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2010 Stars in the Arts
Award Winners

Patty & Jay Baker

Myra Daniels

Harriet Heithaus

Dr. Erich Kunzel

2010 Winners
Patty & Jay Baker

Patty and Jay Baker are known as the one of the area’s premier “power couples” for community service, especially in the arts. They are avid art collectors and strongly support the performing arts. In 2007 they received the “Outstanding Philanthropists” award on National Philanthropy Day. The Bakers donated $10 million to the Naples Museum of Art, which was re-named in their honor. Jay Baker has served on the board of directors for the Phil. Patty Baker is on the board for the Naples Players, where she serves as Fund-Raising Vice-President.


Myra Daniels is the chairman and CEO of the Philharmonic Center for the Arts, home to the Philharmonic Orchestra and the Naples Museum of Art. Daniels founded the complex in the mid-1980s and has been a leader and innovator in the local arts community. She has been the recipient of numerous awards for her community service including the Naples Daily News’ Jefferson Award.

Harriet Heithaus

Harriet Heithaus is an award-winning writer, editor and advocate for the arts. She currently serves as the Arts, Entertainment and At Home Editor for the Naples Daily News. She also is a classical music critic for the paper and serves on the editorial board. She won the William Allen White award for editorial writing and the Florida Press Club’s first-place award for arts criticism in four of the last five years.

Dr. Erich Kunzel

Dr. Erich Kunzel served as the principal pops conductor of the Naples Philharmonic Orchestra before his death last year. He was the conductor of the Cincinnati Pops, received the National Medal of Arts, appeared on eight specials on PBS and in ten Carnegie Hall concerts. At the time of his death, he was leading the campaign to build a cultural arts center in Bayshore.

