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PRESS RELEASE- Local Volunteer Honored at State House Ceremony: Arlene Tolopko Recognized for Work on Otis Local Cultural Council
March 12, 2008

Boston- On Wednesday, State Senator Benjamin B. Downing (D-Pittsfield) joined officials from the Massachusetts Cultural Council (MCC) and representatives of Local Cultural Councils (LCCs) from across the state at a State House ceremony to recognize volunteer service and to draw attention to the importance of arts and humanities in the Commonwealth.

Senator Downing and an aide representing State Representative Smitty Pignatelli (D – Lenox) presented Otis resident Arlene Tolopko with the 2008 Local Cultural Council Leadership Circle Award for Outstanding Volunteer.  This award recognizes her exceptional work in support of the Local Cultural Council Program in Otis. Ms. Tolopko also received Official Citations from the Massachusetts Senate and House of Representatives congratulating her for this recognition.  

“Ms. Tolopko has given so much of herself, her time and her talent to promoting arts and culture in Otis,” said Downing.  “I am glad that the Massachusetts Cultural Council has recognized her contributions towards enhancing her community with rich cultural experiences.”

Administered by the MCC, the Local Cultural Council Program is an effective grassroots, volunteer-driven cultural funding program that distributes funds to every city and town in the Commonwealth.  These funds are re-granted by a committee of locally-appointed volunteers to support local programs in the arts, humanities and interpretive sciences.  This program is made possible through the support of the Massachusetts Legislature, municipal officials and more than 2,300 volunteers who serve on 329 local cultural councils. 

In addition to recognizing outstanding local volunteers, the Leadership Circle Awards honor state and local leaders who make significant contributions in promoting the arts, humanities and sciences across the Commonwealth. 

Also recognized during today’s ceremony was Jane Burke, who in February received the Gold Star Award for Great Barrington Cultural Council’s Teaching Math and Science through Ceramics program.  The Gold Star Program annually recognizes model community arts, humanities and science projects funded by Local Cultural Councils. These projects celebrate diversity, foster collaboration, showcase artistic excellence and provide learning experiences for people of all ages and backgrounds. 

Senator Downing presents Arlene Tolopko with Leadership Circle Award during the Local Cultural Council’s 2008 statewide assembly in the Great Hall at the Massachusetts State House.

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