Cultural Council celebrates 20 years of The Laurel Awards

Some members of the committee gather at Riverside Theatre for a planning meeting. Left to right- Beverly Paris, Mark Wygonik and Alicia Quinn (all seated). Standing are Barbara Hoffman and Oscar Sales. Photo by Marty Paris


Since 1996, The Cultural Council of Indian River County has been recognizing individuals in the community who have strived to demonstrate support of the arts in a variety of means. To that end, an annual event has been held inviting those who have been nominated and later selected to receive this honor, in a wide array of categories that have included cultural leadership roles in business, education, philanthropy and volunteerism, as well as an award that recognized a local artist of their field who earned the respect of the community and their peers for their dedication to their art.

Barbara Hoffman, the Executive Director of the Cultural Council, along with a small appointed committee, unanimously decided to celebrate the 20 years of this esteemed award by holding a special reunion of the first 94 Laurel Award winnersThis celebration will be held at Riverside Theatre on Thursday, May 18 at 6 p.m.  The evening opens with a lovely reception in the theatre’s lobby turned into an art gallery by members of the Cultural Council with over 50 multi-media displays; performances on the Stark Stage by members of the Cultural Council, and the announcement and introduction of previous award winners and community supporters of the arts. A buffet of heavy hors d’eouvres by Chelsea’s, dessert and a champagne toast, along with a full (cash) bar, will be offered. Master of Ceremonies will be Jon Shainman, Anchor/Multi-Media Journalist-WPTV News Channel 5. An array of performing arts that include acts from Vero Beach High School and Indian River Charter High Schools, Riverside Children’s Theatre and The Vero Beach Theatre Guild as well as the Fort Pierce Jazz & Blues Society, Laura Riding Jackson Foundation and Jacob Craig will highlight the Stark Stage performances.

In addition to Ms. Hoffman, the organizational committee includes Alicia Quinn, Joan and Roman Ortega-Cowan, Bev and Marty Paris, Oscar Sales, Matt Stott and Mark Wygonik. Sponsors for the event include Riverside Theatre, Bill and Nancy Bryant, Leonar Lobo De Gonzales, Robert and Sandy Brackett and Keith Kite.

Cost for the evening is $75 per person; reservations are being taken by May 10.  To make your reservation or to request an invitation, please contact the Cultural Council office at 772-770-4857.

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