Stars Shine At Celebration Of The Arts In Howard County

Stars Shine At Celebration Of The Arts In Howard CountyNearly 425 business and arts leaders were on hand on Saturday, March 24th for the Howard County Arts Council's 21st 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 $68,377 in donated goods and services in support of the arts in Howard County. Since 1998, more than $1.5 million has been raised through Celebration of the Arts!

Buddy and Sue Emerson, active supporters of a number of community and charitable organizations in Howard County and statewide, were the Honorary Chairs for the evening. Myron "Mo" Dutterer, recipient of the 2003 Howie Award for Outstanding Arts Educator and a pillar of the Howard County theatre community, served as Event Emcee.

The Rising Star Performing Arts Competition featured ten 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 selected pianist Junghoon Park as the 2018 Rising Star for his stirring rendition of Earl Wild's "Etude No. 4", based on the George Gershwin standard "Embraceable You".

The other talented finalists who performed at the Celebration were Keely Bosworth Borland, Musical Theatre; Tyler Fitzpatrick, Jazz Guitar; Lindsey Landry, Musical Theatre; Benjamin Lurye, Musical Theatre; Elizabeth Milligan, Flute; Brian Nabors, Musical Theatre; Arelle Oberlander, Classical Voice; Pacing Bodies (Ryan Bailey & Maia Schechter), Dance; and Alexandra Rodrick, Classical Voice. The 2017 Howie Awards were presented to individuals who have made significant contributions to the arts in Howard County.

The recipients were: Ric Ryder for Outstanding Artist, Tolly Rumbaugh Peddicord for Outstanding Arts Educator, and Michael J. Clark for Outstanding Community Supporter of the Arts. The inaugural Howie Award for Outstanding Arts Leadership was also presented to Howard County Arts Council Executive Director Coleen West in recognition of 20 years of dedicated service and advocacy for Howard County's arts community.

Reception entertainment included Howard Community College's Small Jazz Group, musicians from The Columbia Orchestra, under the direction of Jason Love; and roving characters in costume from Drama Learning Center's Teen Professional Company. Guest performers featured on stage were actor/vocalist Celeste Jones and accompanist Douglas Lawler on the piano.

Sixteen of the county's finest restaurants and caterers provided food for the gala and competed for Best Display. Innovative Gourmet received first place honors; Absolutely Perfect Catering finished in second place, and Grille 620 was third. The silent auction featured 67 local artists, who contributed 93 works of art, and 57 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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