COAHSI Achievement in the Arts Awards

Georgiana DiMauro - Achievement in the Arts
Tom Taaffe - Service to COAHSI
Karl Leone - Achievement in the Humanities
Ted Burger - Service to COAHSI
Len Detlor - Service to COAHSI
Esther Dean - Esther Dean Service to the Community
Gordon Ramsey - Achievement in the Arts (posthumously)
Galt MacDermot - Achievement in the Arts
Ellen Tharp - Achievement in the Arts
David & Mae Seeley Esther Dean Service to the Community
Bob Gresh - Service to COAHSI (posthumously)
Armand Schwerner - Achievement in the Humanities
George Custen - Achievement in the Humanities
Frances Paulo Huber - Achievement in the Arts & Humanities
Keith "Jack" Larson - Service to COAHSI
Janet Robinson - Esther Dean Service to the Community
Herman Zaage - Achievement in the Arts
Barnett Shepherd - Achievement in the Humanities
Turk Van Lake - Achievement in the Arts
Michael Sirotta & Michael Russ - Achievement in the Arts & Humanities
Eva Lazar Gabriel & Robert Gabriel - Esther Dean Service to the Community
Professor Pat Passlof - Achievement in the Arts
Staten Island Advance - Achievement in the Humanities
Noble Crew - Achievement in the Arts & Humanities
Brian Kurt Rehr - Esther Dean Service to the Community
Stephen Fiala, James Oddo & Jay O'Donovan - Service to COAHSI
Vernon Reid - Achievement in the Arts
Nicholas Dmytryszyn - Achievement in the Humanities
Numa Saisselin - Esther Dean Service to the Community
Burt Orden - Service to COAHSI
Betsy Dubovsky - Special Recognition
Barbara Beyar - Achievement in the Arts & Humanities
Moirelle A. Braithwaite - Achievement in the Arts & Humanities
Gregg Breinberg - Achievement in the Arts & Humanities
Maria Fiorelli - Achievement in the Arts & Humanities
Dorothy Wludyka Matthews - Achievement in the Arts & Humanities
Ray Scro - Achievement in the Arts & Humanities
Barbara Valenta - Achievement in the Arts & Humanities (posthumously)
Arthur Webb, Jr. - Achievement in the Arts & Humanities
Ten Penny Players - Achievement in the Arts & Humanities
Robert Palumbo - Achievement in the Arts & Humanities
Nancy Shankman - Achievement in the Arts & Humanities
Marjorie Decker Johnson - Achievement in the Humanities
Betty Miller - Achievement in the Arts
Hon. James P. Molinaro, Borough President & Masayuki Sono - Achievement in the Arts
Dr. Victor Mattfeld - Achievement in the Arts
Al Lambert & South Shore Rotary Chorus & South Shore Rotary - Esther Dean Service to the Community Award
Michael Correale - Service to COAHSI Award

Description of Awards
Achievement in the Arts and Achievement in the Humanities
Given to a Staten Island individual or group who has a strong record of achievement in any discipline over their career or for a particularly significant single achievement.

Esther Dean Service to the Community
Given to an individual or group, not necessarily arts practitioners, but more appropriately, arts supporters who've made contributions that greatly benefit Staten Island the cultural community.

Service to COAHSI Award
Given to an individual or group who has assisted COAHSI's growth and development.

Georgiana DiMauro - Achievement in the Arts
It's a surprise to learn that Georgiana DiMauro is not a native Staten Islander since she is such an essential part of. Staten Island's cultural scene. Ms. DiMauro came from Oklahoma. After living for a time in Manhattan, she was drawn to Staten Island by its cultural opportunities and the warmth of the community in contrast to Manhattan.
Georgiana was first introduced to Staten Island's cultural life through the Staten Island Military and Society Band (known as the SIMS Band) which played concerts in the parks on the Island for many years. She is a past president of the St. Cecilia's Music Society, a member of the American Committee for Italian Migration, the Friends of the College of Staten Island, and the Mud Lane Society. She has served on the faculty of the Music Institute of the JCC, the Staten Island Academy, and Wagner College. Ms. DiMauro is best known, perhaps, as the founder and Executive Director of the Staten Island Chamber Music Players which is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year.

Ms. DiMauro cites her mother's guidance as her earliest exposure to the arts. Her mother expected each of her three daughters to have musical training. She began with the piano, the violin, and viola but switched to the french horn in high school because fewer seats in the horn section meant greater exposure. Ms. DiMauro has always loved classical music. Last year's well-received Staten Island Chamber Music Player's concert featuring contemporary composers was of particular interest to DiMauro who found it exciting to interpret the works of contemporary, non-traditional composers.
Ms. DiMauro taught a class in arts administration at Wagner for three years. She thinks students today are lucky to have the opportunity to take a class in this field, something not available when she started out. In her classes, she stressed the importance of every experience to the work of an arts administrator. Georgiana believes that all of her community work, her teaching experience, her work at Historic Richmond Town and with the New York City Council (and even as a car hop at a root beer stand!) were beneficial and important in developing networking contacts, learning to fundraiser, and assessing the community that she serves. She is very proud that the Staten Island Chamber Music Players has been the 1976 Art & Business Council's Encore Award recipient. Her wish for Staten Island's arts is for close an involvement with the local business community as the arts enjoys with our political leaders. She is convinced that there can be mutual benefit for both business and the arts in a closer relationship.
When asked about other Staten Islanders who have inspired her own community service, Georgiana immediately cited Dolly Kuhn, a longtime supporter of the arts, who was honored by the Staten Island Chamber Music Players last year. DiMauro fondly remembers Dolly always urging the group to …"play, keep on playing". Ms. DiMauro, for the music you make and all the other mundane administrative things you must do to make sure that music is possible, we also say " to you …"play, keep on playing". COASI extends it congratulations and heartfelt appreciation to Georgiana DiMauro, our 1995 Achievement in the Arts Award recipient.
DiMauro has three children: Anthony DiMauro, William Stanley, and Nora Stanley.

Ellen Tharp - Achievement in the Arts
Ellen Tharp is famous on Staten Island as the founder and director of the Staten Island Ballet. This enthusiastic dreamer started the five year-old school and company from scratch, fueled by her ardent desire to see Staten Island become artistically independent of Manhattan. Her professional career is studded with accomplishments as a ballerina, theatrical performer and educator. After years of living and working in New York, she returned to Staten Island for more nature and civility. All too aware of the commuting time to New York, since as a young woman she trucked in daily for dance training, she began the Staten Island Ballet and school to reach youngsters here, who otherwise might miss out on an opportunity to be exposed to the dance.

People thought she was crazy to try and start both the school and the company simultaneously, but Ellen felt it was imperative. "The children need to see professional dancers work to understand why they spend 40 minutes a day at the bar," she explains. "The performances of a professional company provide the inspiration to children to keep on working. 'I can do that too!", they say." The company of professional dancers from around the tri-state region have developed a core audience for their performances, and sell-out their yearly performances of "The Nutcracker." But the challenge still exists to draw larger audiences for newer, more artistically I expressive work, such as their upcoming performance on Mar 9 at the Center for the Arts at the College of Staten Island. There they will perform 2 world premiers and a Staten Island premier of artistically challenging and sophisticated dances, one of which is a tribute to Mother's Day. The professional company rehearses in Manhattan, but the school is located on Staten Island at the New Dorp Moravian Church.
Ellen feels it is vital to expose children to the beauty in this world, and in the 'World of ballet. That once aware of the art, many will choose to embrace it and share their love with others. So, to provide for children in financial need, last year the school gave out 80 scholarships worth $300 each. Though they have some private sponsors, the company absorb" most of the scholarships. The Staten Island Ballet also gives away free tickets throughout the season to seniors, poor and homeless families and community groups ,such as the Society for Children, Project Hospitality and nursing homes. Last season they distributed a total of 1,411 free tickets to 11 performances-quite a significant donation.
The Staten Island Ballet also outreaches to the public schools, such as their Arts in Education program last year when they traveled to 15 schools and presented a 30 minute program of mixed dance styles followed by a question and answer period. Ellen herself also volunteered last year at the Petrides school where she had 135 children for a two hour period each week. At first hesitant and some even hostile, they were all eventually won over. "It was amazing to watch their interest grow and develop," Ellen explained. The program ended with a performance in which all the children participated.

