Fall for Arts & Culture Award Recipients Announced

Celebration recognizes the excellence of individuals and organizations shaping the cultural landscape of our region. 

On Monday, October 30th, the Erie region will celebrate excellence during the 2017 Fall for Arts & Culture Awards ceremony. “Fall for Arts & Culture recognizes businesses, organizations, individuals, and artists for their contributions in creating a vibrant community through their work,” explains Amanda Brown Sissem, Executive Director of Erie Arts & Culture. “The awards honor outstanding contributions to the sector in the following areas: leadership, arts education, volunteerism, and the Bruce Morton Wright Artist of the Year award.” 

This year’s award recipients include:

Leadership Award: Downtown Edinboro Art & Music Festival, recognized for 15 years of spearheading a free, four-day grassroots art and music festival in the unique spirit of Appalachian culture and tradition.  The Edinboro Art & Music Festival draws more than 8,400 attendees from throughout the region to Southern Erie County, positively affecting the economic impact of the Edinboro community.  The festival showcases high-quality art and music, featuring both local and nationally acclaimed musicians and artists throughout the performance line-up and juried art show.  The festival also champions inter-generational engagement by offering artist demonstrations and adult workshops, as well as sing-a-longs and creative activities for youth. In the spirit of “food for the soul,” the festival incorporates active wellness by scheduling folk dancing lessons, group yoga/Pilates, and hooping.

The Leadership Award recognizes a business, government, organization, or foundation whose support of arts and culture have had a clear and positive effect on a community. This year’s awardee demonstrates a successful collaboration between artists, arts and cultural organizations and local businesses. 

Applause Award: Corry Area Historical Society is a group of dedicated volunteers who revitalized a local historical society  facing closure. Today, the Society is a key asset to the economic impact of Greater Corry, an educational partner to the School District of Corry, and a treasure trove of catalogued photographs, journals, newspapers, document, and objects that tell the story of Corry and its relevance to current and future generations.

The Applause Award recognizes a dedicated individual or group whose outstanding volunteerism and/or financial contributions have advanced arts and culture. 

Imagine Award: Arts Educator, Frank Fecko, recognized for his unprecedented work throughout his thirty-year career as an artist and arts educator, empowering adults at the Barber National Institute with a wide range of physical and intellectual disabilities to discover and express themselves through the creation of art. A pioneer in discovering new and innovative ways to break down barriers, Frank developed ART: steps to Alternative Rehabilitative Training in 1989. In 2008, he led the Barber National Institute to becoming the first site in the nation to adopt Artistic Realization Technologies (A.R.T.) to engage adults with extensive physical disabilities in the creation of visual art. Frank has fostered an exemplary inclusive attitude that truly celebrates the humanity and dignity in all artists, challenging our preconceived ideas about how, when, and by whom art can be created.

The Imagine Award recognizes an educator, instructor, or individual artist whose efforts have made an outstanding contribution to the enhancement of arts and culture education and consistently inspires and encourages excellence in their students and educational affiliate. 

Bruce Morton Wright Artist of the Year Award:  Dafna Rathouse Baier.  Trained as a dancer in Israel, Dafna went on to become Ballet Mistress of the Kibbutz Dance Company and Bat Dor Dance Company where she worked with the major choreographers from Europe and the States.  She’s spent her summers in Spain as guest choreographer and teacher since 2000.  In the US, she’s served as Ballet Mistress of the Dallas Opera Company, guest teacher at Amarillo College and Southern Methodist University and faculty for the Mercyhurst University Dance Department from 1984 to 1990.  In 1991, she co-founded Dafmark Dance Theater.  As its artistic director, Dafna creates original choreography interpreting the global human condition; she incorporates the use of several other art forms with dance performance to create new, innovative works steeped in social consciousness. As a teacher and mentor to many in the arts community, she is recognized for her ability to understand the human body and guide dancers in how to work safely enabling them to lengthen the duration of their careers and decrease the likelihood of injury. She’s delivered programming to all-ages, socio-economic backgrounds and abilities throughout the community and co-created the Partners in Dance Program at Erie Homes for Children and Adults. Dafna is currently working on another original production scheduled for April of 2018.

The Bruce Morton Wright Artist of the Year Award recognizes an individual artist of any media who has had a significant impact on the arts and culture landscape and is an aid to or an inspiration to others. 

Lifetime Achievement Award: John Vanco in honor of his 50 years of service as Executive Director of the Erie Art Museum.

Finally, the recipients of Erie Arts & Culture’s 2017 fellowships will also be announced at the event. The Fellowship Program was established in 2016 as tools to help emerging and established artists advance their work.

Fall for Arts & Culture Awards will be held Monday, October 30th at 6:00 pm at the Erie Playhouse (13 West 10th Street) with reception to follow at 21 La Rue Dix. Tickets are $45 dollars per person, or $30 for Erie Arts & Culture members and are available by calling 814-452-3427 or online at www.erieartsandculture.org.

What:  Fall for Arts & Culture Awards
When:  October 30th at 6:00 pm
Where:  Erie Playhouse, 13 West 10th Street, Erie PA

Website:  www.erieartsandculture.org

 About Erie Arts & Culture

The mission of Erie Arts & Culture is to strengthen the vibrancy and vitality of the Erie Region and enrich the lives of our people through the advancement of arts and culture. Additional information about Erie Arts & Culture is available online at www.erieartsandculture.org.


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