Give It Up For ArtsWestchester’s Arts Award Winners!

When asked what makes the Arts Award event special, event Co-Chair Deborah Simon commented: “My husband and I have traveled all over the world and collected many pieces from different cultures, giving us a great appreciation of the enormous talent that exists right here in our own backyard.”  For more than 40 years, ArtsWestchester’s arts awards have celebrated the talent within Westchester’s own community and beyond. It has been presented to influential artists and arts groups, from small local musical groups to major players on the world stage, such as Governor Nelson Rockefeller and opera star Roberta Peters.  

This year’s honorees include the Ossining Public Library because, says ArtsWestchester CEO Janet Langsam, “libraries are increasingly becoming cultural meccas in their communities.” Also being honored is the Romita Family, for changing the face of Pelham when they organized the Pelham Arts Center years ago.  Honors also go to A-Chord With Kids, musician Pablo Mayor, photographer Arnold Kastenbaum, the City of New Rochelle and Blue Door Art Center. The title sponsor, for the fourth year, will be the Jacob Burns Foundation. On June 30, guests can tune into this year’s Virtual Arts Award Celebration at 6pm on ArtsWestchester’s website at, as well as on Facebook and YouTube.  

Co-chairing the virtual celebration are two dedicated ArtsWestchester board members and their husbands, Helen and Bill Gates, and Deborah and Alan Simon, who have all given their support and encouragement to the presentation of these awards. In the words of Helen Gates: “Today, it is more important than ever to celebrate the arts, and it has been an honor to participate in the process of selecting such deserving winners.”  Barbara Monohan, chair of the Arts Award Committee, adds: “These are the ones who ‘make the arts happen.’  The selection process is difficult and the committee spends hours in long thoughtful discussions until we have a constellation of ‘arts stars’ as winners.”

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

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About ArtsWestchester

For more than 50 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 create an equitable, inclusive, vibrant and sustainable Westchester County in which the arts are integral to and integrated into every facet of life. 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 on Mamaroneck Avenue.