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ArtsWestchester Announces Five Notable Winners to Receive 2022 Arts Awards

Contact: Ernie Garcia, [email protected]

ArtsWestchester Announces Five Notable Winners to Receive 2022 Arts Awards
April In-Person Event to Celebrate Individuals and Organizations who Have Enriched the Cultural Life of the County 

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. (March 2, 2022) – ArtsWestchester today announced five honorees who will be spotlighted at its annual Arts Awards Celebration to be held in-person at Brae Burn Country Club on Wednesday, April 6 at 12pm.

Spanning a range of disciplines, the 2022 Arts Award Winners are: Livia and Marc Straus of Chappaqua; Lyndhurst (mansion) in Tarrytown; six Juneteenth Committees from throughout the County; the Steffi Nossen Dance Foundation in White Plains; and artist Joanie Madden of Yonkers.

Every year, leaders from Westchester’s arts and business community gather to applaud the stellar accomplishments of ArtsWestchester’s Arts Award winners. The event recognizes artists, cultural organizations, patrons and landmark institutions that enrich the cultural life of the County, its communities and its citizens. This year’s luncheon will bring together the arts community after a harrowing two years for a well-deserved celebration of the arts on April 6 at Brae Burn Country Club in Purchase. For tickets and more info: https://artswestchester.org/arts-award-celebration/

The proceeds will benefit ArtsWestchester’s Artist Relief Fund.

High-resolution images of the 2022 honorees can be downloaded here: https://flickr.com/photos/artswestchester/albums/72177720296908996

ArtsWestchester CEO Janet Langsam explains, “It’s time to gather to celebrate the joy the arts bring and to recognize the invaluable work and support of our arts patrons and cultural leaders.”   She continues, “The pandemic has truly underscored the important place that music, dance and art of all kinds play in the creative heart and soul that makes Westchester such a great place to live and work. At this time, we also recognize that the arts will play a vital role in the recovery of New York’s economy going forward.”

The 2022 Arts Award winners are:

Livia & Marc Straus
Emily & Eugene Grant Arts Patron Award

Livia and Marc Straus have an enduring love of art and an insatiable curiosity about what is on the minds of artists. This passion has led them to a lifetime of supporting the arts. The dynamic couple, who have excelled in their respective careers, are the quintessential arts patrons. As avid collectors, their love and knowledge of contemporary art came to fruition in 2004, when they founded Hudson Valley MOCA in Peekskill (formerly the Hudson Valley Center for Contemporary Art). Livia’s in-depth study of Judaic history, theology and education led her to positions at the Hebrew Union College Museum and the Contemporary Acquisition Committee at the Jewish Museum in Manhattan. She also served on the Advisory Board for the Cincinnati Museum of Contemporary Art and as Curatorial Advisor for Riyadh Metro, Saudi Arabia. Dr. Marc Straus, a well-respected oncologist, was President of the Board and Head of the Exhibition Committee of The Aldrich Museum of Contemporary Art in Ridgefield, Connecticut. Not surprisingly, the museum garnered numerous grants during this time, as well as an international reputation for its groundbreaking educational programs and prescient exhibitions of emerging artists. Both Livia and Marc have taken their museum experiences to the highest level at Hudson Valley MOCA, providing Westchester County and its surrounding area with one of its cultural treasures.

Arts Organization Award

With a rich history dating back to 1838, Lyndhurst is known as ‘where the Hudson Valley begins.’ It is one of Westchester’s proudest landmarks, not just for its architectural significance but for its embrace of the surrounding communities as a historic site in the second half of the 20th century. Though a family home for the beginning of its history, Lyndhurst today is warm, welcoming and filled with educational opportunities. Visitors experience the Gilded Age lifestyle through art, history and the landscape of the estate’s beautiful grounds, including its newly restored walking paths. Programs of music and theater are held in restored period rooms in the mansion, an inspiring background for performances and exhibitions. Lyndhurst is an arts organization that has been a cultural resource for Westchester and the tri-state area for more than 50 years, providing a view of the past and a window into the future of arts and culture.

