Arts patrons honored

TOWANDA – The Bradford County Regional Arts Council (BCRAC) recently held its inaugural “Scene One, Take One” auction and fundraiser on Oct. 12 at the Keystone Theatre.

The event also premiered a new arts awards program, “The BEMY Arts Awards.”

The BEMY Arts Awards recognize individuals, organizations and businesses who provide distinct and meaningful contributions to the vitality and accessibility to the arts in Bradford County and its surrounding communities.

The honorees work hard to support and build our community through the arts. BEMY award recipients are nominated and selected annually by a BCRAC committee.

There are three categories for recognition: Community Outreach by an Individual(s), Community Outreach by an Organization and Arts Patron.

Each nominee exhibits vision, dedication and action in creating a lively arts community in the Bradford County region.

The awards are named in honor of Brooks Eldredge-Martin (BEM), recently retired BCRAC executive director, for his dedication to the success and accessibility of arts and culture in Bradford County.

The 2013 awardees are:

Community Outreach by an Individual: Brooks Eldredge-Martin.

It was Eldredge-Martin’s vision that led to the community efforts in Towanda, Canton and Sayre to save Bradford County’s three remaining historic theaters.

Under his leadership, these three theaters: The Keystone Theatre, The Rialto Theatre and The Sayre Theatre, were restored and remain as vital community venues not only to their individual communities but to the county at large.

His efforts far exceed these buildings, and are reflected in the programming efforts of the Bradford County Regional Arts Council, specifically in the area of children’s programming.

Arts Patrons: Stacie Larnard Lawyer and John Lawyer.

This award is given to two generous individuals whose presence has permeated the arts community and touched students from across the Bradford County region, including students from Sullivan County and Waverly, N.Y.

These individuals have provided funding for costumes and other needs for many theatrical productions at Towanda High School, the Community Summer Musicals in Towanda, Winding River Players’ (WRP) Summer Workshop Acting Troupe for children ages 8 and up, numerous WRP local productions for all ages and funding to support high school forensics teams including assisting students to travel to national competitions after qualifying for nationals in their districts.

Stacie and John Lawyer are continuing to serve as military contractors with the Air Force in Afghanistan.

The award for Community Outreach by an organization was not awarded this year.

The evening also featured a silent and live auction offering a variety of items, an “Artist’s Wine Cellar” raffle and music by Three Man Trio. The total amount raised for the evening was more than $7,550.

Proceeds from the event benefited the Bradford County Regional Arts Council.

The planning committee will begin plans for the 2014 event in January and a date for next year’s event, “Scene One, Take Two,” will be announced early in 2014.

The BCRAC, established in 1976, is a regional nonprofit organization committed to the promotion and support of the arts and culture.

For more information, visit BCRAC online at or