The Genesee-Orleans Regional Arts Council presents its 14th Annual Community Arts Awards Gala and Auction tonight. The event applauds the efforts of seven who have contributed significantly to art and culture in the Genesee-Orleans Region.
Nominations were sought from the public for individuals, organizations or businesses representing all facets of our artistic and cultural community. The festivities will take place at Terry Hills Golf and Banquet Facility, 5122 Clinton Street Road (Route 33), Batavia beginning at 6 p.m. This year’s Genesee County honorees are:
Community Arts Awards
Vincent “Vinny” Pastore is a lifelong Batavian with well-established roots through family and friends in the Genesee County area. Vinny is an accomplished musician – he started playing violin at the age of 6 and now plays multiple instruments, such as violin, guitar, mandolin, piano, horns and more. He has played with the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra’s Youth Orchestra and has performed internationally. At the University of Hartford’s Hartt School of Music, Vinny earned a bachelor degree's in Violin Performance and played at the Lincoln Center in New York City with the Hartford College Orchestra. He has been concert master of the Avon Orchestra, conducted by Lisa Toth, and in 2004 he went to Italy with a music festival and played with the Genesee Orchestra and Choir, performing Donazetti’s “L’Elisir d’Amore.”
In addition, Vinny has been a member of many local rock bands since high school, from bluegrass to heavy metal. In 1997, he was in a band “OZ Willis” along with his three nephews, and he currently plays in three bands: the Old Hippies (which are providing the evening’s entertainment), The Sky Cats and The LPs. He has written many original songs, composed them himself and played all the instruments, then recorded and mastered the songs. He also plays in a jazz duo for local nursing homes. Vinny’s unique musical talents allow him to join in and play with other bands in the spur of the moment, such as on a vacation in Key West and at his niece’s wedding in California. In his “spare time,” Vinny enjoys sharing his love of music, experience and expertise by teaching students of differing levels of ability at Roxy’s Music Store in Batavia.
Richmond Memorial Library
Celebrating its 125th Anniversary this year, the Richmond Memorial Library (RML) is being honored for its continuous and significant role in providing quality arts and cultural programming to the community. According to their nomination, “Their service is multigenerational and the breadth of their cultural sphere goes well beyond the boundaries of books and the traditional perceptions of a library.” As a member of the 1958-chartered NIOGA System (Niagara, Orleans, Genesee), RML brings the fruits of this collaborative relationship to residents with access to a larger collection and improved information services. Beyond the focus on the literary arts, however, RML offers programs such as Reel Discussions, Saturday Morning Family Movies, Genealogy assistance and Arts and Crafts Classes. They also present musical events for all ages, such Bart and Kevin, Celtic Music, The Tin Dipper, Genesee Chorale, a cappella groups, and Batavia’s young soprano Brittany Mruczek.
The RML Gallery Room hosts changing monthly exhibits by local artists and arts/cultural groups, including a student art show every March and biannual shows by the Batavia Society of Artists. They frequently collaborate with other area organizations on cultural programs, such as holding a Mystery Dinnery Theater at the library with Batavia Players and the presentation of a series of programs and a traveling exhibit “A Fine Romance: Jewish Songwriters, American Songs, 1910-1965” with partners GO ART!, Temple Emanu-El and Roxy’s Music Store. The popular “Tale for Three Counties” was the brainchild of the RML – an area-wide "one book" project for Genesee, Orleans, and Wyoming counties in Western New York State, presented by the 19 public libraries in these counties, Genesee Community College, The Daily News, and Genesee Valley Educational Partnerships School Library System. Richmond Memorial Library, which formally began in 1889, has been committed to the cultural enrichment of the lives of those in the Genesee region for 125 years and counting.
GO ART! Board of Directors Special Recognition Award
Bill Hayes, Turnbull Heating & Air Conditioning
The GO ART! Board of Directors is delighted to be presenting this award to Bill Hayes, president/owner of Turnbull Heating, Air Conditioning & Commercial Refrigeration in recognition of his patronage and generous support of arts and cultural programs and community service. Bill Hayes is a Rochester native and a graduate of John Marshall High School. A United States Navy veteran, Bill enrolled in the Mechanical Engineering Technology degree specializing in Heating, Air Conditioning, Refrigeration and Solar Design at Alfred State College. He was recruited upon graduation to work in Boulder, Co.; he and his wife, JoAnn, moved back to the Buffalo area where he worked for a mechanical contractor in Buffalo for eight years. After the owner passed away in 1989, Bill met Roy Turnbull on an incentive trip to the Caribbean Islands. As fate would have it, Roy approached Bill two years later to purchase his business in February 1991. More than 23 years later, Turnbull HVAC has grown to serve over seven counties and employ an average of 25 employees throughout the year.
Bill is an avid and long-time supporter of a long list of local cultural organizations and events, including the GO ART! Picnic in the Park, Genesee Symphony Orchestra, GCC Theater, Batavia Players, Encore Theatre Arts Shows, Genesee Ballet Repertoire Company, and many more, not to mention many other nonprofit organizations and service clubs. Bill has been a member of the Lions Club of Batavia since 1991, is a graduate of the Leadership Genesee Class of 2008, has served in the role of Jaycees Instructor through the Business Education Alliance and has participated on several local boards. He is a member of Northgate Free Methodist Church, where he has been a Senior Teen Leader, a marriage mentor and is currently on the Administrative Board and is a Delegate of the church. He sponsors the Roy Turnbull Memorial Award, a scholarship awarded annually to a student of the trades at GVEP. This past May, the Boy Scouts of America recognized Bill as their 2014 Distinguished Citizen Award for Genesee County.
Growing up in Batavia, both of Bill’s daughters were active in the arts playing violin in the Genesee Symphony Orchestra as well as in a String Trio together. They also were active in Batavia Players’ Summer Youth Theatre, church choirs, and other musical groups. Today, Christina is working as a dentist and Cassandra as an Adult Nurse Practitioner. He is recently a proud grandfather twice in a year’s time, with another expected in December.
Linda L. Blanchet Award
Kimberly Buczek, Ph.D
A native of Elba, Kimberly Buczek has recently achieved her Doctoral of Musical Arts degree at the prestigious Cincinnati College Conservatory of Music and is pursuing a career combining performing and university level music education in the greater Cincinnati area. Kimberly specializes in opera, and continues to perform both locally and regionally while holding teaching positions at four different universities. She performed just this past summer with the Queen City Chamber Opera in the role of Sieglinde in Wagner’s Die Walküre. Buczek states that “music has been part of my life for as long as I can remember,” and that though there were limited performance options growing up in a small town, she is thankful in particular that Linda Blanchet gave her the opportunity to be involved in the Batavia Rotary shows from 1995-2000. She was also fortunate to receive a GO ART! Community Arts Award in 2001, the very first year of the awards, when she was only a senior in high school. She explains, “13 years have passed since receiving that award, and I can honestly say that the artistic experiences I had growing up in Western New York directly affected my artistic path and career choices.”
This is the second annual Linda L. Blanchet Award, which was established to provide financial support to a young artist in any discipline who endeavors to work in an artistic field after pursuing education at an institution of higher learning in the field of his/her chosen artistic discipline for the purpose of contributing to art and culture in the community. The award is intended for a current or former resident of Genesee or Orleans county who is pursuing a career in the arts locally, nationally or internationally. In addition to the award, the selected applicant receives $500. Kimberly Buczek, Ph.D, is being honored for both her academic and artistic accomplishments. Sample recordings and videos of her performances may be found on her Web site at www.kimberlybuczek.com <http://www.kimberlybuczek.com