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DVAA celebrates 35 years

By Anne Hart
October 12, 2011

A large crowd filled the Tusten Theatre and the Delaware Arts Center for a gala celebrating the 35th anniversary of the Delaware Valley Arts Alliance (DVAA) on October 9. The program included music and poetry from artists who have benefitted from the various programs, administered by the DVAA, as well as a short documentary on its history.

Executive director Elaine Giguere presented the Business Partnership Award to Jim and Barbara Kayton of the Callicoon Theatre for their CineArt film series, which has raised over $40,000 for the DVAA since its inception in 1996. The series presents independent and foreign films in their historic theatre, the oldest continuously operating theatre in Sullivan County.

The Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to Sheldon Soffer, longtime artist manager and patron of the arts. His company represented many performing artists, including Ravi Shankar and Mark Morris. Soffer has also established the Stanley Segal Visual Art Scholarship in memory of his long-time partner. This scholarship goes to a Sullivan or Wayne County high school senior who will pursue the visual arts in college.

Norman Duttweiler accepted the award for the Forestburgh Theatre Arts Center for the expansion of its educational programs. The theatre is now presenting classic and new plays to high school students throughout the area.

Artist Phyllis Bilick received the award for Individual Artistic Contribution for her work as assistant to the gallery director. She has volunteered at the DVAA for nearly 30 years and has been a central force in shaping the gallery program.