Mae & David Seeley - Esther Dean Community Service Award
Avid supporters of the arts and humanities in our community, David and Mae Seeley are often seen at various events. Whether for enjoyment or entertainment, or because an issue is being discussed of concern to the community, the Seeleys, in their quiet, self-effacing manner will most certainly be participants.

Mae's influence has touched many organizations in her lifetime. But in the true manner of a community activist, she is more concerned with speaking about the cause than about herself. When interviewed for this article her emphasis was not on her accomplishments, but those of the organization to which she currently devotes her time and energy-as a member of the Board of Directors for the Staten Island Botanical Garden. "I'm excited about all of the upcoming events and plans we have for the Garden," she explained. The plans for a Children's Garden, a replica of the Secret Garden contained within a maze and featuring a tower and moat, certain to catch the imaginations of all visitors, whatever their ages. The enlargement, improvements to, and subsequent dedication of the greenhouse as the Carl Grillo Memorial Green-house. And of course, The Chinese Scholar's Garden.
Mae began her community activism and service as an assistant to the director of High Rock Park. She moved on to become the administrator for the Staten Island Institute of Arts & Sciences for about twelve years. She also held. the position as Director of the Garibaldi Meucci Museum for several years. She is a long-time supporter of the arts and humanities on Staten Island and says, "It's wonderful to be a part of such a vibrant and talented community." David Seeley who jokingly states that he just follows his wife around, has been an ardent and active supporter of the John A. Noble Museum since 1991, when the Museum first made plans to move to Snug Harbor Cultural Center. He was intrigued by the combination of art and maritime history the museum would incorporate and as an admirer of Noble's art, lent his efforts to the cause. He continues "working hard to realize the dream that all of us board members share," - the renovation and subsequent re-opening of the Museum. David's professional career is as a professor at the College of Staten Island in the' Educational Administration post-graduate degree program.

Armand Schwerner - Achievement in the Humanities Award
COAHSl's 1998 Achievement in the Humanities Award recipient is poet and translator Armand Schwerner. Over the last 35 years, Schwerner has written 15 books of poetry. His poems have appeared in 60 anthologies and have been translated into French, German, Flemish, Italian, and Serbo-Croatian, among other languages.
Schwerner has also been a performance artist and musician, working in collaboration with other artists. One of his collaborative efforts was DRAGON BOND RITE, a multi-cultural Mask Dance Ritual Drama based on Japanese Noh, for which Schwerner wrote the libretto. DRAGON BOND RITE was performed last year at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis; the Japan 'Society in New York City; and the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC.

Bob Gresh - Service to COAHSI Award
COAHSI is proud to posthumously honor Bob Gresh for his many contributions, innovations and years of service to the Council on the Arts & Humanities for Staten Island. Bob began his association with the organization soon after it was founded. He was an extremely active, enthusiastic board member and contributor - a role which he continued even after he moved to Washington, DC. (He returned a couple of times to video tape Networking Meetings.) Bob also served on the newsletter committee soon after the publication was launched, lending his writing expertise to its development. But perhaps his most demanding and innovative contribution to COAHSI was the creation and production, along with Cynthia Mailman, of CCOSI COSMOS, a video program about the arts on Staten Island.
CCOSI COSMOS aired monthly. Originally the program was an hour long, with Bob and Cynthia producing, shooting and editing the tape. Eventually the demands of producing such a long show began to tell, and they revised the format to a half hour show. Cynthia remembers Bob's work as "technically and creatively brilliant." Though the shows are too numerous to mention, there were segments on Historic Richmond Town, The Newhouse Gallery for Contemporary Art and interviews with Island artists. Once Bob moved to Washington DC, there was no one else to take his place with Bob's knowledge and technical skills. As Cynthia explained, it had been Bob's original inspiration to produce the show, and without him, she couldn't go it alone.
Those who knew Bob, or who read Gary Bartels' article published after Bob's death in our January/February 1998 issue, know that while Bob was devoting time and energy to COAHSI, he was also actively involved in his career at CTV, his music, acting, writing and more. He was a man who gave much of himself to his family, friends, career and community. His tireless efforts and diverse contributions for the Council on the Arts & Humanities for Staten Island will always be remembered.

1999 Awardees
From the Staten Island Advance:

The annual Council of the Arts and Humanities for Staten Island (COAHSI) Achievement Awards will be presented June 9 during a cocktail reception from 7 to 10 p.m. in the Staten Island Institute of Arts and Sciences, St. George.
The awards are considered the "Oscars" of the Island's arts community. This year's honorees represent a broad spectrum of the Island's cultural, educational, ethnic minority, botanical, governmental, and international relations.
Honorees include Frances Paulo Huber, president and chief executive officer of the Staten Island Botanical Garden; Herman Zaage, graphic artist; Janet Robinson, known as the "Kwanzaa Lady;" Keith (Jack) Larson, deputy commissioner of the city Department of Transportation and executive director of the Staten Island Ferry and George Custen, professor of communications at the College of Staten Island.
Awards presenters will include Michael Botwinick of the Staten Island Institute of Arts and Sciences; Dr. Marlene Springer, president of the College of Staten Island; Qui Shengyun, consul general of the People's Republic of China, and long-time arts supporter Esther Dean.
Mrs. Huber, who has been president and chief executive officer of the Botanical Garden since 1981, will receive the Achievement in the Arts and Humanities Award for being the driving force behind the Chinese Scholars Garden, the first in the United States. Initiated by Mrs. Huber, with commitments from the Chinese government, the garden was built by crafts workers from mainland China, using building materials specially imported from China. Mrs. Huber also oversees the day-to-day operations of the 80-acre Botanical Garden on the grounds of the Snug Harbor Cultural Center, Livingston.
The awards reception also coincides with a major retrospective at the Institute, of the work of Mr. Zaage, winner of the 1999 Achievement in the Arts Award. He is no stranger to awards and prizes. Most recently the Richard Florsheim Art Fund awarded $10,000 to the John Noble Collection to purchase a collection of his mezzotints. Around the Island his work has been exhibited at Mauro Graphics, the Botanical Gardens, the Newhouse Center for Contemporary Art at the Snug Harbor Cultural Center in Livingston, at Wagner College and the College of Staten Island. Mr. Zaage teaches at the Art Lab at Snug Harbor and the New School in Manhattan, and gives workshops nationally.
Mrs. Robinson, who will receive the Esther Dean Community Service Award, is known as the Kwanzaa Lady of Staten Island because she has been doing presentations about Kwanzaa at the homes of friends and in the community since 1970. She began by speaking to her grandchildren's classmates, and expanded her presentations to include church groups, social clubs and scout troops. In addition to making Kwanzaa a holiday experience for children, she also plans monthly activities for children in the community. She has been honored by the National Council of Negro Women, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, and the Universal Temple of the Arts.
Mr. Larson will receive the Service to COAHSI Award for his assistance in establishing a kiosk at the Whitehall Ferry Terminal in Manhattan to disseminate information about Staten Island. The kiosk is administered by COAHSI and the Staten Island Tourism Council.
The Achievement in the Humanities Award will be presented to Mr. Custen, who has been teaching at CSI since 1987. Since 1992 he has been on the doctoral faculty of the City University of New York Graduate Center. He is the author of two books on the history and culture of Hollywood. In 1995 he was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship for his research on Darryl Zanuck. He is currently working on an anthology on gay and lesbian Hollywood. He is a member of the board of directors of the Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies at the City University Graduate Center.

Barnett Shepherd - Achievement in the Humanities
Achievement in the Humanities Awardee Barnett Shepherd has been a Staten Island resident since 1972. Before coming to Staten Island, he taught art history at the University of Florida in Gainsville.
From 1978 to 1981, he was Research Associate at the Staten Island Institute of Arts and Sciences, where he specialized in Staten Island's historic architecture. Together with Dr. Shirley Lavin, he directed a comprehensive survey of historic architecture and presented a major exhibition and publication entitled Staten Island: An Architectural History. He is the founder and first president of the Preservation League of Staten Island.

Shepherd spent many years researching the history of Sailors' Snug Harbor and, in 1979, authored the book Sailors' Snug Harbor: 1801-1979. He is currently the Executive Director of the Staten Island Historical Society where he has worked since 1981. He has been recognized by the Staten Island's Belle-Lettres Society, the New York City Parks Council, Borough Hall, the American Legion of Richmond County and as "New Yorker of the Week" by NYI News.
In recent years, Shepherd has written papers and lectured on Daniel D. Tompkins, and in May 1995 curated an exhibition, "Daniel D. Tompkin," (a former Vice President of the United States), in the Historical Museum at Historic Richmond Town.

