Carl Orff’s ‘Carmina Burana’ with La Fura Dels Baus, ‘EXIT’ by Cirque Inextremiste; the ‘New Music in the Park’ series of six innovative chamber concerts curated by Brent Chancellor, including performances by Grammy-winning Third Coast Percussion, a North-American premiere of a Philip Glass quartet by CS4, Jeremy Dutcher among others; Artpark Fairy House Festival celebrating the art of Ukraine.
“Community programs and artistic residencies included the Artpark Bridges Festival led by Cynthia Pegado, David Glass and Sketchbook Theater; “Free Family Saturdays”; residencies by Czech artist Katerina Seda, Plasticiens Volants, Katie Holten and a number of poets curated by Foundlings Press; as well as our youth art camps and ‘Wine and Wheels.’
“The Western New York community and beyond was also generous in helping the nonprofit Artpark & Company. The organization had a 44% increase in program grants and individual giving over 2022. This was accomplished through 52 new donors/organizations and four new major grantors received through their hard work.”
Artpark & Company’s season was also supported by M&T Bank, the Charles D. and Mary A. Bauer Foundation, The Stenclik Family Charitable Fund, Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Legacy Funds at the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo, Pamela and Joseph L. Priest, Western New York Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, New York State Council on the Arts, New York State Parks, Park & Trails New York, The Baird Foundation, Grigg Lewis Foundation Inc., Villa Albertine, Benderson Development, Canada New York, Niagara Fall Bridge Commission, HSBC, National Fuel, Labatt Blue Light, Bud Light, Southern Tier Brewing, Buffalocal, Northtown Automotive Companies, Ticketmaster, Modern Disposal Services, Fashion Outlets Niagara Falls USA and corporate, foundation and individual donors.
More information on Artpark & Company and its activities is available here.