Spark Awards

7th Annual Spark Awards

Presented by M&T Bank


Wednesday, May 13, 2020

The Spark Awards is ASI’s annual awards celebration where outstanding individuals and organizations in the Western New York arts community are recognized for their dedication, talent, and impact on the sector. Join us in 2020 to make this evening of dinner, drinks, art, entertainment, silent auction, honoring ceremony, and more a lasting success!

Sponsor the Spark Awards!

You can support the Spark Awards by becoming an event sponsor! There are three ways to support the seventh annual Spark Awards:

Purchase a sponsor package,
Purchase ad space in the event program, and/or
Purchase additional tickets to the event.

Click here for package details and pricing options.

All Proceeds Benefit

Photos by
Dylan Buyskes
Onion Studio, LLC

Spark Awards Categories

Nominations for the 2020 Spark Awards will open in December 2019.

Category Descriptions

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

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

Supporting Sponsors

Patron Sponsors



Sam Savarino

Annette Daniels Taylor for “Heritage Walk: Traveling Buffalo’s Underground Railroad Seminar and Workshop”

Craig Centrie

Aimee Levesque

Clyde Terry, Shea’s Performing Arts Volunteer


Julia Bottoms
Caitlin Cass
Muhammad Zaman

National Comedy Center
Road Less Traveled Productions
Sugar City

Friends of ASI Sponsor

  • Buffalo Urban Development Corporation (BUDC)

  • Chautauqua Institution

  • El Museo

  • Erie County Industrial Development Agency (ECIDA)

  • e3communications

  • Evergreen Health Services

  • Hallwalls Contemporary Arts Center

  • Montante Group

  • MusicalFare Theatre

  • National Comedy Center

  • Onion Studio

  • Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center

  • Tri-Main Development

  • Univera Healthcare

  • WKBW-TV Channel 7 News



Craig Centrie, 2019
Thomas Burrows,
Anthony C. Conte
, 2017
Saul Elkin, 2016
Jonathan Rogers, 2015
Molly Bethel (Locust Street Art), 2014

Rob Lynch, 2019
Michael J. Beam,

Annette Daniels Taylor for “Heritage Walk: Traveling Buffalo’s Underground Railroad Seminar and Workshop,” 2019
Lockport Public Arts Council: Sweet Chalk Festival,
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

Aimee Levesque, 2019
Buffalo String Works,
Jon Lehrer
, 2017
University Heights Arts Association, 2016
Danceability, 2015
Infinity Visual & Performing Arts Center, 2014

John McKendry, 2019
John & Carolyn Yurtchuk,
M&T Bank
, 2017
Buffalo Spree Magazine, 2016
Rigidized Metals (Silo City), 2015
Fund for the Arts, 2014

Clyde Terry (Shea’s Performing Arts Center), 2019
Friends of the Japanese Gardens,
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

Sam Savarino, 2019
Learning Disabilities Association of WNY,
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

Robert G. Wilmers, 2018
M. Jacquie Lodico, 2017
Burton Notarius, 2014

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

Winners & Finalists

Julia Bottoms, 2019
Caitlin Cass, 2019
Muhammad Zaman, 2019 (WINNER)

Gary Earl Ross, 2018
Fotini Galanes,
2018  (WINNER)
Keith Harrington,

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

National Comedy Center, 2019
Road Less Traveled Productions, 2019
Buffalo Sugar City, 2019 (WINNER)

Buffalo Arts Studio, 2018 (WINNER)
Niagara Falls National Heritage Area,
Resource: Art,

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