Michael Russ & Michael Sirotta - Achievement in the Arts & Humanities
Michael Russ and Michael Sirotta work with the New York City Park Department's "Kids on Stage" program.
Michael Sirotta has composed, directed and performed music for concerts and theatrical productions around the globe. His position as musical director and administrator for "Kids on Stage" has allowed him to work with hundreds of youngsters on the techniques of musical theater and general voice skills. He has arranged or composed all of the music for the "Kids on Stage" shows, which have included opera, operetta, musical comedy, and musical revues. He has been with the program since its inception fifteen years ago.

Michael Russ has been featured in regional theater, TV, film, and currently as a performer in the off-off-Broadway show "Luck of the Draw: A Fully Improvised Musical in Two Acts." He has been working with "Kids on Stage" for the past two years as its drama director. Since joining the program, he has set a particularly ambitious agenda - directing "The Mikado", "What the Moon Saw" (which he wrote and directed), and "Little Shop of Horrors".
This spring, "Kids" will tackle "A Midsummer Night's Dream". The program's young participants are particularly eager. Children eager to perform Shakespeare???? What a fitting celebration of the diligence, dedication) and enthusiasm put forth by both Sirotta and Russ and their young students.

Eva Lazar Gabriel & Robert Gabriel - Esther Dean Service to the Community
The Esther Dean Service to the Community Awardees Eva and Robert Gabriel, are known for their delightful philanthropic performances throughout Staten Island. Sharing their love of music and theater, the Gabriels have given concerts in the Island's churches, cultural institutions, nursing homes, AARP and friendship clubs and schools where they link American history with music and costumes of different eras.

Eva, who was born and raised in Budapest, Hungary, met Bob, a native New Yorker, in 1978 when he began studying voice with her. He continues to pursue a very successful acting career. She has taught music at Wagner College and opened her own vocal studio, where she continues to establish a number of scholarships for students with financial hardships. They have performed together for over twenty years.
All of the Gabriel's performances have been done entirely at the couple's own expense, this includes the cost of designing and mailing promotional materials as well as the time and effort it takes for extensive research and rehearsal. Why? Eva sums up the couple's philosophy by saying "America has been so good to me. I simply wish to give something back."

Turk Van Lake - Achievement in the Arts
Achievement in the Arts Awardee, Turk Van Lake (Vanig Rupen Hovsepian) was born in Boston and moved to Staten Island in 1926. He attended Stuyvesant and Tottenville High Schools - graduating in 1937.

He began his professional musical career in 1939. During the following years, he toured, played, recorded, arranged and/or composed with the Teddy Powell, Hudson-Delange, Georgie Auld, Sam Donahue, Charlie Barnet, Count Basie, Benny Goodman, Lionel Hampton, Les and Larry Elgart, and Buddy Rich Orchestras. He has been placed in various jazz polls as well as the 1946 Esquire Jazz Yearbook. Van Lake is not merely a Staten Island treasure, nor simply an American legend. For his lifetime of achievement as a performer, composer, arranger, and teacher, he has also been entered into the Grove's Dictionary of Music and the Encyclopedia of Jazz, among other internationally recognized volumes of music and musicians.
Van Lake studied composition with Karl Weigl and Alan Hovhaness at the Boston Conservatory and later with John Cage. In 1953, he formed his own quartet. He joined CSI in 1971 (known then as Staten Island Community College) as an Adjunct Assistant Professor, where he served as an inspiration and walking "History of Jazz" to many students and fledgling musicians until his retirement in 1993. In 1994, the Staten Island Chamber Music Players Jazz Quartet performed "Salute to Turk Van Lake" in his honor. He has devoted subsequent years to creating musical composition and writing a college textbook on jazz history.

Pat Passlof - Achievement in the Arts
Achievement in the Arts recipient, Pat Passlof, brings to her students of painting and drawing at the College of Staten Island, a talent and ability fine tuned by years of study and exhibition. The Brunswick, Georgia native, and New York City resident, began her distinguished painting career in 1948 when, at Black Mountain College, she met the yet-to-be-famous Willem DeKooning. Shortly thereafter, she began private study in New York under his tutelage, while enjoying the company of many legendary artists, known internationally as the Abstract Expressionists. Ms. Passlof was a member of "The Club" along with such luminaries as Jackson Pollock, Franz Kline and Robert Motherwell.

Ms. Passlof has been well received in exhibition for more than forty years and reviewed in the New York Times, Art in America and numerous other art publications and textbooks. Her recent achievements include a 1999 Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship Grant, the 2000 Award of Merit for Painting from the American Academy of Ms and Letters, and a successful exhibition. at the Elizabeth Harris Gallery that was accompanied by a catalog overview by the art historian, Karen Wilken.
In recommending Ms. Passlof for the Achievement in the Arts Award, College of Staten Island Professor Craig Manister said, "I could not hold Pat Passlof in any higher esteem than I already do as a painter and teacher". In addition to painting arid teaching, Ms. Passlof has written for the ArtJournal, The painter's Series (Green Hill Center for North Carolina Art) and Artforum.

Brian Kurt Rehr - Esther Dean Service to the Community
The Esther Dean Service to the Community Award is presented to an individual or group, not necessarily arts practitioners, but more appropriately, arts supporters who've made contributions that greatly benefit Staten Island cultural community. The award is named to honor Esther Dean who by her long-term, active participation in 22 community organizations, many of them cultural, sets a standard for commitment and volunteerism that others aim to emulate. Brian Kurt Rehr is a worthy recipient of this year's Esther Dean service to the Community Award. For the past fifteen years, the Staten Island cultural community has been the fortunate recipient of Mr. Rehr' s dedication and professionalism.

Many know Brian Rehr best as for his work at Snug Harbor Cultural Center. This award is given however, for all the activities that many know little about. He has served as advisor and production consultant to the Curtis Guitar Ensemble, assisting the group in fund raising for travel expenses to out-of-town events and master classes. He has produced two Jazz Summits that allowed professional jazz musicians to work with music students. He has served as a marketing consultant to the Staten Island Chamber Music Players. In 1998 he produced a community concert of six local contemporary Christian musical ensembles entitled "Joyful Noise". Because of his commitment to activities like these, Mr. Rehr was honored by Assemblyman Robert Straniere in May 2000 for his support of arts-in-education. In nominating Mr. Rehr for the Esther Dean Service to the Community Award, Georgina DiMauro; Director of the Staten; Island Chamber Music Players cited Rehr as a person "who does not have tunnel vision". She says, "It is refreshing to work with a person who comes to a community and finds out what goes on behind the scenes. He keeps up with what's going on in the community, not just what is on his desk."

Stephen Fiala, James Oddo & Jay O'Donovan - Service to COAHSI
Since its inception COAHSI has received base-line funding each year in the annual New York City budget. This relatively small line of $22,000 was supplemented each year by discretionary grants from Staten Island Borough President Guy Molinari and our three City Council representatives. While these funds allowed COAHSI to get its first programming in place, the limited baseline prevented COAHSI from making long-range plans for significant services and larger projects that would prove very beneficial to the people of Staten Island. In addition, the baseline provided for Staten Island's arts council was far smaller than any provided for other borough's arts councils creating a gross inequity. Having proven itself a valuable part of Staten Island's cultural community, COAHSI, with the encouragement of the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, turned to our three City Council representatives for guidance in leading COAHSI through the byzantine City budget process. It is not easy to represent Staten Island when there are only 3 representatives compared to the far greater numbers from other boroughs. We knew from the start we were facing an uphill battle. But by diligently working together our Councilmen came through for the future of the arts and culture on Staten Island. The coordinated efforts of Councilmen Fiala, Oddo and O'Donovan, working both sides of the aisle in City Hall to secure a substantial increase to COAHSl's baseline funding is a brilliant example of bi-partisanship to achieve important shared community goals. An increased line item allows COAHSI to take on larger projects that serve our community. For instance, this increased funding insured the future of the COAHSI VISIT Center in Whitehall Ferry Terminal allowing us a starting point to encourage riders of the world famous Staten Island Ferry to spend more time seeing the sites on Staten Island. Thanks for working together on our behalf Councilmen!

