ARTS Partnership Award

Two ARTS Partnership Awards are presented annually to individuals, businesses, schools, or organizations that have demonstrated vision, leadership, and commitment to the advancement of the arts in our region. This year, our panel was so impressed with the strength of our nominees that they decided to award three Partnership Awards instead of our usual two. All of our ARTS Partnership Award recipients have shown a sense of personal responsibility, making a significant impact on the community through their arts-related service.

Nominations for the 2016 ARTS Partnership Award should contain evidence of the nominee's arts and cultural accomplishments and the impact of those accomplishments on the region. Please note, if the nominee is an arts professional, accomplishments should extend beyond the professional sphere, suggesting a broader and more personal dedication to arts advancement in the region.

Award recipients will be honored Friday, December 9, 2016, with a celebratory ceremony. The ceremony is a ticketed event, open to the public, which will be held at The Rockwell Museum in Corning.

2016 ARTS Partnership Award Recipients:

Joe Caparulo

Rick Pirozzolo

Erica Unterman

Joe Caparulo has acted as a creative catalyst in Elmira for more than three decades. As the owner of Cappy’s, he served regional artists as a venue for both sales and inspiration. Joe has been a pivotal supporter and leader at Community Arts of Elmira and the grassroots movement to grow the creative economy in this historic city. He is also a writer and an advocate of the literary arts, freely encouraging other local artists and promoting our amazing arts community.

Rick Pirozzolo has been the Executive Director at the Arnot Art Museum since 2009, and in this role has made great strides creatively, fiscally, and professionally both for the museum and for the region it serves. His free time is spent as an artistic leader and director for youth and community theater, while his dedication to the creative arts has enriched life in the Southern Tier, reaching arts, business, and underserved communities. 

Erica Unterman is the Youth Services Specialist at the Southeast Steuben Library. As an artist herself, her programs often focus on creative programming for underserved youth, and her work has had an unparalleled impact on our community. Erica has also devoted countless personal hours to support arts programming outside the library, from volunteering and serving as a committee member for Recycled Runway, to leading youth in projects like her Knitting Nancy community program. 

“Joe is well known for his devotion to this area through his involvement in a variety of volunteer activities and civic appointments, always emphasizing the pivotal role of creative arts in community revitalization.”    

-Excerpt from the nomination of Joe Caparulo

“Rick possesses a creative spirt who can ‘think outside the box’, offering problem-solving alternatives needed in current society. He serves as a leader not only to his staff, but to many of the students and adults in his productions.”   

-Excerpt from the nomination of Rick Pirozzolo

“Erica is a leader in the community through her creative energy, eagerness to collaborate and network with organizations, and her commitment to advance the arts-related programs and events in the region.”    

-Excerpt from the nomination of Erica Unterman


Joe Caparulo, Rock Pirozzolo, and Erica Unterman will be honored along with our other award winners for their impact on the arts in the Southern Tier at our 2016 ARTS Award Ceremony!

Join us on Friday, December 9, 2016 from 6-8 PM at The Rockwell Museum in Corning.

Tickets: $30
Limited seats available!

Live Music | Hors d'oeuvres | Cash Bar


Previous Recipients:

Jan Kather
Carol Landon Ayers


Lynn Dates
MaryJane Eckel
Marich Music


Mark Smith


Jared Aiosa
Chris Longwell


Howard Coleman
Ann Welles


Gigi Alvaré


William Locke
Lynne Rusinko


The Cantata Singers of Elmira and the team of
Martha Horton, Felix Kapron, Susan Nagle and Will Wickham
Marietta Cheng
Star-Gazette Columnists: John Cleary, Kathy
Costello, Sarah McFarland and Catherine White


Arnot Art Museum Staff
Kathleen Huddle
Lake Country Players
Larry Tolbert
Tom Oberg
Mary Lu Walker


Jan Amann
Corning Children's Center
Neal O'Donnell


Patty Ozer
Rhonda Morton
Fred Herbst


The Chemung River School Project
Jim Flaws
Linda and Tom Gardner


Michael Moretti
Lois Welk
Will Wickham


Lee Adelsburg
Marie McKee
Tom Weidemann


Tom Buechner
Stuart Chase
Marc Dennis
Maria Driscoll McMahon
Jan P. Updegraff


John D. O'Hern
Rodi Rovner of Hands on Glass Studio
George Howell
Judy Cross
Fine Arts Boosters of Alfred-Almond Central School


Don Dryden
Clare Reidy
Dr. Thomas Meier
The Studio at the Corning Museum of Glass


Rafael Grigorian
Richard Bessey
Jenny Monroe
Chemung, Schuyler and Steuben Counties
Ann Clarke


Kate Stein
Rockwell Museum
Time Warner Cable


Elmira City School District
Post Central
Mary Ughetta


Dr. John and Phyllis Martin
The Leader, Star-Gazette and Michael Orr for See, Hear & Do
Joan Lecuona
Elmira Symphony and Choral Society and the Corning Philharmonic Society


Bob Rose
Artistic Greetings
Michael Czarnecki

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