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News Briefs: August 2020

Westchester Arts on the National Map

ArtsWestchester’s CEO Janet Langsam recently received a prestigious leadership award from Americans For the Arts (AFTA) during its annual convention and Public Art & Civic Design Conference. The Selina Roberts Ottum Leadership Award recognizes an individual working in arts management in the U.S. who “has made a meaningful contribution to their local community and who exemplifies extraordinary leadership qualities.” Langsam is one of six leadership award recipients honored nationally by AFTA in 2020.


ArtsWestchester Inducted into Business Council of Westchester’s Hall of Fame

ArtsWestchester was recently inducted into the Business Council of Westchester’s (BCW) Hall of Fame, having received the “Chairman’s Recognition Award” during the Council’s 2020 virtual ceremony. According to BCW President and CEO Marsha Gordon, the awards “recognize visionaries who have grown their businesses through innovation and inspired leadership and whose commitment to excellence has added to the economic vitality of Westchester’s economy.”

The Arts are the Best of the Best

This year, the arts are front-and-center in Westchester Magazine’s annual “Best of Westchester” feature. The 20th annual highlight gives kudos to the best-of-the-best businesses throughout the county in a number of lifestyle categories, such as Health & Beauty, Home & Garden and Fun & Leisure. According to the Magazine’s announcement of winners, these accolades “showcase the ways in which Westchester is a marvelous place to dine, shop, play, explore and grow up.” 

A number of arts groups were among the winners, including Actors Conservatory Theatre (Best Live Theater, Best Family Theater), ArtsWestchester (Best Gallery), Hudson River Museum (Best Innovative Programming, Best Nonprofit Event for “HRM After Dark,” Best Historic Site), Ossining Public Library (Best Children’s Library), Play Group Theatre (Best Place to Take the Kids That Isn’t a Restaurant) and Untermyer Park and Gardens (Best Tourist Attraction).

Of the 372 winners, 111 were editors’ selections and 261 were voted by readers, the result of nearly 39,000 ballots. The winners will be celebrated at the “Best Of” party on September 23 at Glen Island Harbour Club in New Rochelle.

Mural at Nepperhan Community Center (photo courtesy of Katori Walker)
Mural at Nepperhan Community Center (photo courtesy of Katori Walker)

Local Youth Lend a Hand in Yonkers Public Art Project

The exterior walls of the Nepperhan Community Center in Yonkers are home to a new mural created by CareerVisions, NY and local artists Evan Bishop and Katori Walker. The Legacy Mural features prominent historic Black figures, such as Martin Luther King Jr., Rosa Parks and President Barack Obama alongside colorful West African symbols. Local youth assisted in the creative process by participating in a series of virtual workshops with the artists. This project was made possible with a Yonkers Arts Initiative grant administered by ArtsWestchester and supported by Westchester County Government. 

New Leadership in Westchester Arts:

Josh Suniewick
Josh Suniewick

RiverArts Appoints Managing Director

RiverArts has recently implemented a new two-person management team, which will feature former Executive Director Doug Coe, now acting as part-time Artistic Director in tandem with the organization’s first Managing Director, Josh Suniewick. Coe will continue to lead the organization’s artistic endeavors and programs, while Suniewick will handle marketing, financial and fundraising operations. Suniewick began his tenure at RiverArts in May 2020 and brings to the role diverse experiences in arts, business and corporate finance. Outside of the office, Suniewick is a musician and visual artist.

Adam Levi
Adam Levi

Rye Arts Center Appoints New Executive Director

Adam Levi was recently appointed the new Executive Director at The Rye Arts Center (RAC), where he has worked for twenty years in a variety of roles. Prior to his appointment, Levi served asRAC’s Senior Director. According to the Center’s Board President, Rob Weber, Levi is a “natural successor” for the position, as he “has played a major role in nearly every program at The Rye Arts Center.” Levi replaces former Executive Director Meg Rodriguez, who has left the position after five years of leadership. 

A version of this article first appeared in the August issue of ArtsNews, ArtsWestchester’s monthly publication. ArtsNewsis distributed throughout Westchester County. A digital copy is also available at artsw.org/artsnews.

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