Since 1997, Council Member Stephen J. Fiala has served the 51st District. He is the first City Council Member to provide every school in his district with discretionary money for library books and learning equipment. He was the first Island official and first elected official in the city to oppose the Board of Education's Capital Plan that failed to provide for new schools on Staten Island. He was the first to fund a scientific study on autism on Staten Island. He has authored the "No Standees on School Buses" Bill and urged the State to pass this essential child safety law. He is a strong advocate for public libraries and senior issues. Councilman Fiala is a ranking member of the Consumer Affairs Committee and a prime co-sponsor of tougher laws governing tobacco sales to minors.

Previous to his election in 1999 to represent the 50th District, Council Member James S. Oddo worked as Legal Counsel to former Council Minority Whip, John A. Fusco and Council Minority Leader, Thomas V. Ognibene. Council Member Oddo has served on the Census 2000 Subcommittee and was selected by Speaker Vallone for the new Select Committee on Police Performance and Community Relations. He is also a member of the Women's and Health Committees of the City Council. Council Member Oddo is active in preservation and the environment, seeking the input of the academic community to assess the value of saving Staten Island's abandoned Farm Colony. Working with Congressman Fossella, he is exploring the future of 110 acres of wetlands in Ocean Breeze as a possible recreation and protected natural site. A native Staten Islander, Council Member Oddo is a graduate of Fordham University and New York Law School.

Jerome X. O'Donovan has been the City Council Member representing the 49th District since 1986. He has served as the Chair of the Council's Economic Development Committee and is a member of the Council's Land Use, Finance and Rules, Privileges and Elections Committees. Council Member O'Donovan has sponsored major legislation concerning proper disposal of medical waste, tax exemptions for veterans and graffiti materials. 1brough the Economic Development Committee he has spearheaded an expansion of the Industrial and Commercial Incentive and Economic Development Zone Programs. Council Member O'Donovan is a graduate of New Dorp High School, Marshall University and Oklahoma Law School. He was awarded two Bronze Stars and the Cross of Gallantry with Silver Star during his service as a Captain in the Marine Corps during the Vietnam War. He lives in Dongan Hills with wife Vita and daughter Keri.

Staten Island Advance - Achievement in the Humanities
The Achievement in the Humanities Award is given to the Staten Island Advance for its exemplary leadership in the field of the humanities and its contribution through the humanities to our community's intellectual and cultural life. The humanities such as history, philosophy, and literature - shape our daily lives and help us make sense of the world. No clearer example of this can be found in our community than the Staten Island Advance. Its pursuit of thoughtful journalism creates a vehicle that members of our community turn to each day to learn about what are neighbors are thinking and doing - next door and around the world.
Two issues in particular from the past year come to mind that demonstrate the Staten Island Advance's leadership in engaging Staten Islanders in community dialogue. Last year a photo exhibit in Manhattan created controversy when it displayed images of lynched African Americans in the South during the first half of the 20th century. Newspapers that ran photos promoting the exhibition received criticism for placing such disturbing and violent images on peoples' breakfast tables. The Staten Island Advance, under Brian Laline's leadership encouraged dialogue about the subject matter of the exhibition and the appropriateness of running pictures of the victims of lynchings, a historic fact over the course of a few days. Sensing they had touched a nerve they conducted a person-in-the-street interview with Staten Islanders with interesting, thought-provoking results.
Group homes for Staten Islanders with disabilities was another recent instance where the Advance identified a flashpoint for community dialogue. The Advance committed space and staff talent to explore the people behind the issues, gave a face to statistics, and made it harder to for anyone to make decisions about siting group homes in neighborhoods based on assumptions rather than truth. With compassion for all sides of the controversy, the Advance helped shape the way Staten Islanders will approach this important issue in the future.
The following thumbnail history of the Staten Island Advance is excerpted from an article by Claire M. Regan:
"The year was 1886. In a wooden shack at 72 Broadway, in West Brighton, printer John Crawford was turning out 150 copies of the Richmond County Advance every Saturday morning. Today the Advance is thriving daily with more than 400 employees and 5tate-of-the-art-technology. It is the flagship of the Newhouse Newspaper group, which has newspapers in 22 cities across the coun1ry. One hundred and fifteen years since its humble beginnings in West Brighton, the Advance continues the same commitment to its readers pledged by John C. Crawford and carried forward by Samuel I. Newhouse and his nephew Richard E. Diamond.
As a community newspaper, the Advance is dedicated to covering the issues that affect more than 250,000 readers and considers its role as a good neighbor very seriously. In addition to its a continued focus on and support for arts and culture, the Advance also recognizes the accomplishments and talents of Staten Island's young people, lauds the men and women who are Staten Island's Bravest and Finest with its Police and Firefighter of the Month Programs and is a supporter of many annual community events such as the Richmond County Fair, the four-mile Memorial Day Run and First Night Staten Island."

Noble Crew - Achievement in the Arts & Humanities
COAHSI Achievement in the Arts & Humanities is given, in the finest sense of the word, to the people - private citizens, seniors, teenagers and area businesses, both large and small, that came together to form the "Noble Crew". The coalition began eight years ago on March 31, 1993 with the dream of creating a "state of the art" museum that would house the John A. Noble Maritime Collection at Snug Harbor Cultural Center.
Towards that end, the Noble Crew contributed more than $1 million in labor, materials and support toward transforming Building D. In a series of weekend Crew dates, volunteers removed four 20-yard dumpsters worth of debris, renovated many areas, prepared others for major renovations, cleaned, helped design exhibitions, built museum furnishings, and managed their efforts with regular volunteer assistance in the museum office.

Long-time Noble Crew member, Martha Keucher, who witnessed the work in progress almost every week since 1992, observed, that as the renovation of building D continued, it got harder to remember what the site looked like back in 1993. She thought it important to leave a part of the building in its original state. John Santore, the unofficial captain of the Crew, echoed Martha's sentiments and those of many people, who had watched the building's transformation. He suggested a simple exhibition commemorating the Noble Crew's work for the past fifteen years.
Room 311, an un-restored room on that floor, was left "as is". The lathe is still exposed in the ceiling and the old wiring and lamps, cracked plaster walls, roughly painted floor remain. Sculpted figures of people scraping, painting, sweeping, and hauling plaster are set in the room. In the third floor corridor an exhibition about the Nobel Crew, "before and after" photographs of Building D and articles from the Staten Island Advance, detailing the 8 year effort are displayed. In addition to showing its gratitude to the Noble Crew, the museum has listed the donors who contributed goods and services to the crew effort.
Much work remains for the Noble Crew, even though the Noble Maritime Collection is open to the public. Their original challenge - making Building D useful and gracious again has been met. Today they look forward to restoring John A. Noble's famous houseboat studio and to further work to improve the historic Snug Harbor site.

Vernon Reid - Achievement in the Arts
Vernon Reid, a New Brighton resident is an internationally acclaimed composer and musician. In the 1980's Mr. Reid was a member of the rock group Living Colour, a group that sold 4 million records worldwide and received many awards including 2, Grammy Awards and 2 MTV Music Video Awards. Last year the band conducted a long-awaited and successful reunion tour. With journalist Greg Tate, Mr. Reid formed the Black Rock Coalition. He has composed music for the films "Fresh Kill" and "Johnny Nmemonic" as well as music for dance pieces by Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company and Gabri Christa (Vernon's wife). Vernon Reid has appeared as a guest guitarist with B.B. King, The Ramones, Mariah Carey, Mick Jagger, Carlos Santana and Tracy Chapman. He has produced a number of other important solo projects, including the record "Mistaken Identity" and a multi-media presentation, "My Science Project" which debuted at the Knitting Factory. Mr. Reid has always conducted his artistic career with a social conscience; participating in events such as Farm AID. In 2000, images of Sierra Leone terrorism victims who had their limbs amputated, moved Mr. Reid to organize the Healing Hand Percussion Circle. We are privileged to have Mr. Reid as our neighbor and as our 2002 COAHSI Achievement on the Arts Award recipient.

