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Theatre Harrisburg Announces Date Of Arts Awards

After a two-year forced hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Arts Awards are set to return in Harrisburg.

The 28th Awards for Distinguished Service to the Arts in the Capital Region (Arts Awards) will be presented by Theatre Harrisburg, on Saturday, May 21, 2022, from 5:30-9pm at Whitaker Center for Science and the Arts.

The recipients, previously announced in November 2019 before the event had to be delayed due to COVID-19, are: Jeff Woodruff, retired Executive Director of the Harrisburg Symphony Orchestra, who will receive the "Award to an Individual," and TheBurg, which will receive the "Award to an Organization, Company or Group." The Awards will be presented in a Kennedy Center Honors-style theatrical gala, beginning with a pre-show reception followed by a production and ceremony in the Sunoco Performance Theatre at 7:00. The event is open to the public, but reservations are required. Proceeds benefit Theatre Harrisburg.

Woodruff served as Executive Director of the Harrisburg Symphony Orchestra for 17 years, from 2003- 2020. He has been a prominent figure in the capital region arts world and a significant advocate for the value of the arts in the local community and beyond. He has been recognized not only as an exceptional arts management professional but also an important arts colleague and community partner.

Under Woodruff's leadership, the Orchestra grew substantially. He oversaw the expansion of the HSO Pops series from three concerts to five; collaborative efforts between the HSO and other arts organizations in the Region; and dramatic expansion of the HSO's educational programs into the schools. He has also been a supportive colleague within the Harrisburg arts community, mentoring several executives in other arts organizations and serving as a valuable resource for many others. He has taught a course in arts administration at Messiah University and is currently on the Board of Directors of Market Square Concerts.

Founded in 2008, TheBurg is a monthly community magazine and daily news source for the greater Harrisburg area. Deeply embedded in the community and believing that the arts are a fundamental part of a healthy community, TheBurg has become particularly noted for both its arts coverage and its artistic design, with each issue featuring stories about painters, illustrators, theater, musicians, performers, and other artists, as well as art spaces. TheBurg also commissions the work of local illustrators, painters, photographers, cartoonists, and designers.

TheBurg is also a founding member of 3rd in the Burg, the monthly arts and cultural event, which it took in house six years ago at the request of other participants. TheBurg's most recent artistic endeavor is its partnership with Sprocket Mural Works, founded by creative director Megan Caruso and Jeff Copus. The 2017, 2019 and 2021 festivals resulted in dozens of new murals throughout the city.

Larry Binda is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of TheBurg. He also is co-owner and co-publisher, along with business partner Alex Hartzler.

Since 1989, the Awards for Distinguished Service to the Arts in the Capital Region have honored artists and arts leaders, philanthropists and visionaries, educators, organizations, and companies. Honorees are chosen by a panel of past recipients. The theatrical gala is presented by Theatre Harrisburg, the region's oldest performing arts organization, founded in 1926. Proceeds from Arts Awards support the work of Theatre Harrisburg. Additional details and information about reservations can be found by visiting

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