Thursday, September 26, 2002

Co-founder of Sorg Opera, others win arts awards

By Jenny Callison
Enquirer contributor

        HAMILTON — A steel drum musician, a Roman Catholic sister and a scrap-metal yard are among the recipients of this year's Ambassador Awards.

        The awards, designed to recognize individuals and organizations that promote the arts in Butler County, were announced at Wednesday's awards banquet at the Hamiltonian Hotel.

        Hamilton's Fitton Center for Creative Arts presented the awards.

        “The Ambassador Awards were established six years ago to emphasize excellence in a wide variety of arts endeavors,” said Paul Thoms, public relations director for the Fitton Center.

        Some recipients, such as master quilter Carolyn Mazloomi of West Chester and Hamilton High School student Ben Schneider, were selected for their creations.

        Winner Mary Lord of Middletown is an attorney who helped start the Sorg Opera and continues to pitch in by fund-raising, selling tickets and even cleaning up after performances.

        Sister Maura Barga of Fairfield gives art lessons to senior citizens. Hamilton Scrap Processors provides studio space and unlimited metal scraps to Dennis Baker, Hamilton's sculptor-in-residence.

        “The Ambassador Awards send a message to strive for your best,” said soprano Bess Arlene Comacho, a previous award winner.

        “It gives winners a feeling of value and appreciation, and enables the community to be aware of the quality of arts and artists here.”

        Other 2002 winners are Miami University Steel Band leader Chris Tanner, Harry Wilks of Hamilton, the city of Fairfield's new public arts initiatives, Cincinnati's Fine Arts Fund and Richard O. Jones, fine arts reporter for the Journal News.


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