Untermyer Performing Arts Council’s
42nd Anniversary Celebration and Awards Ceremony
Recognition of Four Outstanding Yonkers Citizens
At a gala cocktail party chaired by UPAC Treasurer Pauline Galvin and Board Member Mike Ramondelli, the Untermyer Performing Arts Council celebrated its 42nd Anniversary on Thursday, May 3rd at the Olde Stone Mill.
Highlight of the evening was the presentation of the Samuel Untermyer Lifetime Achievement Award and the prestigious Gryphon Awards to four very special people who have made outstanding contributions to the Untermyer Performing Arts Council or the arts in the City of Yonkers. COY Deputy Commissioner of Parks Steve Sansone received the Samuel Untermyer Lifetime Achievement Award; this year’s Griffon Awards were presented to Deputy County Executive Ken Jenkins, COY Commissioner of Planning Wilson Kimball and City Council Majority Leader Michael Sabatino.
Deputy Commissioner of Parks Steve Sansone was presented the Samuel Untermyer Lifetime Achievement Award to recognize the many years of service he has given both to the Untermyer Performing Arts Council and to the arts in Yonkers. Not only was Steve a long-term UPAC board member and president, he has continued his association with Untermyer as our Yonkers Liaison. During his time as UPAC president, he initiated multi-cultural programming to celebrate the many cultures in our city, while educating people about the wonderful diversity that is Yonkers.
An important part of Griffon Award recipient Ken Jenkins’ legacy is Arts Westchester’s Yonkers Initiative, a grant he created while serving as a Westchester County Legislator. This grant helps UPAC create quality entertainment outside our regular summer season, bringing even more quality programming to the people of Yonkers, to people who are unable to attend our summer season programs for a variety of reasons, whether transportation or financial issues, mobility or childcare problems. Perhaps even more important, Ken Jenkins has been and continues to be the Untermyer Performing Arts Council’s number one supporter in County government.
Wilson Kimball is the visionary whom many credit with the revival of downtown Yonkers; with that revival came the resurgence in the Yonkers art scene, our amazing galleries and artists. This naturally led to Yonkers Arts Weekend, created and developed under her leadership. Wilson not only encouraged this renaissance, she actively promoted this revitalization as the means to create a vibrant downtown and thriving arts scene.
Not only is Council Majority Michael Sabatino a major proponent of Yonkers, he is an incredible advocate for the Untermyer Performing Arts Council, Untermyer Park and the arts. Michael does not hesitate to fight for UPAC, to fight for our funding, and to fight for the people of Yonkers. Not only does he support UPAC and Untermyer Park, Michael was one of the proponents of the Carpet Mill Arts District, a thriving community of sixty artists now housed in the repurposed carpet factory.
Those gathered were entertained by pianist Ron Masciandaro and the 2017 Yonkers Idols, Ada Victoria Israel and Samantha Rentas. UPAC annually co-sponsors the
Yonkers Idols competition with the City of Yonkers, and provides scholarships for the winners.
The Untermyer Performing Arts Council is an all-volunteer organization dedicated to continuing the tradition of Minnie and Samuel Untermyer, raises funds throughout the year to bring musical entertainment to our treasure of a park. Proceeds raised from this event will help fund our Summer Season at Untermyer Park, World Fest 2018, and our other programs throughout the rest of the year.