Congratulations to the Appreciation Awards Recipients!
November is when Erie Arts & Culture annually hosts Fall for Arts & Culture, an event through which we recognize and celebrate community members for their support and contribution to the creative and cultural sector. Fall for Arts & Culture was cancelled this year due to ongoing precaution related to the pandemic. However, this year’s community award recipients will be celebrated at the Western Pennsylvania Maker Market, with the awards ceremony beginning at 2:00 PM.
For more than three decades, the Arts and Culture Appreciation Awards have recognized and honored those individuals, businesses, and organizations who use arts-based disciplines or deliver cultural programming to positively impact the Erie community.
The 2021 community award recipients include:
Dave Schroeder - The Leadership Award
Dave Schroader is being recognized for the incredibly important role he played during the pandemic. Erie Arts & Culture values how Dave served in a leadership role by leveraging his technical skills and willingness to serve and assist others to help bring productions and performances to home audiences so that the performing arts could be experienced even in the midst of the COVID-19 crisis. His savviness and creative skill set helped ensure that arts organizations and artists still remained at work during one of the most challenging times in our sector and community.
Marta Sam - The Imagine Award
Marta Sam is being recognized for the 17 years she dedicated to being an educator at the St. Martin's Early Learning Center, a service from which she retired in 2021. Erie Arts & Culture works to promote Erie as an inter-cultural community, and we value Marta’s work bringing Sudanese African culture to the many children who are served through the St. Martin's Early Learning Center. We also recognize how Marta’s willingness to share her culture with others positively impacted the staff and teachers of the St. Martin's Early Learning Center. Preserving and promoting the cultural diversity found within our community is one of EAC’s core services, and we are thankful for Marta’s efforts to preserve and share Acholi cultural traditions, including song and dance, with others in our community during her time at the St. Martin's Early Learning Center.
Gwendolyn White - The Applause Award
Gwendolyn White is being recognized for her long history of being an advocate for the creative and cultural sector. She has championed the arts and humanities both here in our local community and at the state level through the Pennsylvania Humanities Council. Erie Arts & Culture deeply appreciates the time and energy Gwen has committed to helping advance our sector and its impact in communities throughout the Commonwealth. Gwen also recognizes the importance of centering our sector’s programs and services around inclusion, diversity, equity, and accessibility.
Mabel Howard - The Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Award
Mabel Howard is being recognized for what she has quickly accomplished through Express Yourself on the Mic with Miss Mabeline. She has helped activate a new creative space in our community, 1020 Collective, while also helping to advance accessibility to the literary arts through attracting a diverse group of performers and audience members to either attend or participate in her weekly Friday night poetry events. Erie Arts & Culture also celebrates the recent program Mabel helped present in collaboration with the Erie County Public Library, which featured intergenerational BIPOC literary artists.
Passle Helminski - The Bruce Morton Wright Artist of the Year Award
Passle Helminski is being recognized for the remarkable job she has done cultivating a career as an artist. Passle has not limited herself to opportunities for exhibiting her work just within the local market. Instead, she actively seeks out and applies to opportunities outside of the Erie area; and has had great success being accepted into juried exhibitions. Erie Arts & Culture believes that Passle serves as a shining example of how an artist can live and work in Erie while also being hungry for opportunities outside of our local community.
Join us for the Maker Market and Appreciation Awards celebration!
On Saturday, November 6, Erie Arts & Culture and it’s collaborating partners, Erie Downtown Partnership and PH&G, will host the first annual Western Pennsylvania Maker Market. The outdoor fall market will feature 31 vendors from Western Pennsylvania representing a wide range of handmade goods, objects, and apparel. The market will start at 11:00 AM and conclude at 3:00 PM and will be held in the western portion of Perry Square.