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Lewiston Council on the Arts will receive the Partnership Award

by jpauly
Mon, Mar 30th 2015 11:00 am
Irene Rykaszewski (executive director)  Timothy Henderson (programs) Kathryn Serianni (Educational Outreach)  Eva Nicklas (artistic director)  Photo by James Neiss
Irene Rykaszewski (executive director) Timothy Henderson (programs) Kathryn Serianni (Educational Outreach) Eva Nicklas (artistic director) Photo by James Neiss

River Region Partnership Award

Lewiston Council on the Arts


            Lewiston Council on the Arts has been chosen as the 2015 River Region Partnership Award recipient.  This award was created in 2013 by the Chamber staff to recognize a business or organization that supports the chamber's mission of business development, improving quality of life and preserving the history and culture of the region, while actively participating in chamber initiatives.

            The Lewiston Council on the Arts has been an important part of the community since the mid 1960's.   The main goal of the organization, started as hosting art in the community by holding the annual Lewiston Art Festival. Interested in being involved, Irene Rykaszewski, current Executive Director and Eva Nicklas, current Artistic Director came onboard in the late 1980's by collecting donations for the festival as volunteers and started creating programs and additional events in 1994.  With the arts as their passion, their vision grew to creating the leading arts organization that we know today. Now their staff is rounded out by two part time employees: Tim Henderson, Program Coordinator and Kathryn Serianni, outreach Coordinator.  The LCA office is located in the heart of the village, directly behind the Bicentennial Peace Garden on Ridge Street.

            The calendar of the LCA has grown into a full year of diverse arts and entertainment events and programing.  From smaller, intimate events like "Toast and Jam" and the Lewiston Arts CafĂ© to large scale concerts like Summer of '69 and The Lewiston Art Festival; the staff works hard to add new aspects to the programs.  New this year is a Shakespeare program in Hennepin Park this summer. The LCA looks for cultural experiences that haven't been met yet to develop new endeavors.  The audience for events has ranged from local community members to those who come from all over WNY for events such as the Art Festival and Marble Orchard Ghost Walks.  Vendors for the Art Festival come from all over the United States to be a part of one of the longest running art festivals in NYS.

            All of the events and programs are included in a beautiful brochure that is printed each year highlighting the year's events.  The brochure is distributed all over Western New York and is designed in house by Kathryn.  Former board member Chuck Scrufari was a pioneer in securing the www.artcouncil.org website domain years ago, leading other arts organizations to follow suit of the LCA and integrate the arts into technology and developing it into an informative tool for the council.  Local media is also utilized to further marketing efforts, receiving great media support for all of the programing.


Fundraising is an ongoing effort for the council having been fortunate that people recognize the value of what they are doing.  The mission of the LAC is:  "The Lewiston Council on the Arts is dedicated to improving the quality of life in the area by nurturing a thriving environment for the arts and for cultural activities, promoting economic opportunities for artists, encouraging public participation in the arts, and actively advocating for the arts."  This mission help bring creative talent and public appreciation together, creating an artistic identity for Lewiston.  Both the Town and Village of Lewiston municipalities have been very supportive of the LCA's initiatives. The twelve member boards of director's volunteer their time and effort to make sure goals are met and are complimented by an Advisory board that also lends their ideas and guidance.  As active members of the Cultural Alliance and Art Services Initiative (ASI), the Lewiston Arts Council is able to make sure the Arts are kept as a focus in New York State, improving communities as a whole.


Lewiston is very fortunate to have an active arts organization that supports working with other organizations and businesses.  Partnerships have been forged with the Modern Corporation,  Kiwanis Club of Lewiston, The Independent Order of Odd Fellows, Just Literary Center, and Chamber of Commerce to name a few to bring the arts to Lewiston and beyond.  We are fortunate to live in a community that values art, history and culture and the work that the LCA does. 

            The Niagara River Region Chamber of Commerce proudly congratulates Lewiston Council on the Arts, the 2015 River Region Award Recipient, for their long-standing service and dedication to the community.

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