Juneteenth Committees
Community Award

After almost 200 years, the celebration of Juneteenth is now a national holiday that is embedded in our culture.  Thanks to six local groups in Haverstraw, Irvington, Mount Vernon, Peekskill, White Plains and Yonkers, this important day of freedom for Black people is celebrated with parades, barbeques and other festivities, but not without serious reflection on the history of Juneteenth. In June of 1865, two and a half years after the Emancipation Proclamation, a Union General led his troops into Galveston, Texas with news that the war had ended, and the enslaved were free.  Despite jubilation among former slaves, there were many hardships ahead as the newly freed men and women migrated north and throughout the United States. Today, Juneteenth is officially celebrated on June 19 – a day to reflect on the resilience of a people who are part of the fabric of this country, and who have created strong communities wherever they settled.  Residents all over Westchester are enriched and united by the celebration of freedom on Juneteenth as each community shares its unique traditions for the holiday.

Steffi Nossen Dance Foundation
Sophia Abeles Arts Education Award

Since 1958, Steffi Nossen Dance Foundation and its School of Dance has promoted the awareness of dance, the opportunity to dance and enhanced dance education for audiences in Westchester. The School offers a broad range of dance education programs for all, from preschoolers through adults. It has extended and diversified its offerings to serve more locations and audiences, such as people with disabilities. One of the recently developed monthly movement programs offered to young students at Briarcliff Nursery School encourages learning and skill-building through action and play. Other education programs include its StoryBook library literacy program in White Plains, Purchase Free, Greenburgh and Chappaqua Libraries. In-school programs at Armonk Montessori, Chappaqua Friends, PlayCare Nursery, and adaptive dance programs at Pleasantville Lab, New Rochelle High School and more are held throughout the year.

Joanie Madden
Artist Award

Joanie Madden is an award-winning flute and whistle player who has been a major influence in

Irish music. Madden’s passion for Irish traditional music was born through her father, Joe Madden, an accordion player and well-known bandleader in New York’s Irish-immigrant community. The Yonkers resident, who has called Westchester her home for over 40 years, is praised for her expressive repertoire, ranging from jubilant upbeat tunes to slow evocative ballads. Madden is also the founder and leader of the internationally acclaimed Irish performing dance and music group Cherish the Ladies. The artist continues to introduce audiences to Irish musical traditions and offers educational programs in Ireland and New York. She is a recipient of the esteemed 2021 National Heritage Fellowship Award, the United States government’s highest honor awarded to folk and traditional artists. She performs annually at various local concert halls, festivals and venues, and has led a sold-out annual Christmas show at The Tarrytown Music Hall for the past 12 years.

Two additional awards will be announced at the Arts Award Celebration:

The Advancing Equity Award

This award will recognize a non-profit cultural organization that serves residents of Westchester and demonstrates exemplary leadership in advancing social justice, equity, diversity, inclusion and accessibility through and in the arts.

The Larry Salley Photography Award

This award was established in 2018 by ArtsWestchester, the African American Men of Westchester and the Salley family to celebrate the life and artistic achievements of Lawrence “Larry” C. Salley, an active member of the Westchester community.

About ArtsWestchester For more than 55 years, ArtsWestchester has been the community’s connection to the arts. Founded in 1965, it is the largest, private, not-for-profit arts council in New York State. Its mission is to provide leadership, vision, and support, to ensure the availability, accessibility, and diversity of the arts. ArtsWestchester provides programs and services that enrich the lives of everyone in Westchester County. ArtsWestchester helps fund concerts, exhibitions and plays through grants; brings artists into schools and community centers; advocates for the arts; and builds audiences through diverse marketing initiatives. In 1998, ArtsWestchester purchased the nine-story neo-classical bank building at 31 Mamaroneck Avenue which has since been transformed into a multi-use resource for artists, cultural organizations, and the community. A two-story gallery is located on the first floor of ArtsWestchester’s historic building in downtown White Plains. For more information about ArtsWestchester’s programs and services, visit artsw.org