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White Plains-Based ArtsWestchester Hands Out '50 For 50' Awards

Nalini Rau, ArtsWestchester winner and Yorktown Heights resident, left, with her sister, Lakshami Damodara.
Nalini Rau, ArtsWestchester winner and Yorktown Heights resident, left, with her sister, Lakshami Damodara. Photo Credit: Jeanne Muchnick
Marcy B. Freedman of Croton, with Eduardo Vilaro of Ardsley, both ArtsWestchester honorees.
Marcy B. Freedman of Croton, with Eduardo Vilaro of Ardsley, both ArtsWestchester honorees. Photo Credit: Jeanne Muchnick
Nancy Bowen, a visual artist from Purchase, with her Tiffany gift.
Nancy Bowen, a visual artist from Purchase, with her Tiffany gift. Photo Credit: Jeanne Muchnick
K.J. Denhert, a composer from Ossining, did a brief performance.
K.J. Denhert, a composer from Ossining, did a brief performance. Photo Credit: Jeanne Muchnick
Artists lined up to get their awards as their names were called.
Artists lined up to get their awards as their names were called. Photo Credit: Jeanne Muchnick

TARRYTOWN, N.Y. -- More than 400 people attended the ArtsWestchester 2015 Arts Awards Luncheon April 16 at the Doubletree Hotel in Tarrytown.

The event, sponsored by First Niagara, was a celebration of the 50 area "outstanding" artists and two deserving arts patrons who have made significant contributions to Westchester County.

New Rochelle resident Tony Aiello, a reporter with CBS News was the emcee.

ArtsWestchester’s “50 for 50” Winners includes a wide range of discliplines, everyone from filmmakers and poets to visual artists, choreographers, composers and performing artists. Many of them, though they make Westchester home, are known throughout the world.

Bedford residents Yvonne and Leslie Pollack were honored (though Leslie was not in attendance due to an illlness) and given The Emily and Eugene Grant Arts Patron Award.

“To say that Yvonne and Leslie Pollack are extraordinary as a couple is an understatement,” said Janet Langsam, CEO of White Plains-based ArtsWestchester. “Their generosity combines passion with compassion and they truly exemplify the spirit of selfless philanthropy."

The lunch included performances by K.J. Denhert, a composer from Ossining who sang "Beautiful," and by Croton performance artist Marcy B. Freedman.

The “50 for 50” artist recognition is one of several key initiatives ArtsWestchester launched this year to celebrate its 50th anniversary. In this signature program, 50 artists were selected through a competitive nomination process. The winners were awarded $1,000 prizes in recognition of their artistic work and contributions to Westchester’s cultural community.

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