This award honors influencers who have made significant contributions to their art form, organization, or the field through their work. Nominees can be employed in any capacity of the arts field and be at any level of their career. These natural leaders may not head an arts organization or be a featured/lead artist, but their work is vital to the success of the organization, community, or arts and cultural sector within Western New York and should be recognized.
Nancy Clarke Mariani
Nancy Clarke Mariani is an exhibiting member of the Buffalo Society of Artists (BSA) and is a member and President of the Fine Arts League of Buffalo (FALB). She is also a signature member of the Pastel Society of America (PSA) since 2012 and was one of the founding members of the Pastel Society of Western New York (PSWNY).
She has served on the board of the Lancaster Opera House since 2015 and have been its President since 2018.
Nancy has taught Art at Lancaster High School for the past thirty-one years and has been the Art Department Chairperson K-12 for the past twenty-two years. She is the advisor of the Art Honor Society / National Art Honor Society at Lancaster High School. The Art Honor Society has performed the Living Masterpieces in school and at the Albright Knox Art Gallery for “Art Alive” from 1996 to 2016 and, although it will be on a smaller scale, they will be doing a Drive-Up Living Masterpieces on Friday, May 21, 2021 after school.
Nancy has had the honor of exhibiting my artwork in several International Exhibitions, in Gramercy Park, Manhattan, NY, National Exhibitions, Buffalo and Rochester exhibitions. She works with many mediums but found her “nitch” in chalk pastels, using realism techniques, painting human subject compositions.
Michael Quinniey was as an employee of WKBW-TV for over 25 years. He joined the station in of 1987 after working with AM Buffalo and commercial production and the Engineering Technician. Prior to that Michael worked in local radio news at WGR and WBFO as a sports reporter.
Born in Buffalo, New York Michael Attended Northeastern University where he completed an introductory program in civil engineering and he double majored in Business Administration and Broadcast Management at Missouri college. In June of 2017 he graduated from the University at Buffalo School of Management CEL (Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership).
Michael worked as a technical engineer/producer and has done freelance work with the Buffalo Bills, Buffalo Sabers as well as with ESPN, MSG, and the Fox Network. Serving as a union steward for 17 years Michael was the chief union steward for NABET/CWA local #25 for 12 years and negotiated four contracts for a staff of over 110 members while serving on the local broadcasting executive board and serving as financial officer on the broadcasting federal credit union board.
In 1998 Michael co-founded the Western New York Minority Media Professionals Inc a non-profit organization committed to educating / mentoring and informing the public through the use of multi-media. Michael served as co-creator and executive producer for 3 TV programs, a business show called the Western New York Magazine (now called UPFRONT TV) and 2 student produced entertainment programs called Late Nite Noise and OFFICIAL HEAT that aired on WKBW-TV for 10 years.
On January 1st, 2008, we developed a high school youth media program which hosts and mentors 50-100 high school kids every Friday called Eagle E.Y.E.S. (Experienced, Youth, Expressing, Skills).
Michael is the of chair the restoration of the Historic Sattler “Broadway” Theatre, built in 1914 located at 512 Broadway near (Mortimer). He has been instrumental in founding Upfront Business Magazine, The Queen City Black Film Festival, and The Great Day in Jazz Buffalo Event.
Jose Rodriguez is the team supervisor for the environmental services department at Shea’s Performing Arts Center. In this position, he manages handles the ins and outs of making sure his staff and the building are ready for events, such as Broadway shows, concerts, wedding, and fundraising events. Jose graduated from McKinley High School in 2003 and started working at Shea’s right after. He is starting his 18th year at Shea’s and is looking forward to building the future.
Gaitrie Subryan is an Educator, Performer, Choreographer, Teaching Artist, and Yoga Instructor. She founded Buffalo’s first Bollywood dance classes, Devi Bollywood Performing Arts in 2013. She is a company member for The Sa Dance Company, under the artistic vision of the world-renowned choreographer Payal Kadakia. Gaitrie’s training with Indian dance consists of Kathak, Bharatanatyam, Garba, Bhangra, and Semi-Classical dance.
Gaitrie has received grants from Give for Greatness grant funded by Arts Services Initiative, NYSCA, and is a SPARK award recipient. Over the years Gaitrie has worked with artists in the Western New York area such as Naryan Padmanabha, Elaine Gardner, John Lehrer, and Robin Hibbert.
Gaitrie’s work has evolved through her continuous dedication to learning Indian Classical dance which has given her a very unique style of choreography. She is currently studying Kathak dance through Leela Institute of Kathak and with renowned Kathak choreographer and teacher Jayeeta Dutt.
Gaitrie’s passion for movement can also be seen in her practice of Yoga. She is certified Kids yoga instructor through Kidding Around Yoga and an adult Yoga instructor she received her RYT 200 certification through East Meets West Yoga studios in 2016.
Gaitrie’s mission to continue to offer a platform for individuals from all backgrounds to experience Indian dance and culture.