The Polk Arts Alliance (PAA) 4th Annual CARP Awards (Community Arts Recognition Program) were announced tonight at The Lakeland Center. The CARP Awards honor and recognize individuals who dedicate themselves to support the arts throughout Polk County, including Lakeland. The awards are presented on behalf of the PAA Board of Directors and the Cultural Arts Council. This year there were eleven honorees. Congrats to: Cindy Alexander, Andrea Oliver-Clark, John DeYoung, Tom Freeman, Polly Kasprzak, James Malless, Joyce Otte, Jane Pritchard, Cindy Hartley Ross, Jane Patton, and Gregory A. Sanoba.
After you read the full bios below, I would like to encourage you to bookmark the new URL and check out the new look for the PAA website – http://www.polkarts.org/
Cindy Alexander’s history of volunteerism and philanthropy extend far beyond her position as Vice President for the Lake Wales Arts Council. In fact, Cindy has dedicated her time to several levels of committee work. She has assisted with short term projects as well as far reaching strategic plans. Her most recent outstanding achievement includes the preservation of the Lake Wales Arts Council despite economic challenges and staffing changes. Cindy’s peers speak highly of her determination and passion to promote the arts within the community and schools. — Nominated by Karl W. Hesser and Nancy Hoyt, Lake Wales Arts Center
News Director and broadcast specialist for Southeastern University and Hall Communications, Andrea Oliver-Clark dedicates herself to cultural development throughout Polk County and Central Florida. On the Performing and Visual Arts Advisory Council, Andrea volunteers to promote events as well as the University. She also contributes to the Hall Communications organization, specifically through her radio program geared toward artists. The program provides a medium for the artists to discuss pertinent topics. — Nominated by John Pierce, Southeastern University
Clinician, adjudicator, and officer for the Bartow High School Band, former band director (1984) John DeYoung volunteers his time to promote music and assist directors in Polk County. Currently, John directs the Bartow Adult Concert Band, one that he created back in 1999. The band offers free concerts throughout the year; in doing so, John directly helps make music available to the community. — Nominated by Lennon Jordan
Environmentalist, wildlife artist, teacher, mentor, and donor Tom Freeman has impacted the community and the environment through his dedication to teaching environmental education for over 40 years to students of all ages. As an original member of the Southern Association of Habitat Artists, Tom has always been passionate about pursuing environmentalism through art; his efforts to create art programs throughout the county for both children and adults further demonstrate Tom’s dedication to the cause. — Nominated by David Price
For 19 years, Polly Kasprzak has volunteered at Explorations V Children’s Museum. Her selfless service and positive attitude inspires the Explorations staff. Polly offers her help every Wednesday, an endeavor that directly affects the children who attend the museum; her volunteer work has enabled the museum to continue to host successful exhibits. — Nominated by Georgann Carlton, Explorations V Children’s Museum
In addition to volunteering for the Polk Museum of Art, James Malless serves on the board of directors for Arts on the Park. Currently, James offers his experience and his leadership to help with classroom repair efforts at the gallery. His work will help the community rediscover a center for the arts in downtown Lakeland. — Nominated by Christine Boring, Arts on the Park
Joyce Otte offers service to The Lake Wales Arts Council as a patron, volunteer, advocate, and advisor. Members continually seek her insight and recommendations. Joyce’s work, particularly on the Finance Committee, has proved crucial in the continuation of the council. — Nominated by Karl W. Hesser, Lake Wales Arts Council
For over 8 seasons, Jane Pritchard has assisted Theater Winter Haven as a volunteer coordinator, sponsor, office helper, greeter and advocate for the arts. Her work in the box office has proven particularly influential. She exemplifies great customer service and, consequently, the box office has been able to make upgrades and run more efficiently overall. — Nominated by Anthony Gallegos, Theatre Winter Haven
Cindy Hartley Ross
Cindy Ross exemplifies the spirit of volunteerism; she served for two years as the President of the Polk Arts Alliance while simultaneously supporting Polk State College and The Polk Museum of Art. Cindy helped the Polk Arts Alliance transition during staff changes. She also helped the organization to gain influence and reputation throughout the county. — Nominated by Nancy Hoyt and Jane Patton and the Polk Arts Alliance
Jane Patton has served the Polk Arts Alliance for many years. She currently offers her insight as a member in the organization’s Arts Resource Council. Jane’s dedication to the Polk Arts Alliance proved crucial to the survival of the organization during a two year transition period. Additionally, Jane’s efforts as both coordinator and facilitator for the Race for the Arts continually help the organization hold a successful fundraiser. Jane also serves as the Executive Director of the Haines City Chamber of Commerce and she is also a distinguished water-color artist. — Nominated by Cindy Hartley Ross and the Polk Arts Alliance
Gregory A. Sanoba
Gregory A. Sanoba served as one of Platform Art’s first board members in 2006, and by 2008 he accepted the title of President of the Board of Directors. He created by-laws and facilitated in moving the organization forward. Gregory’s service has helped connect Platform with city and county officials; he has thereby shed light on the value of local artists to the community. — Nominated by Ann M. Wilson, Platform Art
Each award recipient was given an original work of ceramic art, a plate, created by local artist Randy Glotfelty.