Nigra Center honored with award

The Lexington Foundation’s Paul Nigra Center for Creative Arts has been honored with a 2017 Award of Excellence by the Council on Quality and Leadership. Pictured, from left, are Angela Rapp Kennedy, vice president of CQL; Mary Kay Rizzolo, CEO of CQL; Shaloni Winston, executive director of Lexington Foundation; and Daniel Richardson, deputy executive director of Lexington. (Photo submitted)

GLOVERSVILLE — The Paul Nigra Center for Creative Arts has been honored with a 2017 Award of Excellence by the Council on Quality and Leadership, according to a news release.

The award acknowledges Nigra’s creation of an inclusive environment where artistic expression and diverse creativity can flourish for all aspiring and established artists, both with and without disability.

The community-based facility offers classes, exhibits, productions, concerts, camps, workshops, and other enrichment experiences where all participants are respected as artists, actors, dancers, musicians, and aspiring chefs.

“The Nigra Arts Center has a genuine attentiveness to each person as an artist. Instead of focusing on disability as being the context for their creation, each artist’s work stands on its own, just as it should. It’s a refreshing approach,” said Mary Kay Rizzolo, president and CEO of CQL.

CQL is presenting five recipients with the 2017 CQL Award of Excellence at the 2017 CQL Conference, themed “Blueprint for Person-Centered Practices,” in recognition of best practices in human services.

The Lexington Foundation, a chapter of the Association of Retarded Adults of New York, owns and operates the Paul Nigra Center for Creative Arts as a result of Personal Outcome Measures interviews, from which Lexington discovered that many people had interest in the creative arts and wanted more opportunities to enjoy and express themselves. The Nigra center allows community members take part in program activities, right along with those receiving more formal supports. The Paul Nigra Center for Creative Arts also does not differentiate artists based on diagnosis during juried exhibitions, as there is no reference at all to an artist’s disability.

“We are most proud to see people with disabilities recognized for their individual talents and abilities by everyone who comes to the arts center. Every day they are learning and sharing experiences with others who have common goals and aspirations. This has helped them feel respected and to be true members of the community,” said Shaloni Winston, executive director of Lexington and the Paul Nigra Center for Creative Arts.

“We are grateful to CQL for this honor and recognition.”

The mission of the Paul Nigra Center for Creative Arts is to provide a creative educational resource for people of all ages and abilities while celebrating the arts through classes, entertainment, exhibitions, and special events. Additionally, it is committed to offering accessible art programs for adults and children with developmental and physical differences.

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