On Wednesday, April 4th, at The Rye Town Hilton, six individuals and three organizations will be honored for their contributions to the arts in Westchester County.  This year's awardees reflect the breadth and depth of our cultural life. They come from all corners of the County and are diverse, both in terms of their backgrounds and their approach to the arts. What they all do have in common is an outstanding commitment to use the arts to improve their communities. The awardees were selected from a large pool of public nomination ballots by an extensive panel review process.
     "The annual Arts Awards ceremony is the Westchester Arts Council's most prestigious event," says Westchester Arts Council Executive Director Janet T. Langsam. "It gives us great pleasure to put a spotlight on the individuals and organizations that make this such a wonderful place to live."

Community Education: Individual Artist
Wilfredo Morel

     Wilfredo Morel is a committed, natural leader who uses the arts as a powerful force for building community. A native of the island Dominique in the Caribbean, this sculptor and sociologist shares his unique blend of talents and enthusiasm to provide the artistic spark at Hudson River Healthcare/ Peekskill Community Health Center, where he serves as Community Initiatives Coordinator. His after- school programs are expanding the horizons of Westchester's under-privileged children.

     One recent project Mr. Morel initiated, "Doors
of the Future," encouraged children to imagine their futures by painting their hopes and dreams on old wooden doors. "This project was an imaginative way to move children from an attitude of 'I can't go anywhere' to 'I'm really going places," says Mr. Morel.

     Like all his projects, "Doors to the Future" went beyond the walls of the health center to involve the whole community. Mr. Morel pulls together all the resources of the community, including artists, arts organizations, businesses, and social service agencies to address important concerns. Recently he led arts events to observe Black History Month, World AIDS Day and Three Kings Day.