Sunday, April 19, 2015

Arts Westchester 50 for 50 Arts Award Luncheon

I had the privilege to join KMA staff at Arts Westchester's 50 for 50 Arts Award Luncheon.  Arts Westchester was established fifty years ago and its mission is "to provide leadership, vision, and support to ensure the availability, accessibility, and diversity of the arts in Westchester County." As they celebrated their own birthday, they also celebrated 50 artists who work or live in the county.  (If you're interested, you can find the complete list of honored artists on the Arts Westchester site.)  It was especially exciting for the KMA staff to be in attendance because Yvonne Pollack was to receive a special honor for her contribution to the arts in Westchester.

Yvonne, giving her acceptance speech, talking about how the arts become even more important in troubled times
The KMA staff was especially happy for Yvonne because she had been an arts educator at the museum for years.  With her help, the Learning Center was created and it's become an integral part of the museum experience, especially for students.  She helped design and run a mobile museum, bringing art to underprivileged schools.  (Sadly, that program has ended due to lack of funding.) She was also the President of the KMA Board of Trustees and is now on the Board of Overseers.  She's also been involved in various other arts organizations.  I don't have as many details on those, but suffice it to say that there's ample evidence that Yvonne has more than earned the accolades for her all her work in the arts.

It was very invigorating for me to sit with more than 400 people all representing and supporting the arts.  It made me proud to be doing even a small part -- through my docent work -- to bring art to the community.  And I got to meet some very cool people including Inge Brossard, whose efforts led to the creation of the Katonah Gallery .... and eventually the Katonah Museum of Art.

Yep, it was a very cool day.