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SCA named finalist for Spark Cultural Award

SPRINGVILLE—For nearly 20 years, Springville Center for the Arts has had a positive impact on the community and for that work has been honored with being named a finalist for a 2017 Spark Cultural Award.

SCA was named one of three finalists for the Cultural Organization of the Year Award at the Fourth Annual Spark Cultural Awards held on May 10 at the Hotel Henry at the Richardson Complex in Buffalo. The Spark Awards are organized by the Arts Services Initiative and recognizes artists and cultural organizations who make an impact across Western New York. The other finalists for the Cultural Organization of the Year were the 1891 Fredonia Opera House and the Kenan House.

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The Kenan House walked away with the award, though SCA Executive Director Seth Wochensky said he was happy to be named a finalist.

“I think it is a great recognition for for all the hard work that so many people have put into the organization,” Wochensky said. “A lot of people have been here doing some not so glamorous jobs like digging out a basement or staining miles of woodwork and all of that leads to us having better programs and more programs and to be recognized for that validates the hard work that many people have put into the place over the years.”

Since their start, Wochensky said he is happy to see how much Springville Center for the Arts has grown over the years, and while they did not win the award this year, being recognized for their impact on the community is a win in itself.

“Winning it would’ve be nice, but just being recognized amongst the organizations that are listed this year and also looking at who the finalists were in past years, it is just remarkable,” Wochensky said. “We’ve grown from a really zero-budget grassroots organization to a local institution who is having an impact and just to be listed amongst our colleagues, it’s enough of a win for us.”

From their start on Main Street to purchasing their new building in 2007 to working on opening a new Arts Cafe, Springville Center for the Arts has been able to grow and accomplish a lot over the years. With their many events and programs including the Art Crawl, art exhibits, art classes, workshops and more, Wochensky said being able to spread arts within the community is their biggest accomplishment.

“I think back to the time when we were on Main Street, the kind of work we have done over here and some of the dollar amounts that we have dealt with here would've been unthinkable to us at that time,” Wochensky said. “At the end of the day, our ultimate goal is to make the community a better place and our tool is the arts.”

Looking to the future of SCA, Wochensky said their biggest project will be to complete the Arts Cafe this year, which will also provide artist residency space and additional workshop space to help enhance programs for SCA. Along with the Arts Cafe, Wochensky said there are many other projects and initiatives they are working on including getting more involved with public art projects in the village, rehabilitating the theater space, looking at more events outside the building to get arts in the community, working with schools and continuing to expand on their visiting artists and classes.

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