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6th Annual Spark Awards

Wednesday, May 22, 2019 @ 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm


Join us as we celebrate those who ignite arts and culture with an evening filled with awards, live performances, food, an open bar and a silent auction. The Spark Awards will take place at the historic Hotel Henry in the Richard Olmsted Campus, now for the third year in a row!

Following over 80 nominations from the field, a panel of arts representatives and community leaders from throughout Western New York selected the 2019 Spark Winners & Finalists. They are:

Arts Integration:
Sam Savarino from Savarino Companies, LLC

DEC Program of the Year:
Annette Daniels Taylor for “Heritage Walk: Traveling Buffalo’s Underground Railroad Seminar and Workshop”

Lifetime Achievement:
Craig Centrie from El Museo – Buffalo, NY, (Retired)

Rising Star:
Aimee Levesque from Inclusive Theater of Western New York

Supporter of the Cultural Sector:
John McKendry

Trailblazer of the Arts:
Rob Lynch

Unsung Hero:
Clyde Terry, Shea’s Performing Arts Center Volunteer

Artist of the Year Finalists:
Julia Bottoms
Caitlin Cass
Muhammad Z Zaman

Organization of the Year Finalists:
National Comedy Center
Road Less Traveled Productions
Sugar City

This year’s Spark Cultural Awards Party will be hosted by 7 Eyewitness News WKBW ‘s Ed Drantch.

Performances and Art by:
Jennifer Ryan– will create a work of art during the event. Purchase raffle tickets for a chance to win the piece she makes!
Music by Curtis Lovell
Media arts by Anna Scime
Music by Alex McArthur
Art Installation by The Buffalo Institute for Contemporary Art
Music by Leanne Darling
Dance by Buffalo Center for Arts and Technology
Photo booth photography by Alana Ade
Photo booth design by Mathew Sharp from Starlight Studio and Art Gallery
Photography by Nick Butler and
Dylan Buyskes from Onion Studio, Inc.

Tickets and sponsorships are currently available at:

A limited number of free tickets are available through ASI’s Arts Access Program by calling 716-833-3004 x514.

Proceeds of the Spark Awards will benefit Arts Services Initiative of WNY, Inc. and the work they do for the WNY arts community including professional development, advocacy and being the place where “the arts meet business”. ASI works with arts organizations and individual artists of all artistic disciplines and abilities.

Thank you to our event sponsors:

Presenting Sponsor:
M&T Bank

Supporting Sponsors:
BlueCross BlueShield of Western New York
Buffalo Spree magazine
Rigidized Metals Corporation
Shea’s Performing Arts Center

Patron Sponsors:
Buffalo Building Trades
Calspan Corporation
Evans Bank
Ferguson Electric Construction Co., Inc.
Savarino Properties, LLC
Matthew Burwick, Financial Advisor at L&M Financial Services
Vincent Smith, MBA, L&M Financial Services

Friend of ASI:
Buffalo Urban Development Corporation – BUDC
Chautauqua Institution
El Museo – Buffalo, NY
Erie County Industrial Development Agency (ECIDA)
Evergreen Health
Hallwalls Contemporary Arts Center
Montante Group
MusicalFare Theatre
National Comedy Center
Onion Studio, Inc.
Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center
Tri-Main Center/ Development
Univera Healthcare


Wednesday, May 22, 2019
6:00 pm - 9:00 pm


Hotel Henry
Corner Rockwell Road and Cleveland Circle
Buffalo, NY 14213 United States
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