Nicholas Dmytryszyn - Achievement in the Arts & Humanities
Nicholas Dmytryszyn, P.E. is Environmental Engineer to Staten Island Borough President James P. Molinaro. In this capacity he investigates, analyzes and reports on environmental issues that impact Staten Island. Mr. Dmytryszyn has been particularly involved with the closure of the Fresh Kills Landfill and the municipal response to the West Nile virus outbreak. He earned his MA in Art history in 1999. After many years of neglect the Borough Hall Centennial Restoration Corporation was formed to bring about the restoration with a combination of public and private funding. With the support and cooperation of then Borough President Guy Molinari and current B.P. James Molinaro, Mr. Dmytryszyn supervised the historic restoration and conservation of the entire first floor of Staten Island's Borough Hall. Borough Hall was designed by architects Carrere & Hastings and completed in 1906. The restoration includes murals painted by Fredrick Charles Stahr and low-relief sculptures created by Salvatore Morani as part of the WPA project. A tremendous amount of work beyond the scope of Mr. Dmytryszyn's duties was required to complete this remarkable transformation. He was and remains committed to giving something back to the people of Staten Island. Make a point of visiting Borough Hall soon, if you haven't already to see the restoration made possible by our 2002 COAHSI Arts and Humanities Award recipient.

Numa Saisselin - Esther Dean Service to the Community
Named for the beloved long-time community activist and arts patron Esther Dean, this award is presented to an individual or group who have made contributions that greatly benefit Staten Island and its cultural community. This year's award is presented to Numa Saisselin on behalf of the hundreds of artists, back stage crews and support staff members who participated in the past November's Straight from the Arts benefit for the Staten Island September 11 Fund, Inc. "Straight from the Arts" was a cooperative response by the Staten Island cultural community to the events of September 11, 2001. In just 65 days, the cultural community organized and executed a 3 day marathon of benefit performances over the Thanksgiving weekend beginning on November 23rd. Over 20 performances of jazz, poetry, blues, rock, symphonic music, chamber music, theater, dance and folk music were presentedin 7 venues including The CSI Center for the Arts, Snug Harbor Cultural Center, Staten Island Children's Museum, Muddy Cup Coffee House, Dock Street Bar & Grill, Cargo Cafe, and the Bohemian Cafe. In addition an exhibition by visual artists was presented at the Art Lab. Each of the venues donated their space and equipment. Richmond County Savings Foundation and the SI Bank & Trust Foundation funded the cost of printing and distributing 100,000 flyers. Literally hundreds of performers, artists, stagehands, ushers, box office representatives, artistic directors and public relations and marketing personnel donated their labor as well. The result was a cost free effort that raised $20,000, which was donated to the Staten Island September 11th Fund, Inc. Mr. Saisselin was asked to accept this award on behalf of all the individuals involved in "Straight from the Arts" because he spearheaded the event and propelled it along with his passionate belief that the arts are a way to bring the community together and heal the spirit. Mr. Saisselin, a St. George resident is the CEO of the Count Basie Theater in Redbank, New Jersey. At the time, however, he was Managing and Artistic Director of the CSI Center for the Arts. He recognized from the outset that the arts community is traditionally generous and that there needed to be a venue to channel the arts community's energy in response to September 11th.

Burt Orden - Service to COAHSI
The Service to COAHSI Award is presented each year to an individual or group that has assisted COAHSI's growth and development over past year. This year's recipient, energetic octogenarian Burt Orden has assisted not only COAHSI but over 80 other Staten Island arts groups and cultural organizations through his committed volunteer work at COAHSl's VISIT Center in Whitehall Ferry Terminal. Mr. Orden has had a varied career beginning his working life as an office boy. During WWII he was a radio operator and ECM technician in the Air Corps. After the War, electronics became his focus. He eventually concentrated his efforts in respiratory care and is a Fellow of the New York Academy of Medicine. He was married to the late Sue Cronsberg Orden for 64 years. He recently established the Lambent House, an interfaith center in Stapleton, with his daughter, Renee-Noelle Felice. Burt has been a volunteer instructor and vice-president of Rehabilitation Through Photography since 1986. It is his commitment to the cultural life of our community that infuses his work at the COAHSI VISIT Center with an infectious enthusiasm that is sure to encourage others to visit Staten Island sites and participate in the many activities we have to offer. COAHSI relies on Burt's diligence and dependability. He expands COAHSI's ability to serve our community and promote the arts and culture.

Betsy Dubovsky - Special Recognition

As Executive Director of the SI Ba1k & Trust Foundation, Betsy Dubovsky has a unique vantage point on the non-profit organizations and individuals that serve Staten Island. Post September 11th and the subsequent economic down-turn, Ms. Dubovsky recognized that while the need for the services provided by Staten Island's non-profit community had never been greater, various forms of public and private funding would be cut back or eliminated in the year ahead. Ms. Dubovsky requested the SI Bank & Trust Foundation to create the SI Bank & Trust Non-Profit Emergency Matching Fund Grant Program which provided a total of $670,000 to 35 groups to help address emergency financia1 needs as a result of September 11th and challenged these groups and their supporters to raise matching funds. The arts and cultural groups designated for these funds include: Friends of the Alice Austen House, CSI Center for the Arts, COAHSI, Greenbelt Conservancy, Jacques Marchais Museum of Tibetan Art, National Lighthouse Museum, Noble Maritime Collection, Staten Island Botanical Garden, Staten Island Children's Museum, Staten Island Symphony, Snug Harbor Cultural Center, Staten Island Historical Society, and the Staten Island Zoo. Many individuals responded to this challenge program, donating money to the organization of their choice. For example, Mrs. Jean Smith, wife of Dr. William Smith, saw the announcement of the grant program in the COAHSI newsletter, and sent a donation to all of the organizations listed there. We wish to thank Betsy for acknowledging the community's needs and taking action.

Barbara Beyar - Achievement in Arts & Humanities
Barbara Beyar is an artist, Special Education teacher and native Staten Islander that has participated in group shows at the Art Lab, Snug Harbor and the SIIAS Biennial Exhibition. In 1997, she won a 2nd place award in the Living with AIDS art show at the Art Lab. Her artwork consists mainly of figurative and realistic paintings and monotypes of landscapes and portraits. Many of these works have chronicled the history of Staten Island by recreating old time photos of her ancestors into large colorized oil paintings. In June 2002, she had an art opening for her 14 x 2' mural of historic homes of Staten Island that was permanently installed at the private home of the O'Shaughnessy family in Tottenville.
Ms. Beyar was awarded a one year sabbatical for the 2002-2003 school year to complete an art project. The project invited all Staten Island Public High School art students to participate in an arts project for her school Participants completed large-scale trompe l'oeil paintings that were installed last June on the outside of the window facades at PS 37 in Great Kills. She was fortunate to enlist the help of local businesses and individuals to sponsor the expenses for this beautification plan. The sixty student artists that participated received letters of community service and gift certificates to purchase art supplies.
For her endless dedication, we honor Barbara Beyar with the Achievement in the Arts & Humanities Award.

Moirelle A. Braithwaite - Achievement in the Arts & Humanities
Moirelle A. Braithwaite, or "Nubia" as she is known by her friends, started dancing at the age of seven. She danced on and off throughout her youthful years. It wasn't until she enrolled in Staten Island Community College that she began to realize her true potential and her possibility of becoming a real dancer. Nubia became a part of the College dance ensemble and went on to dance at Dance Theater of Harlem, Harlem School of the Arts, Clark Center for the Performing Arts, New Dance Group Studios, The Charles Moore Dance School, The Nanette Bearden Contemporary Dance Theater and others. Nubia danced and taught for many years with the Staten Island-based Universal Temple of the Arts and has danced with their company On The Rock Dancers. Nubia has had the opportunity to dance at Madison Square Garden, Lincoln Center, The United Nations for Haitian Independence Day, The Brooklyn Academy of Music and has traveled to Montreal Canada.
In 1991, she became the head of Children's Dance Program for the Parks and Recreation Department at Cromwell Center, and was the choreographer for the children's theater group KIDS ON STAGE.
In 1998, Nubia began working with Project Arts for Creative Education Systems. Through this program she was able to visit many schools and meet countless students. Project Arts was a very fulfilling experience. She will continue to use the techniques learned with Creative Educational System while employed with the Department of Education and PAL.
For her wonderful achievements, we honor Moirelle "Nubia" Braithwaite with the Achievement in the Arts & Humanities Award.