2009 Winners
Peg Longstreth
Peg Longstreth is the owner of the Longstreth-Goldbert Art Gallery. She is also an accomplished writer. Peg is a well-respected music critic and her reviews have appeared in the Naples Daily News and the Naples Florida Weekly newspaper.
Toby Blumenthal Phillips and Bert Phillips
This dynamic duo founded Classic Chamber Concerts, Naples premier chamber music series. Before Bert’s recent passing, he was a tireless partner with Toby in efforts to strengthen the arts community in Collier County. They have always been passionate about music education, volunteering their time to entertain and teach young musicians in their public school programs. They also founded an international music camp in New York.
Bette Young
Bette Young is a past president of the Naples Art Association. She was instrumental in getting the current home for the Association built – the von Liebig Art Center. She worked tirelessly for six years to raise money and plan the building. She is a watercolorist and remains active in the NAA.
2008 Winners  
Dr. Ron Doiron
Artistic Director and Conductor for The Bach Ensemble, Dr. Ron Doiron also serves as director of music for a local church. He has held positions in vocal and sacred music throughout the U.S., and served on the faculty of Duquesne University. He is a published author and served on a national board for the Directors of Music Ministries. An organist, choirmaster and musical conductor, Ron is an active member of The Bach Ensemble and the Naples Opera Society. He teaches and coaches many of Naples finest young vocalists.
Ted Tobye
A life member of The Naples Players, Ted Tobye served as president of the organization for seven years. During his tenure, he managed the planning, financing and construction of the Sugden Theatre as a permanent home for The Naples Players. He has worked behind the scenes and served on numerous committees for the Players over the past 20 years. The Tobye Studio at the Sugden Theatre is named in Ted’s honor.
Elaine Vreenegoor
An early pioneer in the development of The von Liebig Art Center, Elaine Vreenegoor served several terms as president of the Naples Art Association (NAA). She one of several people credited with helping to raise the money needed to open the Center. Still an active artist, Elaine is still involved in the NAA. She is also currently serving as president of the Art Council of Southwest Florida.
Paradise Coastmen Barbershop Chorus
A part of our cultural community for 30 years, the Paradise Coastmen Barbershop Chorus is dedicated to preserving the barbershop harmony style of a cappella singing. Nearly 100 members strong, the chorus, smaller ensembles, and quartets provide wholesome entertainment throughout the community, including performances for shut-ins, hospital patients, retirement communities, their annual show and hospice patients. They provide scholarships for students to further their vocal music education and are involved in numerous charitable endeavors.
2007 Winners
Joel Banow
Banow currently serves as Producer/Director for WGCU’s arts and cultural programming, including Arts Edition Prime Time and other specials. He has over 40 years experience in broadcasting and theater. While at CBS News Special Events, Banow received a Directors Guild Award for Apollo 11, The First Lunar Landing and various Emmy nominations and awards. He finished his television career at CNBC. Banow has served on the board of the Naples Players where he has directed and volunteered in many positions. He is on the board for Gulfshore Playhouse and advisory boards of the Holocaust Museum and the Estero Art Council. He is a founding member of the Naples Press Club.  
Dr. Ron Bowman
A respected arts educator, musician and volunteer organizer, Ron Bowman is known for his leadership in our local arts community. He is the president of the Naples Opera Society, served two terms as chairman of the Collier County Arts Forum, and is a past board member of the United Arts Council. A talented classical pianist, vocalist and music lecturer, Bowman has performed with the Atlanta Symphony, numerous choral societies, in recitals, and with Opera Naples. Professionally, he is the Vice President of Student Development and Dean of Students at International College, where he teaches music appreciation and has taught for ten years in the Francis Pew Hayes Center for Life Long Learning.
Betsey & Al Harris
Widely recognized as a “power couple” in the arts, Betsey & Al Harris are both patrons and volunteers for several local cultural organizations. Al served on the board of directors for the Naples Art Association. Betsey has served on the board for Classic Chamber Concerts and is the president of their Friends group. The couple has made significant donations to The von Liebig Art Center, where a gallery is named in their honor. In addition to these leadership roles, they are avid art collectors and their home is filled with the works of many local artists.
 Jim Rideoutte
Long involved as a volunteer leader with the Naples Players, Jim Rideoutte became their Executive Director in 2000. He has been instrumental in establishing a substantial endowment fund, and leading the Players to become one of the most successful community theaters in the country. He played a key role in the founding and growth of the popular KidzAct children’s theater program. Rideoutte has served in leadership positions in numerous civic and social agencies. He currently serves on the board of directors for the Community Foundation. An active participant in the Arts Forum roundtable, he is always willing to assist leaders of new local arts organizations.
Kathy Spalding
One of the most notable sculptors of true life bronzes in the U.S. today, Naples resident Kathy Spalding’s works can be found in prized collections throughout southwest Florida and beyond. She is noted for her fine detail and renowned for her sculptures of wildlife. She has been generous with her time and art, donating works for numerous charitable endeavors, especially to The Conservancy and Rookery Bay. Spalding designed the original “Gators Project” for the Naples Art Association. Her sculptures are the newest addition to NCH’s Garden of Hope and Courage.  
Art League of MarcoIsland
