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WQED Multimedia and The Dominion Foundation Present A Year of Volunteers

September 14, 2011

George Hazimanolis

Dan Donovan


WQED Multimedia and The Dominion Foundation
A Year of Volunteers
A special luncheon celebrating the contributions of the
2011 Dominion VITA Awards winners
Friday, October 7, 2011
11:30 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.
David L. Lawrence Convention Center
Downtown Pittsburgh

PITTSBURGH - For 23 years, the Dominion VITA (Volunteer In the Arts) Awards, coordinated by WQED Multimedia, has honored dedicated individuals who have given their time and talents to ensure that the arts thrive in our region.

“The VITA Awards recognize the vitality volunteers bring to arts organizations,” said James Mesloh, executive director of the Dominion Foundation. “It is no surprise that Western Pennsylvania has wonderful arts organizations – it has wonderful arts volunteers. Dominion is proud to help honor them.”

A committee of Pittsburgh area professionals interested in cultivating this invaluable volunteer arts force selects the winners. Since its inception in 1988 Dominion has honored more than 240 volunteers from more than 170 arts organizations throughout western Pennsylvania. As a result numerous individuals and their organizations have been given recognition on WQED-TV, WQED-FM 89.3 and at the annual VITA Awards reception.

“As the radio voice and television stage for the arts in western Pennsylvania, WQED provides countless hours of free exposure for our region’s arts and cultural groups,” said Deborah L. Acklin, president and chief executive officer of WQED Multimedia. “And WQED depends on our volunteers every day. We are fortunate that Dominion has continued its commitment for the past 23 years to recognize individuals who give selflessly of their time and help these organizations thrive.”

The 2011 Dominion VITA Award winners are:

• Anne Benzel – Southern Alleghenies Museum of Art

Ann Benzel’s tenure on the SAMA Board of Trustees dates to 1986 and during that 25 year span, she has served in various positions, including Board of Trustees’ President. She has chaired the Gala, SAMA’s signature fund-raising event and served on numerous committees. Her support has been impactful from publication of the SAMA Permanent Collection Catalogue to carpeting the main gallery to sustaining the Arts Education Program. Ann has earned a stellar reputation in the arts community; she exemplifies the spirit of volunteerism.

• J. Michael Edwards – Fayette County Cultural Trust

Working cohesively with city and municipal governments, community organizations, churches, clubs, authors, and inspiring volunteers to make a difference are the traits that set J. Michael Edwards apart in the town of Connellsville. Michael, along with his partner Dan, started the Cultural Trust to enhance art, history, culture and education in the area. Once Michael organizes one program, he finds enthusiastic people to make the project their own and let it grow as he moves on to yet another venue. He has the social, executive, and organizational skills to attract, welcome and enthrall people from so many varied walks of life to come together for a common interest.

• Corinne S. Kraft – Edgewood Symphony Orchestra

In the ten years that Corie has been a member of the Edgewood Symphony Orchestra she has served in many capacities and has been vital in all of them. She has been Board President, Librarian and Chair of the extremely important Publicity Committee. She is currently serving in that capacity as well as Board Vice President and is also a member of the Fund Development and Strategic Planning Committees. Corie is constantly brainstorming new ideas for audience development and publicity and working tirelessly to sell out the house. Her leadership has enabled the orchestra to broaden its reach in the community by doing extensive musical outreach programs.

• Ann M. McGuinn – The Andy Warhol Museum

Ann McGuinn has been a supporter of a wide range of arts organizations in Pittsburgh and has been a board member of the Andy Warhol Museum since it was founded in 1996. Ann’s involvement is not only as a donor but as a hands-on advocate for the arts, insisting on understanding the underlying principles of an organization so that she is able to actively pursue its mission. In recognition of The Warhol’s 15th Anniversary, Ann decided last year to spearhead the development of a fund that would consistently support The Warhol’s Education Department. Ann continues to be involved in making sure that the education department is a good steward of the funds received and that the department continues to evolve to respond to community needs.

• Kathe Patrinos- Carnegie Museum of Art

In her 15 dedicated years as a Museum of Art docent, Kathe has given her time and intelligence freely and selflessly. Watching her delight and satisfaction while engaging with visitors in the galleries--from parents and young children to school groups and casual adult visitors--it becomes clear how perfect a match she and the museum truly are. In generously sharing her love of art with others, she finds her reward in achieving the goals of the museum, and does not even consider how great a gift she gives to the institution. Kathe's volunteer work was instrumental in the development of the museum’s “In the Moment” tours for people living with dementia, a new program that represents a significant advance in the museum’s goal of accessibility and attention to diverse audiences.

• Joe Wos – The ToonSeum

Joe Wos is the founder and executive director of the ToonSeum. His commitment to the cartoon arts and the Pittsburgh community has led him to act as a volunteer director for the past three years. As a leader of the ToonSeum, Joe is responsible for the stability and growth of the organization. In a short time he has taken a small organization and garnered it national attention. Joe’s vision is the basis for the ToonSeum, from the moment of conception, to the formation of the board, and hiring of staff. His continued leadership is the guiding force behind the ToonSeum’s continued success.

WQED Pittsburgh, honored with the 2007 and 2006 Mid-Atlantic Emmy® Award for Station Excellence, was founded in 1954 as the nation’s first community-supported broadcaster. The people of WQED create, produce and distribute quality programs, products and services to engage, inform, educate and entertain the public within their community and around the world. WQED Pittsburgh is one of the first broadcasters in the country to be fully high-definition (HD) in its studio and field production capabilities. It is the parent company of WQED-TV (PBS); WQED: The Neighborhood Channel; WQED: The Create Channel; Classical WQED-FM 89.3/Pittsburgh; Classical WQEJ-FM 89.7/Johnstown; local and national television and radio productions; WQED Interactive (www.wqed.org); and The WQED Education Department.

Dominion is one of the nation's largest producers and transporters of energy, with a portfolio of approximately 28,200 megawatts of generation, 11,000 miles of natural gas transmission, gathering and storage pipeline and 6,300 miles of electric transmission lines. Dominion operates the nation's largest natural gas storage system with 947 billion cubic feet of storage capacity and serves retail energy customers in 15 states. For more information about Dominion, visit the company's website at www.dom.com.

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George Hazimanolis
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