Gregg Breinberg - Achievement in the Arts & Humanities
Gregg Breinberg is a music teacher at PS 22 in Staten Island. Leading a chorus of fifth graders, Mr. Breinberg has taken his group to sing their 2nd and 3rd part harmonies at various functions, hospitals, and special events. He has co-scripted and co-directed two award-winning original musical productions with PS 22's science teacher, Mrs. Leslie Johnson. One of the aforementioned productions was a movie/documentary/musical on September 11th with Mrs. Johnson and Mrs. Jeanne Burns.
Under Mr. Breinberg's direction, the PS 22 chorus performed at the world-famous Copacabana, and also had the opportunity to sing their beautiful harmonies with singer/radio personality Judy Torres. In October 2002, the chorus performed selections for Mayor Bloomberg at City Hall.
Mr. Breinberg received a Bachelor's degree from SUNY New Paltz in music theory and composition, and a Masters degree in elementary education from Wagner College. He was a member of his college choir for 3 years. He has also taught piano and guitar lessons privately, worked as a music specialist for 9 years at a day camp, and has entertained as a musical clown. He has played at bars, clubs, and parties for the past 10 years, and continues to do so as time permits.
For his tremendous passion for teaching Staten Island youth, we honor Gregg Breinberg with the Achievement in the Arts & Humanities Award.

Maria Fiorelli - Achievement in the Arts & Humanities
Maria Fiorelli is currently the Vice President for Education for the Staten Island Institute of Arts and Sciences where she supervises the Lifelong Learning Department and the Curriculum Based Educational Department. She is responsible for design and implementation of all educational programs using SIlAS's collections.
During her career at SIIAS, Ms. Fiorelli has created far-ranging educational programs for children and adults, as wells co-circular and cultural presentations including lectures, tours courses, seminars and related activities. From 1988 to 1991, she was the Assistant Director for Programs and had full control of educational arts and science programs, and from 1984 to 1988, she was the Curator of Education.
Ms. Fiorelli spent many years teaching with the New York City Board of Education. She taught all subjects in third, fourth and fifth grades at PS 15 and PS 16 in Staten Island. She later taught at The Learning Center at the Jewish Community Center and at St. John's University in the School of Continuing Education.
Her professional memberships include the Association for Supervision and Curriculum development, Friend of Sciences, The New York City Museum Educators Roundtables, The Museum Council of New York City, and The Council for Arts and Humanities for Staten Island as a board member.
Her academic experience includes a Bachelor of Arts in Biology with an Education minor from Hunter College and a Master of Science in Administration and Supervision from St. John's University.
For her ability to share knowledge and promote creativity, we honor Maria Fiorelli with the Achievement in the Arts & Humanities Award.
In May 2004, Ms. Fiorelli was the Staten Island Reading Association's 2004 Literacy Advocate Award recipient.

Dorothy Wludyka Matthews - Achievement in the Arts & Humanities
Mrs. Matthews came to Staten Island when she married E.J. Matthews, M.D. She later started a general music program for Kindergarten through eighth grade at Our Lady Help of Christians, which was at that time a non-singing parish.
Born in Irvington, New Jersey, Dorothy Wludyka Matthews sang church choir as a young girl and took piano and voice lessons through college. She attended Chestnut Hill College in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She received her M.D. from Woman's Medical College of Pennsylvania in 1958 and became t the first female General Practitioner in Hunterdon County, New Jersey.
In 1991, Mrs. Matthews joined the Richmond Choral Society and became a board member of the Chamber Music Players of Staten Island in 1998. She also became a member of the board of the Riverside Opera Company, Inc. Currently, Mrs. Matthews is president of the Riverside Opera board.
Mrs. Matthews was the soprano section leader of Richmond Choral Society for several years and currently chairs the subcommittee for their new youth chorus.
During her career, she has probably taught 230 children, many for nine consecutive years. Mrs. Matthews had the joy of helping one or two classes enrich the liturgy of the morning mass they attended with singing daily. During that time she had the exciting pleasure to see about a dozen of her students be accepted into the Catholic Archdiocese Children's Choir that sang at Central Park for Pope John Paul II when he visited in October 1995.
For her delight and enthusiasm for teaching, we honor Dorothy Wludyka Matthews with the Achievement in the Arts & Humanities Award.

Ray Scro - Achievement in the Arts & Humanities
Ray Scro was born on Staten Island and grew up in Elm Park. He graduated from Port Richmond High School, received his BA in music from Empire State College, SUNY, and his MS in Multicultural Education from the College of Mount Saint Vincent.
Mr. Scro's musical studies began at the age of 8 with Marlin Wright on clarinet, saxophone and flute. He studied jazz with Lee Konitz, George Coleman, Bob Mover and Mike Garson.
He has performed with the Turk Van Lake Orchestra, the Chico Mendoza Latin Jazz Orchestra, and as a guest soloist with Staten Island chamber Music Players' Jazz Quartet. Currently Mr. Scro is performing with the Ray Scro Jazz Quartet, the Mike Morrealel Ray Scro Big Band, " This Old House" Blues Band, and the Cocoa Soave Latin Jazz Band.
Mr. Scro is the founder and Educational Director of the Staten Island Jazz Workshop, as well as the Coordinator of the Performing Arts Department at Curtis High School.
For his exceptional commitment to enriching the lives of Staten Island school children, we honor Ray Scro with the Achievement in the Arts & Humanities Award.

Barbara Valenta - Achievement in the Arts & Humanities
Barbara Valenta had created a legacy of imaginative and innovative art in her lifetime. Born in Manhattan, she moved as a child to Connecticut, where her love for watercolors began. She became the youngest member ever of the American Watercolor Society. Mrs. Valenta later moved to Los Alamos, New Mexico where she met her husband Milton Valenta and began a series of kite-like wall hangings, suggestive of flight.
She received widespread praise for her work, especially for her powerful expression of the strength and efficiency of the external combustion engine. Mrs. Valenta also won an international sculpturing contest honoring the 1O0th birthday of the automotive pioneer F. Porsche. She settled in West Brighton in 1984 and began her involvement with teaching.
Mrs. Valenta always drew on her passion and empowered originality. She recognized her work as "constant interplay between logic and intuition, the expansive and the measured, the practical and the transcendent. These are not only questions about art, but about life. They come from an inner necessity, not a premeditated logic. They are not cool."
Barbara Valenta passed away on August 5, 2003. For her true inspiration and her outstanding contributions, we honor the memory of Barbara Valenta with the Achievement in the Arts & Humanities Award.

Arthur Webb, Jr. - Achievement in the Arts & Humanities
Arthur Webb, Jr. is a graduate of the Philadelphia Musical Academy and Temple University Teacher's College following his release from the army. Mr. Webb holds a New York Board of Education common branches license.
He has taught academic subjects and music in public elementary and junior high schools in New York City. Mr. Webb has taught third through sixth grades. He played the piano for assemblies and graduation exercises. He directed parents, teachers and students in a production of "Hello Dolly." Mr. Webb participated in Title 1 to assist Catholic schools and was a demonstration teacher for students at Wagner College while teaching at PS 14 in the late 1970's. Principals and colleagues have praised him for his art work and music instruction.
As a former member of the Radio City Music Hall Chorale, Mr. Webb sang and acted in over 350 performances and toured the country and Canada singing classical songs and opera under Columbia Management.
On Staten Island, Mr. Webb was a soloist for the Richmond County Chorale Society. Presently, he teaches piano and song flute in the Universal Temple for the Arts and is the director of the Arthur Webb Chorale and Willowbrook Park Baptist Church Chorale Group, while still funding time to volunteer as a pianist or director for church and community groups.
For his extraordinary devotion and enthusiasm, we honor Arthur Webb, Jr. with the Achievement in the Arts & Humanities Award.