For over 35 years, the Art League exemplified its mission of “promoting education in and appreciation of excellence in the arts.” This non-profit arts organization is an influential member of the island community, respected for its programs and services. Over 100 courses are offered and numerous fine art gallery exhibits are held annually, in addition to the annual Celebrate the Arts Festival. Outreach programs include an annual scholarship program for high school students, arts education for home-school students, year-long visual arts education programs for young aspiring artists and after-school programs. Member services include classes and workshops, docent tours, studio tours and a corporate sponsorship program.
Naples Art Association
An integral part of the local arts scene for over 50 years, the Naples Art Association (NAA) is a well-respected leader in the community. Founded to create and exhibit work, members have built a world-class organization of over 1,500. NAA is housed in a spectacular facility in downtown Naples, The von Liebig Art Center, with two spacious galleries featuring changing exhibitions of contemporary American art and member works and classrooms that are the site of hundreds of workshops, lectures and classes for adults and children. Their popular ARTSCool summer program attracts over 800 children. The NAA sponsors the Naples National Art Festival, one of the top 11 shows in the nation. Outreach programs include scholarships and school partnerships.
2006 Winners
Paul Arsenault
Popular local painter who has called Naples home for over 30 years. Arsenault’s paintings are immediately recognizable for their vivid colors, unique light and rhythmic design. He opened the Arsenault Gallery in Old Naples in 1991, and also operates a gallery on Nantucket. The recipient of numerous awards, Arsenault has paintings in permanent collections in galleries and corporations across the country. He is also known for his generosity in the community, and over the years has donated numerous paintings to local charities for auctions.
Jonathan Green
Acclaimed local artist whose works have been exhibited in major venues nationally and internationally. Green earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts at the Art Institute of Chicago and was awarded an honorary doctorate degree in fine art from the University of South Carolina. He has published two books and received numerous awards, including the History Makers Award in the Fine Arts in Chicago. Green recently collaborated to bring his artwork to life in Off the Wall and Onto the Stage which was performed locally at the Phil and at numerous venues across the country.
Mary Margaret Gruszka
A long-time force in the Naples cultural community, Gruszka is Cultural Arts Services Manager for the City of Naples. She currently serves on the board of directors for The Naples Players and was instrumental in the founding of the Pelican Players. A former president of the United Arts Council, Gruszka has worked for the City of Naples for 19 years, overseeing the opening of the Norris Center and development of its performing arts calendar.
 Olga Hirshhorn
Arts patron extraordinare, Naples resident Olga Hirshhorn is a long-time supporter of the local arts community. She and her late husband, Joe, donated portions of their world-class collection to the Hirshhorn Museum in Washington, D.C. Locally, she recently donated her collection of works by local artists to the Naples Art Association. She is a patron of both the Philharmonic Center for the Arts and the von Liebig Art Center. Hirshhorn also serves on Florida Gulf Coast University’s Art Advisory Board.
J. William Meek, III
Long-time community arts leader, Meek is owner of the Harmon-Meek Gallery in Naples. He assembled significant art collections that were early donations to the Naples Museum of Art and the von Liebig Art Center. Meek is a member of the board of directors for the Naples Art Association and served as the president of the Collier County Arts Council. He has received numerous local and national awards, including the New York Artists Equity Association’s annual award for contributions to the visual arts.
This year’s nominations included one for a student who has amassed significant credentials at the young age of 16. To salute her early leadership, the selection committee awarded a special Student Star to Kylen Moran. Kylen is a junior honor student at the Community School who began playing the violin at age six. She is a founding member of the Naples Philharmonic Youth Orchestra and the Philharmonic Youth Chorale. She has performed with the Naples Players Kidz Act program and the Florida All-State Orchestra. Kylen has been a top scholarship winner in the Naples Music Club for four years. She is an active volunteer in the community and serves as a mentor in the Miracle Project after-school program, where she assists with helping children learn the violin at Lake Park Elementary School .
2006 Winners
Clyde Butcher
World-renowned photographer whose works chronicle America ’s ecosystems; Clyde is the only Collier resident in the State of Florida ’s Artist Hall of Fame.
Andrea Clark Brown
Accomplished musician and popular local architect who designed the Sugden Theatre.
Charlie Horn
The Art League of Marco Island’s early pioneer who has served as league president, board member and faculty member; also active in the Marco Island Film Festival.
Delores and John Sorey
Considered once a “power couple” in the local arts scene, Delores is the past president of the Naples Art Association and John is past president of The Naples Players.
Dolph von Arx
Arts patron and member of the board of directors of The Philharmonic Center for the Arts; represented southwest Florida on the Florida Arts Council.
The Philharmonic Center for the Arts
Setting the standard for excellence in Collier County since 1989, The Phil is home to the Naples Philharmonic Orchestra, the Naples Museum of Art and the Lifelong Learning Center .
Classic Chamber Concerts
Celebrating their 10 th Anniversary season of delighting chamber music lovers throughout Collier County and performing for local school children.
The Naples Players
For 52 years, the Players have entertained Collier County audiences; they now provide 200 performances annually and oversee the popular Kidz Act youth theatre.