David Collens and Anthony Davidowitz present Ursula von Rydingsvard with an original sculpture by artist Heidi Lanino in recognition for her significant contributions to the arts; UAP team, receives its recognition for its artisan skills that breathe life into sculptures, and Tom Kennedy and Nancy Proyect give Everett Collie his sculpture in recognition for his devotion to mentoring young artists and professionals in digital media. Photos copyright 2022 Tamara Rafkin.

Orange County Arts Council is grateful and humbled by the incredible show of support demonstrated by our guests at our annual gala, “Ignite: The Art Affair.” We hosted a sold-out event that paid tribute to three luminaries from Orange County’s arts communities: Ursula von Rydingsvard, UAP Workshop Team and Everett Collie/EC Media LLP.

We’d also like to give recognition to the exceptional talents of Co-Producers Ed Manner and Ralph M’Vore, whose limitless imaginations created a magical, inspirational space showcasing a diverse representation of Orange County’s artists and performers.

Through Ed Manner’s creative lead, visual artists works filled the space with unique pieces, turning it into a gallery for our guests. The artists whose works were displayed are: Dharman Abdullah, Colby Blake, Josh Cohen, William Graziano, Heidi Lanino, Nicole Mischo, Leo Martinez, Joyce Sitt, Carol Valley and Joe Zappone.

This event would not be possible without the extraordinary vision and dedication that Sarah McKay, OCAC’s Executive Director Emeritus and Jen Schneider, OCAC’s Event Coordinator, have contributed to ensure that “Ignite: The Art Affair” would be the event to remember. Their considerable talents, efforts and energy presented our guests with a most memorable experience.

Thank you to all who volunteered, donated, sponsored and came out to support this magical night. We deeply appreciate you!

For more photos of “Ignite: The Art Affair,” Please visit our Facebook page.

County Executive Steve Neuhaus offers his remarks during the gala, thanking Sarah McKay for her leadership and dedication to Orange County’s arts scene; Sarah McKay with OCAC’s Board President, Janet Howard-Fatta, remarking on her tenure; and incoming Executive Director, Todd Hulet, makes his introduction. Photos copyright 2022 Tamara Rafkin.

M’Vore Performers; The Moving Company Dancers; Fei Tian College at Middletown Dancers; A finale featuring all performers and including the Empire Drumline from Newburgh City School District. Everyone received a standing ovation from the audience! Photos copyright 2022 Tamara Rafkin.

Guests were treated to a variety of performances during the gala. Energetic group performances, graceful dances and solo singers entertained a receptive audience. The evening ended with a powerful appearance of a rhythmic drumline. Bravos all around to all of our exceptionally talented performers!

We are grateful to multidisciplinary artist Heidi Lanino for creating the sculptures given to Ignite: The Art Affair’s honorees.

Lastly, we thank Mike Pacer, our gracious Master of Ceremonies, who led the evening, and Tamara Rafkin, the photographer whose photos you see in this newsletter.