Ten Penny Players - Achievement in the Arts & Humanities
Since moving to Stapleton on Staten Island in 1989, Ten Penny Players has brought poetry and small press publishing into the lives of thousands of Staten Islanders. From 1990-1999 Ten Penny Players originated and organized the Bibliomania program on Staten Island. Public and parochial elementary, middle, and high school students contributed poetry, which Ten Penny Players selected, formatted, and published.
Ten Penny Players is the lead arts partner for the Austin H. MacCormick Island Academy on Rikers Island, the New York City Vocational Training Center (with four sites on Staten Island including one at the College of Staten Island), and the New Visions High School for Contemporary Arts in the Bronx. Ten Penny Players coordinates the Consortium for Alternative Literacy, which is a city wide network of schools and arts agencies.
In April 2003, Barbara G. Fisher and Richard A. Spiegel, co-directors of Ten Penny Players, were the recipients of the 2003 Association of Teaching Artists' Teaching Artist Distinguished Service to the Arts in Education Field Award. Only the year before, they were presented with an award for "Dedication, Commitment, and Service" by the New York City Superintendency of Alternative, Adult, and Continuing Education Schools and Programs.
Although Ten Penny Players began as a children's theater in 1967, since 1978 they have been primarily an Arts in Education program. Their emphasis has been to bring poetry and small press publishing, but also bring visual art, puppetry, dance, and music to all students including the disabled and institutionalized.
For their remarkable mission, we honor Ten Penny Players with the Achievement in the Arts & Humanities Award.

Robert Palumbo - Achievement in the Arts & Humanities
Robert Palumbo is a native Staten Islander whose love for teaching runs deep. He is a graduate of Wagner College for his undergraduate degree, St. Johns for his graduate degree and the College of Staten Island for his administrative degree.
Mr. Palumbo began teaching at PS 44 on Staten Island in 1988. From initiating a school chorus to coordinating the Big Apple Game, Mr. Palumbo has remained dedicated to his students. In 1995, he was published in the Who's Who Among Teachers and was recognized as a District 31 Distinguished Teacher. Mr. Palumbo moved on to become Assistant Principal of PS 44 and was awarded the SI Advance N.I.E. Program Leadership Award, as well as the Merit Bonus by the NYC Department of Education and the NY State Assembly Citation as an "Outstanding Citizen."
For his exceptional dedication to Staten Island youth, we honor Robert Palumbo with the Achievement in the Arts & Humanities Award.

Nancy Shankman - Achievement in the Arts & Humanities
As Deputy Senior Instructional Manager/Director of Music for the New York City Department of Education, Nancy Shankman brings to students, teachers, administrators and parents the benefit of her many years of experience as a musician, educator and outspoken advocate for quality arts education. She served as director of Creative and Performing Arts for Bronx High Schools Assistant Principal at Columbus High School and Arts Coordinator for Community School District 7.
Mrs. Shankman is recipient of the Mayor's Very Special Arts Award, New York Daily News Principals Pride in Music Award, Bronx Supervisor of the Year Award anti the Charles Marshall Robertson Memorial Award. In April, 2001, she was recognized by the Bronx Museum of the Arts for her outstanding contributions to Bronx schools, and was honored by the Music Educators Association (MEANYC) of New York City in March 2002. She was one of the founders of MEANYC and chair of the Urban Schools Committee of the New York State School Music Association. During the seventies, Mrs. Shankman served on the Staten Island Council on the Arts and in April of 2003, she was honored by the Association for Supervisions and Curriculum Development.
Mrs. Shankman has performed in regional and repertory musical theatre throughout the East Coast. She serves as the conductor of the Department of Education Chorus and is committed to the philosophy that "arts education is a birthright, not a privilege" and belongs to every child in our public schools.
For her magnificent involvement with the youth of Staten Island, we honor Nancy Shankman with the Achievement in the Arts & Humanities Award.

Marjorie Decker Johnson - Achievement in the Humanities
Marjorie Decker Johnson was born in 1925 in Port Richmond. She attended PS 20, was a graduate of Port Richmond HS, class of 1942 and attended Wagner College and NYU, graduating in 1947. COAHSI's Achievement in the Humanities awards joins the many recognitions of Ms. Johnson's lifetime of contributions to our community, including the 1990 Staten Island Advance Woman of Achievement Award. It is impossible in this small space to adequately describe all of her achievements and contributions in the area of local history and preservation.
During WWII she worked in the drafting room of Bethlehem Steel Shipyard where destroyers were built and was later transferred to the company laboratory. For the next ten years she worked at labs on Staten Island and in NYC. She married Edward Johnson, also a life long Islander in 1952 after meeting him as a member of the Staten Island Table Tennis League. Mr. Johnson passed away in 1971. She is the mother of 4 children: Ned, Thomas, Jonathan and Kimberly (Mrs. Robert Donahue) and is the grandmother of 5 boys and 1 girl.
Her introduction to the Staten Island Historical Society began with her research into her own ancestry; her ancestors came to Staten Island in 1691. From 1977 to the present she has been a volunteer aide in the library of the Staten Island Historical Society helping others to learn about their past and serves as a lecturer to the Staten Island Historical Society's Ladies Auxiliary as well as the Staten Island Institute of Arts & Sciences. She received the Loring McMillan Award from SIHS in 1991 and the 2002 Marjorie Kerr Award for curatorial support. Over the years she has written and contributed to many publications on local history. Since 1998 she has worked with James Ferreri on the Staten Island Advance column, "Past, Present, and Future".
In 1981 she obtained New York City Landmark designation for her father's former home, the Poillon-Seguine-Britton home in Great Kills. She has been a Board Member of the Preservation League of Staten Island from 1984 till the present, receiving their award in 2001. During the 1980s she contributed to the exhibits about E.A. Sargent and local artist Alice Sargent Johnson, daughter of Fredrick Law Olmstead at the SIIAS. She has offered lectures on Staten Island cemeteries and is a member and Treasurer of the Friends of Abandoned Cemeteries. She has conducted tours of Staten Island neighborhoods such as Rosebank, Travis, Westerleigh and Tottenville.
COAHSI makes this Achievement in the Humanities Award to Marjorie Decker Johnson for a lifetime of working to educate Staten Islanders about their rich heritage and to preserve the most worthy aspects of this heritage. Ms. Johnson's work is an essential tool in Staten Island's fight against overdevelopment and for that we express our heartfelt appreciation.

Betty Miller - Achievement in the Arts
Betty Miller, originally from Manhattan, has been a resident and performer on Staten Island since the early seventies. She is fondly referred to by many as Staten Island's own "Sweetest Diva." Like many of the great jazz singers, Ms. Miller got her early training in church. Initially self-taught, she later enrolled at New York University where she became the first jazz vocalist to be featured with the NYU jazz ensemble, led by clarinet virtuoso Jimmy Giuffre. She then studied at the New School, polishing her craft under the tutelage of pianist/arranger Hal Schaefer. In recent years Betty has struggle with the debilitations of multiple sclerosis; her performances as strong as ever rising above the disease.
In 1999, Ms. Miller received a monetary grant from Trickle Up to subsidize the birth of Jazzling Productions, a company set up to operate business as well as artistic affairs. She has been the recipient of a number of COAHSI grants and participated in Junefest.
In addition to her performance schedule, Ms. Miller has been on the faculty of The Staten Island Conservatory of Music. Over the past few years Betty has worked with Ray Scro and the students of the Curtis High School Music Department and passed on her passion for jazz vocals to a number of lucky and talented young singers. She participates as a guest speaker and performer at various local colleges. Ms. Miller has assembled a CD of her work. She has donated her time and talent and love for music and the community to a number of worthy causes, most significantly The Staten Island AIDS Task Force.
"Betty Miller is a natural singer whose soulful voice and personal charm earn her a special place in the tradition of jazz performers. Betty's unique renditions of jazz standards conjure up smoky rooms where men and women embrace the pain and ecstasy of living and loving intensely. At once vulnerable and strong, Betty channels her passion with an intimacy that moves both her audience and fellow musicians. Like her music, Betty Miller expresses jazz as the sustenance of life." Angelo Volpe, 3/29/95
COAHSI makes this Achievement in the Arts Award to Betty in recognition of a career in the pursuit of excellence in her craft, for her desire and ability to infect others with love for jazz music and for demonstrating the ability to use music to transcend the challenges and hardship of life.

