Stars Come Out At Celebration Of The Arts In Howard County

Stars Come Out At Celebration Of The Arts In Howard County

More than 450 business and arts leaders were on hand on Saturday, March 23rd for the Howard County Arts Council's 22nd Annual Celebration of the Arts in Howard County. Held at Howard Community College's Peter and Elizabeth Horowitz Visual and Performing Arts Center in Columbia, this year's benefit gala netted approximately $73,000 with an additional $92,302 in donated goods and services in support of the arts in Howard County. Since 1998, more than $1.6 million has been raised through Celebration of the Arts!

Mary Kay Sigaty, former Howard County Council member, artist, teacher, and active supporter of numerous community and charitable organizations in Howard County, was the Honorary Chair for the evening. Joseph Ritsch, Producing Artistic Director for Rep Stage, served as Event Emcee.

The Rising Star Performing Arts Competition featured six emerging performing artists vying for the title of Rising Star and a professional development award of $5,000. After enjoying the finalists' performances, the audience cast their votes, selecting Curtis Bannister as the 2019 Rising Star for his dynamic rendition of "Make Them Hear You" from Ragtime by Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty. The other talented finalists who performed at the Celebration were Tae Ho Hwang, Saxophone; Kate Jackman, Classical Voice; Haerin Jee, Violin; Min Sang Kim, Classical Voice; and L'abri Trio, Instrumental Ensemble.

The 2018 Howie Awards were presented to individuals who have made significant contributions to the arts in Howard County. The recipients were: Brenda Kidera, Outstanding Artist; David Matchim, Outstanding Arts Educator; and HorseSpirit Arts Gallery, Outstanding Business Supporter of the Arts. Two special Howie Awards were also presented: a Legacy in the Arts Award to Fern Eisner (posthumously) and the Coleen West Leadership in the Arts Award to Theresa Colvin, Director of the Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation and former Director of the Maryland State Arts Council.

Guest performers featured on stage were Misako Ballet Company; The Young Columbians; Ana Lane and Lindsey Litka; last year's Rising Star Award winner, Junghoon Park; and accompanist Patricia Hammer. Entertainment during the reception included Dragon Scales, Howard Community College's first a capella group; musicians from The Columbia Orchestra, under the direction of Jason Love; and costumed roving characters from Drama Learning Center's TYA Teen Professional Company.

Seventeen of the county's finest restaurants and caterers provided food for the gala and competed for Best Display. Putting on the Ritz received first place honors; Absolutely Perfect Catering finished in second place, and Grille 620 was third. The art auction featured 65 local artists, who contributed 94 works of art, and 53 works of art were sold!

Each year, proceeds from the Celebration support grants to local arts organizations and schools (grades K-12), scholarships for emerging artists, and programs in the arts. The Arts Council salutes all of the board and committee members, sponsors, guests, artists and volunteers who made the event such an overwhelming success.

For more information, call 410-313-ARTS (2787) or visit the Arts Council website:

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