Creative Powers at Work
Clay Art Center celebrated 61 years at its 11th annual Hand-in-Hand benefit October 18 at Willow Ridge Country Club in Harrison. A crowd of over 230 enjoyed tastings from local restaurants, signature cocktails, live music, and a silent and live auction featuring one-of-kind ceramic artwork from nationally recognized artists. As one guest said, “As always, a fabulous night with great friends that feel like family.”
Leigh Taylor Mickelson, CAC Executive Director, said she was overwhelmed by the generosity of all the donors who raised a record $125,000 to keep vital programs going strong. “I am truly honored to be a part of this community, which is so clearly dedicated to making the power of creativity accessible to all.”
This year, the Center, which is located in Port Chester, also celebrated 20 years of its Artist-in-Residence program, which is designed for emerging artists who need time and space to develop their voices and has been a springboard for 40 individual artists over the years; and honored two exceptional supporters who have made meaningful contributions to its growth and reach.
Ariel Edwards, who served as Community Arts Director from 2009 to 2016, was toasted for expanding the outreach exponentially and mobilizing teaching artists and volunteers to bring arts education to thousands of individuals; and the Carver Center, which has been one of CAC’s most enthusiastic community partners over the past decade, was celebrated for its dedication to building brighter futures by serving, educating, and empowering families and helping bring arts enrichment to hundreds of Port Chester youths and families.
Funding provides over 1,000 scholarships to underserved and at-risk youth to take classes where they grow and flourish; provides a place for emerging artists to gain experience and skills through the Residency program; offers hope and connection for people with special needs.
County Executive George Latimer, who served as Auctioneer, with Clay Art Center Executive Director Leigh Taylor Mickelson
Honorees Joe Kwasniewski, past CEO Carver Center, and Ariel Edwards, past CAC Community Arts Director, with Anne Bradner, Carver Center’s new CEO