Hon. James P. Molinaro, Borough President & Masayuki Sono - Achievement in the Arts
Shortly after September 11, 2001 Borough President James Molinaro began advancing his plans to realize a fitting Memorial to Staten Islanders lost on that day as a way to offer some solace to loved ones and as a permanent message that our community would never forget their loss. He undertook the significant task of mobilizing all the necessary resources and expertise involved in pushing forward a public project. This is, of course, an area at which he has proven to be most adept over a long career of public service. But there have not been few projects for which his skills were most needed, nor does it appear to COAHSI, that have been closer to his heart than the Staten Island September 11 Memorial. From the outset, the Borough President established an ambitious time frame and has insured that the project has all of the necessary resources and has maintained a very close personal involvement. After a world-wide search that yielded nearly 200 applications, Masayuki Sono was selected as the architect for the Staten Island September 11 Memorial. COAHSI presents this very special Achievement in the Arts Award to both our Borough President and Mr. Sono to demonstrate the importance of cooperation between government and the arts to create a successful public art project.
Hon. James P. Molinaro was elected the 14th Borough President of Staten Island in November 2001. The first registered Conservative to hold borough-wide office in New York City, Mr. Molinaro has been actively involved in the closure of the Fresh Kills Landfill, which helped end 50 years of dumping garbage on Staten Island, the renaissance of South Beach and the restoration of the South Beach Boardwalk, and the creation of the Richmond County Bank Ballpark, home of the Staten Island Yankees. Borough President Molinaro's leadership has also helped create jobs and economic vitality for the Island, including the opening of the VISY Paper and the re-opening of Howland Hook, two of the borough's largest employers. Spearheaded by Mr. Molinaro's efforts new schools, much needed recreation areas for children, the addition of 1700 acres of new parkland, including Bloomingdale Park and the Bluebelt Expansion Project, and the formation of the Traffic Task Force all bring common-sense improvements to Staten Island.
Mr. Molinaro has served as political advisor to a wide range of elected officials including former US Senator Alphonse D'Amato, Surrogate Judge John Fusco, Councilman James Oddo and Congresswoman Susan Molinari, among others. He has served as campaign manager for each of Guy Molinari's runs for Congress and Staten Island Borough President. He served as Deputy Borough President for three years under Borough President Guy Molinari. Mr. Molinaro has a long record of community service to his credit, with many charitable groups benefiting from his involvements. He has served on the Board of Directors for the Veteran's Memorial Sports Complex, SI Community Television, St. Elizabeth Ann Health Care and Rehabilitation Center, and the Sisters of Charity Health Care Corporation, among others. In memory of his late wife, Carol, who passed away in 1990, Jim is very active in healthcare-related charitable works, and played a key role in the opening of Staten Island's new Heart Institute. In 2000, St. Elizabeth Ann Healthcare Center opened the James P. and Carol E. Molinaro Atrium at the Center. He is a longtime resident of the Fort Wadsworth community.
Masayuki Sono was born in 1971 in a city by the sea Kobe, Japan and spent ten years of his boyhood in Fort Lee, N.J. while his father, an engineer worked in Manhattan. Sono is an artist as well as an architect. He has been in sixty exhibitions of his work which ranges in media from watercolor to video. But since he was good at math and physics in school he chose architecture as a way to combine his skills and interests.
He received his Master of Architecture degree from the University of Seattle in 1996 and returned to Kobe to complete his Master of Architecture there in 1998. From 1998 through 2003 he has been with Voorsanger & Associates Architects in Manhattan. He participated in projects such as the renovation and addition to the Asia Society and Museum, the LaGuardia International Airport Control Tower and the WTC Site Perimeter Enclosure New York, NY. His work also includes the Ashiya Art Gallery in Hyogo, Japan, Shofu-den renovation and addition in Sullivan County, NY.
When he was made aware of the request for proposals for the Staten Island September 11 Memorial Sono began to place himself in the position of the victims and their families and to imagine what they would want. He always uses postcards to start models for his projects and so starting with a postcard for the memorial proposal was natural. In this case it became the central image for the Memorial, now called "Postcards". For Sono postcards offer a universal connection carry message of enduring love between families and friends of the victims of 9/11 and those who were lost that day. The Staten Island September 11 Memorial, dedicated on September 11, 2004 are 2 forty-foot postcards that are formed like they were folded in origami style in order to carry a personal message inside the fold. To create a fitting tribute to each life lost on 9/11 Sono designed remembrance plaques which could be seen as "commemorative stamps" on the interior walls of the Memorial which carries some simple text and a portrait in profiled silhouette. In creating these remembrance plaques, Sono worked very closely with many Staten Island families to come to a satisfactory result under very moving circumstances. Sono, and his team which included partner Lapshan Fong worked tirelessly and with inspiring commitment to have this Memorial completed and in a manner that will stand as a beautiful and lasting tribute to the Staten Islanders lost on 9/11.

Dr. Victor Mattfeld - Achievement in the Arts
Dr. Mattfeld has an outstanding record of sharing his knowledge and passion for the world's greatest music with the people of Staten Island that COAHSI recognizes with this award. Dr. Mattfeld received his Ph.D. in Music History from Yale University and has taught there as well as at the American Conservatory of Music in Chicago and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He was a professor at Richmond College, then CSI beginning in 1967. He is currently Director Emeritus, Wagner College Academy of Music.
Dr. Mattfeld has written a book on Georg Rhau's Publications for Vespers and a number of articles and reviews in such publications as Groves Dictionary of Music. He has served as Editor-in-Chief of Ione Press and E.C. Schirmer Music, Co., both in Boston. He was Music Director of Musica Sacra in Cambridge and the Camerata of the Museum of Fine Arts, also in Boston. He has served as church organist in Chicago, New Haven, Boston and New York. He has conducted many programs on Staten Island, covering a wide range of music.
Dr. Mattfeld created the remarkable Staten Island Young Musicians Competition after extensive touring in Europe where such competitions are common. The Competition which began at CSI and moved to Wagner, continues to engage and challenge our young musicians.

Al Lambert & South Shore Rotary Chorus & South Shore Rotary - Esther Dean Service to the Community Award
"Service Above Self" is the motto of Rotary International and the South Shore Rotary certainly lives up to it, making the Rotary and its Chorus led by the extraordinary Al Lambert a fitting recipient for this year's Esther Dean Service to the Community Award. Since 1955 this organization of local business people have performed various community services, often for cultural organizations such as hamburger and hot dog stands at the Richmond County Fair and Meadowfair. The annual musical theater show spotlights local talent and raises significant amounts of money, primarily for cultural organizations. The South Shore Rotary Chorus led by Mr. Lambert appears at many civic and charity events and may be the only Rotary Club Chorus in the world.
Al Lambert, a native Islander, has a day job with Villa Marin Automobiles but we know him best for his other career in music. As lead singer for the Al Lambert Orchestra he has performed at such venues as Carnegie Hall, Dangerfield's, and the original Copacabana. He has been active in Staten Island theater and musical productions for many years, and was past president of Staten Island Civic Theater. He was a teacher at the Willowbrook State School and received the distinguished Teacher of the Year Award for establishing the first chorus ever comprised of special children. He is presently director of the South Shore Rotary Chorus, composed of 60 members.

Michael Correale - Service to COAHSI Award
Michael Correale's service to COAHSI began as a Board member of COAHSI for two years in the early years of its development. It was a difficult but exciting time as it for many organizations just getting started. Michael came to the COAHSI Board to represent the voice of the local theater community, his real passion. His Board service was marked by patience, good humor, a spirit of cooperation and optimism - just what we needed at the time. It is probably these same characteristics that serve him well as a theater director, bringing together lots of different kinds of people and ideas to move forward under a unified vision. He serves Staten Island in other capacities by entertaining residents at various nursing homes and by working at the Tibetan Museum. Mr. Correale is retired from the New York City Board of Education. He has served as a Business Manager of the Community School District. He is married with three children.
Mr. Correale has been involved with community theater on Staten Island since 1970. He has served as Deputy Artistic Director and Treasurer at Sea View Playwright's Theater since 1980. He has staged and directed some of the world's leading playwright's over the past twenty years. His particular favorites are Arthur Miller, Tennessee Williams and William Inge. As a director we have seen him put his very unique stamp on such productions as "A Few Good Men", "The Caine Mutiny", "Proof" and "The Rose Tattoo".
For the past seven years Michael has donated one performance of each show he has directed to COAHSI. COAHSI publicizes the event and Michael and the Sea View Company do the rest. We hope that we introduce new fan to our excellent local theater community. (Its predictable every year we hear folks say, "I can't believe this is Staten Island." This is as good as what you see in Manhattan." You get the gist of it.) But in initiating these collaborations to raise money for COAHSI, Michael Correale may be the single greatest fundraiser for COAHSI, raising thousands of dollars in unallocated monies that support all of COAHSI's programs and services.

Our Service to COAHSI Award for 2004 couldn't go to a more deserving (or nicer) fellow. Michael thanks so much!