Elk County Council on the Arts Announces Heart in the Arts Award Recipients

RIDGWAY – The Elk County Council on the Arts (ECCOTA) is pleased to announce it will present two “Heart in the Arts” awards during its annual Gala Fundraiser on March 9. This year’s honorees are Mark and Rebecca Titchner and Gloria Almquist-Shull.

Now in their eighth year, the “Heart in the Arts” awards recognize contributions to the arts in Elk County. ECCOTA’s board of directors selects recipients from three categories: experiences, opportunity and support.

This year the Titchner’s take home the award in the “experiences” category for their work in numerous musical groups featuring acts of all ages. Almquist-Shull is being recognized with the Lifetime Achievement Award.

The Titchner’s are well-known for their influence on local music. Their performances and original songs, many of which concern issues relevant to our area, have served as an “approachable introduction of Celtic and folk sounds the public may have otherwise never heard,” notes ECCOTA Executive Director Sara Frank.

“Mark and Bekki are highly deserving of this award due to the palpable inspiration sparked in young musicians and the sharing of their successes by welcoming collaboration with a wide variety of other local musicians and vocalists.”

Almquist-Shull is a life-long teacher and patron of the arts in Elk County. “Gloria has been a driving force behind numerous concerts and musicals in Elk County,” explains Board secretary Lois Devilling.

“She was a natural selection for the board who spoke of her continued dedication to promoting the arts in the area.”

The ECCOTA Gala is open to the public and will be held Saturday, March 9 at Aiello’s Cafe in Ridgway.

Attendees will enjoy live music by Sleepwalker, Mark and Bekki Titchner and Matt Santaniello; interactive paintings; hors d’oeuvres; Heart in the Arts Awards; and more.

Live and silent auctions will feature original artwork including a limited number of chairs decorated by local artists and patrons of the arts. There will also be a heads or tails auction game with a $500 cash prize.

Information about ECCOTA and reservations for the gala event can be found at ECCOTA.com or by calling 814-772-7051. All proceeds benefit ECCOTA programming.

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