ST. MARYS – The non-profit Elk County Council on the Arts’ Annual Gala Fundraiser is the biggest fundraiser of the year for the non-profit organization. The 2016 Gala will be held Feb. 20 at The Highlands in St. Marys.
With the Pennsylvania state budget still facing an impasse, the organization is heavily depending on gala proceeds to help fund the extensive youth programming, artist exhibits and community events scheduled for the summer season.
The gala will feature live and silent auctions of a variety of items, including original artwork, a private concert and much more. Three local artists, including Pete Winklebauer, will participate in the Dueling Artists live art creation during the event, which culminates with the auction of those pieces.
For the fifth year, ECCOTA will present four “Heart in the Arts” awards during the gala. The council’s board of directors selects honorees to recognize their contributions to the arts in Elk County.
The awards, founded on ECCOTA’s mission statement, include three categories: experiences, opportunity and support.
The 2016 honorees include: Elk County Commissioners for providing experiences in the arts, Julie Mader for providing educational opportunity and advice and Ed Schwer for his support of musicians, artists, performers and writers. Additionally Sister Augustine will be presented with a Lifetime Achievement award (posthumous).
“We cannot fulfill our mission alone (nor do we want to). These awards allow us the chance to recognize organizations and individuals who show great support and action in facilitating the arts in our community,” stated Executive Director Abbi Peters.
ECCOTA has been supporting local artists and providing arts opportunities and experiences in the community since 1984. The sales gallery on Main Street in Ridgway offers pottery, woodwork, paintings, photography and more from more than 40 artists.
The ECCOTA Gala is open to the public and will be held Feb. 20 at 7 p.m. at The Highlands Restaurant in St. Marys. The event also includes live entertainment by Slippery Rock University’s Afro-Columbian Dance Ensemble, live painting, and live and silent auctions.
Reservations can in advance, online and at the door. All proceeds benefit ECCOTA programming. For more event information contact ECCOTA 814-772-7051 or visit eccota.com.