February 27, 2017
Contact: Coleen West
ELLICOTT CITY, MD — The Howard County Arts Council (HCAC) is pleased to announce that Padraic M. Kennedy will serve as Honorary Chair of the 20th Annual Celebration of the Arts in Howard County. The Celebration gala will be held on Saturday, March 25, 2017 from 6:00 – 10:00 p.m. at the Peter and Elizabeth Horowitz Visual and Performing Arts Center at Howard Community College. Mr. Kennedy will make opening remarks in the Smith Theatre during the 90-minute program, which will feature a special 20th anniversary edition of the Rising Star Competition.
With this year’s Celebration helping to kick off Columbia’s 50th Birthday festivities, Padraic M. Kennedy, who served as the Columbia Association’s first President from 1972-1998, was the obvious choice to serve as Honorary Chair. He was also a co-founder and former President of the Columbia Festival of the Arts and is currently an active Board member of the Howard County Poetry and Literature Society (HoCoPoLitSo). Kennedy also served as Chairman of both the Columbia Foundation and the Horizon Foundation’s Board of Directors. Before coming to Columbia, Pat Kennedy was one of the first ten members of the Peace Corps’ original staff and served as the Peace Corps’ Director of Volunteer Support. President Lyndon Johnson later appointed Kennedy national Director of Volunteers in Service to America (VISTA). Pat Kennedy and his wife Ellen are residents of Columbia where they have lived for 45 years.
About the Celebration gala, Mr, Kennedy said, “This is one gala evening you don’t want to miss. The seven Rising All-Stars competing are so incredibly talented that voting for the winner will be no easy task. Simply put, the gala will be a wonderful Celebration of the Arts and Columbia’s 50th Anniversary.”
The Celebration is the Arts Council’s major source of annual corporate support. In 19 years, the event has netted more than $1.3 million. Proceeds from the event provide the Arts Council with the resources necessary to fund grants and scholarships, to support a guest artist series at HCC, and to offer arts programs year-round. A highlight of Celebration 2017 will be a special presentation of the Rising Star competition for emerging performing artists, as seven previous winners of the competition return to compete for the title of Rising All-Star. The winner will receive a $5,000 professional development award. Richard W. Story, Senior Vice President, Community Relations and Government Affairs, and Business Development Liaison for Howard Bank, will serve as Event Emcee. Other highlights include a reception featuring delectable edibles from distinctive Howard County restaurants, a silent auction of artwork by local artists, musical entertainment, and the Howie Awards, recognizing individuals and businesses for their significant contributions to the arts.
Sponsorships, volunteer opportunities, and internships are available. Tickets are $100 (Reception and Smith Theatre) and $50 (Reception and Studio Theatre). For more information, call 410.313.ARTS (2787) or visit hocoarts.org.