Spark Awards

//Spark Awards
Spark Awards 2018-05-18T14:23:27+00:00

Spark Awards


Wednesday, May 16, 6-9PM  
Hotel Henry at the
Richardson Olmsted Campus

The Spark Awards is an annual awards party honoring outstanding individuals and organizations in the Western NY arts community with food, open bar, entertainment, an art raffle, awards ceremony and more!

All Proceeds Benefit


Thank you for another amazing year – check out our Facebook page at for the event photos!!

Your ticket includes:

  • Access to the beautiful Hotel Henry

  • Food & drink

  • Performances, including a live art creation by artist Julia Bottoms (one of the many artists that worked on the Freedom Wall)

  • An interactive photo booth

  • The awards presentation, and more!

NOTE: When purchasing these tickets the transaction will be listed as ‘ADVANTAGE BRANDS/APPAREL’ on your bank and/or credit card statement.

2018 Spark Award Winners & Finalists:

Arts Integration:
Learning Disabilities Association of WNY

DEC Program of the Year:
Lockport Public Arts Council: Sweet Chalk Festival

Legacy Award:
Robert G. Wilmers – Chairman and CEO, M&T Bank

Lifetime Achievement:
Thomas Burrows – UB Center for the Arts (Retired)

Rising Star:
Buffalo String Works

Supporter of the Cultural Sector:
John and Carolyn Yurtchuk

Trailblazer of the Arts:
Michael J. Beam

Unsung Hero:
Friends of the Japanese Garden

Artist of the Year Finalists:
Gary Earl Ross
Fotini Galanes
Keith Harrington

Arts Organization of the Year Finalists:
Buffalo Arts Studio
Niagara Falls National Heritage Area
Resource: Art

Category Descriptions

This award honors a non-arts project, program, or initiative that has used arts and culture to significantly enhance its work.

A special award recognizing a person who has truly left a legacy on Western New York’s arts and cultural sector.

This award honors an organization, individual at an organization, or individual artist for their career-long body of work, especially on the occasion of a new phase of that work such as retirement, job switch, etc.

This award honors a relatively new organization, someone new in their position or organization, or a group or artist entering the next phase in their development.

This award honors an individual or an organization outside the arts sector for their work in directly aiding the cultural sector.

This award honors an individual for their efforts to call attention to the importance of the arts through their work in advocacy, arts administration, curating, and/or promotion. This individual can be at any level in their career or involvement in the arts and uses “boots on the ground” methods to bring the arts to the public and WNY communities.

This award honors an unpaid individual or group that has made a major impact on an arts organization or the sector through their volunteer service.

This award honors an individual artist in any discipline for their achievements in 2017. The winner of this category will be announced at the Spark Awards!

This award honors a not-for-profit or for-profit arts organization for its achievements in 2017.  The winner of this category will be announced at the Spark Awards!



M&T Logo

Partner Sponsors

Supporting Sponsors

Patron Sponsors

Friends of ASI

  • Buffalo Urban Development Corporation (BUDC)

  • Cannon Design

  • Castellani Art Museum of Niagara University

  • e3 Communications, Inc.

  • Erie County Industrial Development Agency (ECIDA)

  • Evans Bank

  • Evergreen Health Services

  • Lewiston Council on the Arts

  • Musical Fare Theatre

  • Rise Collaborative

  • Tri-Main Development, LLC

  • Univera Healthcare

  • Vincent T. Smith, MBA, ChFEBC, L&M Financial Services



Anthony C. Conte, 2017
Saul Elkin, 2016
Jonathan Rogers, 2015
Molly Bethel (Locust Street Art), 2014

WNED/WBFO , 2017
Niagara Tourism & Convention Corporation, 2016
Paul Hogan, 2015
Lynn Marinelli, 2014

University District Community Development Association in collaboration with Nicholas Conrad Miller for “Bailey Fights Blight” Mural Program, 2017
710 Main Theatre and Buffalo Laboratory Theatre for “The Mystery of the Silver Chalice”, 2016
Opportunities Unlimited of Niagara Fine Arts Program, 2015
Karen Sirgey with Niagara Wheatfield High School, 2014

Jon Lehrer, 2017
University Heights Arts Association, 2016
Danceability, 2015
Infinity Visual & Performing Arts Center, 2014
M&T Bank, 2017
Buffalo Spree Magazine, 2016
Rigidized Metals (Silo City), 2015
Fund for the Arts, 2014
Rita Argen Auerbach, 2017
Carl Klingenschmitt & Sue Fay Allen (Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra), 2016
Gerald Mead, 2015
Dick and Carmen Gilman (1891 Fredonia Opera House), 2014
Roswell Park Cancer Institute, 2017
Elgin Wolfe & Tri-Main Development, 2016
Dr. Timothy Murphy and the University at Buffalo Clinical and Translational Research Center, 2015
Tom Toles (The Washington Post), 2016
Tom Calderone (President VH1), 2015
M. Jacquie Lodico, 2017
Burton Notarius, 2014

Winners & Finalists

Drea d’Nur, 2017 (WINNER)
David Moog, 2017
Gary Sczerbaniewicz, 2017

Zuri Elise Appleby, 2016
Chuck Tingley, 2016
Adam Zyglis, 2016 (WINNER)

Sarah Fonzi, 2015
Ntare Ali Gault, 2015
David Michael Miller, 2015 (WINNER)

Shasti O’Leary Soudant, 2014 (WINNER)
Mikel Wintermantel, 2014
MarCe Zerrate, 2014

1891 Fredonia Opera House, 2017
Kenan Center, 2017 (WINNER)
Springville Center for the Arts, 2017

Buffalo Choral Arts Society, 2016
Just Buffalo Literary Center, 2016 (WINNER)
Theodore Roosevelt Inaugural National Historic Site, 2016

Albright-Knox Art Gallery, 2015
Lucille Ball Desi Arnaz Center for Comedy, 2015
Niagara Arts & Cultural Center, 2015 (WINNER)

Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, 2014 (WINNER)
Squeaky Wheel/Buffalo Media Resources, 2014
Torn Space Theater, 2014

All Proceeds Benefit

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