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Arts Mid-Hudson Blog

33rd Annual Dutchess County Executive’s Arts Awards by Linda Martson-Reid

This year marks the 33rd Annual Dutchess County Executive’s Arts Awards event, recognizing 11 individuals, organizations, and businesses that contribute to the vibrant creative life in Dutchess County. Community members across the region will celebrate all of these accomplishments at a festive event on October 3 at Villa Borghese in Wappingers Falls.

The recipients were selected from public nominations and awarded based on their important contribution to the growth of Dutchess County’s cultural life over a significant period of time, the extraordinary support they show of the arts, and/or their vision and leadership in using the arts to enhance community life.

Patrick McGuire at The Poughkeepsie Grind

Dutchess County Executive Marcus J. Molinaro said, “Congratulations to all of the winners, especially this year’s ‘ThinkDIFFERENTLY in the Arts’ category winner, Reach Out Arts. We are grateful to this organization for thinking differently and embracing the power of the arts to reach out, make connections, and build bridges for everyone, of every ability.”

This year’s Arts Organization award goes to the Hudson Valley Folk Guild, a group who has dedicated 40 years of building interest in folk music throughout the region through concert performances. The Arts Award for a business goes to The Poughkeepsie Grind that provides great food and beverage, but also is deeply rooted in the local Poughkeepsie community through their work developing the Poughkeepsie Waterfront Skatepark, and most recently showcasing local artists in their store.

BoogieREZ in front of muralThe Art in Public Places award goes to the mural painting team, Boogie and REZ, who turned the Rt. 9 underpass on Main Street into a fantastic and colorful entry to Poughkeepsie. A Special Citation will be awarded to Grupo Folclórico de Poughkeepsie for their 11 years of presenting the Guelaguetza Dance Festival, bringing over 5,000 to the Poughkeepsie waterfront park.

Volunteerism benefits many of the area’s arts groups and this year Charlotte Dinwiddie and John Dinwiddie (posthumously) are recognized with the Volunteer in the Arts Award. Artists in the area that involve the community in their work are nominated for the ‘Artivist Award.’ This year Edward Benavente’s work in Beacon is recognized, such as the Annual Holiday Bicycle Tree he constructs during the winter holidays. He commented, “I am proud to be a part of the growing artist community that has developed and brought new life and optimism to the area.”

Ed Benavente Fish Sculpture
The Arts in Education Award goes to the organization, Education Network for Teachers and Artists, ensuring that arts education is available to all in Dutchess County. This year, two students will be awarded the Student with Exceptional Promise in the Arts: Sanjay Natesan and Jillian Warner. Visual artist Penny Dell will be awarded the Individual Artist Award recognizing the exhibitions of her work, both locally and across the state.

Event Details:
Thursday, October 3, 5:30 pm at Villa Borghese in Wappingers Falls. Tickets available online or by calling the office: 845-454-3222.

About the column:

Arts Mid-Hudson has served up fresh arts and culture across the region for over 54 years. This biweekly series of columns showcases arts, artists’ work and arts events across the region presented with the support of Arts Mid-Hudson. For information about its services, events and grant opportunities visit, call 845-454-3222 or email [email protected].