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Fourth Annual Spark Awards at Hotel Henry Honors Local Leaders in Arts & Culture

Tomorrow, the fourth annual Spark Awards presented by Arts Services Initiative of WNY, Inc. will bring together local artists and the business community to celebrate those who ignite arts and culture in Western New York.  The event is described as, “an evening filled with awards, live performances, food, an open bar and a live art raffle and the new Hotel Henry in the Richardson Complex!” With over 80 nominations, a panel of cultural representatives from throughout Western New York selected the following 2016-17 winners.

Lifetime Achievement – Anthony C. ConteArts Integration – Roswell Park Cancer Institute

Advocate for the Cultural Sector – WNED | WBFO

DEC Program of the Year – University District Community Development Association, Inc. in collaboration with Nicholas Conrad Miller for “Bailey Fights Blight” Mural Program

Legacy Award – M. Jacquie Lodico

Rising Star- Jon Lehrer

Supporter of the Cultural Sector – M&T Bank

Unsung Hero – Rita Argen Auerbach

The panel also selected finalists in the following categories, with the winners to be announced at the event:

Artist of the Year Finalists:
Drea d’Nur
David Moog
Gary Sczerbaniewicz

Cultural Organization of the Year Finalists:
The 1891 Fredonia Opera House
Kenan Center
Springville Center for the Arts

This year’s Spark Cultural Awards Party will be hosted by 7 Eyewitness News WKBW‘s Mike Randall.

Tickets are $100 and can be purchased by clicking here. 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 of charge. A limited number of free tickets are always made available through ASI’s Arts Access Program at www.arts-access.org.

Arts Services Initiative of Western New York (ASI) promotes the cultural sector’s vital role in economic development and the community through capacity building, collaboration, and advocacy in Erie, Niagara, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, and Allegany Counties.

Arts Services Initiative assists the Western New York arts and cultural community (both non-profits and individual artists) with funding opportunities, programmatic opportunities, resources, advocacy. ASI is a member of the New York Council of Non Profits (NYCON), Americans for the Arts, Greater Buffalo Cultural Alliance, Amherst of Chamber of Commerce, One Region Forward, NY Funders Alliance, and the Association of Fundraising Professionals.

Written by Jessica Marinelli

Jessica Marinelli

Jessica Marinelli is an author, speaker, coach, marketer, and business development strategist. Her professional consulting company, MEMC handles all aspects of marketing and business development planning and implementation, assisting with strategic planning initiatives and the creation of marketing action plans, as well as planning and executing private and public events, including: the coaching of individuals, multi-day conferences, as well as other development initiatives. In addition to her work with MEMC, Jessica oversees the day-to-day operations and strategic marketing efforts at Local Matters, Inc. the parent company of Buffalo Rising.

She is active in her community and serves on several non-profit boards, such as WNY Heritage Magazine, O'Connell & Company Productions, and the Women's Business Center (WBC) Advisory Board. She is also a Democratic Committee Member in the Town of Tonawanda. Most recently, She has been asked to serve as the Marketing Consultant for the WBC's COVID Recovery Task Force.

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