Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility 30th Arts Awards - Theatre Harrisburg

Join us as we honor

carole desoto 3

Carole DeSoto

Arts advocate and volunteer


Sprocket Mural Works

Creating beauty, connection and civic pride through vibrant public art.

Debra Yates and Bradley Jones

Save the Date

Date and time

Saturday, JUNE 1, 2024
5:00 PM – 9:00 PM EDT

Pre-show party with cocktails and heavy hors d’oeuvres
Arts Awards Gala Production (7:15 pm –  Sunoco Performance Theatre)
Afterglow Dessert Reception

Elegant Attire • Black Tie Optional


Whitaker Center for Science and the Arts 

222 Market Street, Harrisburg,
PA 17101 United States

About the event

Since 1989, the Awards for Distinguished Service to the Arts in the Capital Region have honored artists and arts leaders, philanthropists and visionaries, educators, organizations, and companies. The Awards are presented in a Kennedy Center Honors-style theatrical gala, with proceeds supporting the work of Theatre Harrisburg, the oldest performing arts organization in the region. The event has become one of the most eagerly anticipated events on the cultural calendar.


Carole DeSoto, a resident of Dauphin County since 1967, is well known for her support and volunteer efforts on behalf of numerous arts organizations in the Capital Region. Among those benefitting from her philanthropy are Market Square Concerts, Harrisburg Symphony Orchestra, Susquehanna Art Museum, Theatre Harrisburg, Art Association of Harrisburg, Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet, and Gretna Theatre. DeSoto has served on the Boards of the Susquehanna Art Museum and Harrisburg Symphony Association and is immediate past president of the Harrisburg Symphony Society. DeSoto has had a special devotion to Upper Dauphin County, especially Elizabethville, where she lived for many years before moving to Lemoyne. In 2003, she funded the Elizabethville Library Arts Series (now “Lively Minds”), which presents quarterly educational programs for adults, ranging from author visits and gardening classes to performances by musicians. She co-chaired the fundraising campaign and made the lead gift to build the DeSoto Amphitheatre for the Performing Arts at the Ned Smith Center for Nature and Art in Millersburg and was honored with the first Ned Smith Center Visionary Award.

Sprocket Mural Works, founded in 2014 and incorporated as a non-profit in 2019, is a citywide mural project that has a mission to increase community pride and civic engagement in Harrisburg through creative action. Its vision is a world more beautiful because it is covered in art for the community, by the community. Sprocket uses murals as a medium to promote a sense of identity, belonging, and attachment to the communities within the city, not only through the art itself, but also through the process of creating it and exploring it together. Sprocket does its work with the support of local businesses, individual donors, private foundations, and the PA Council of the Arts. Since its inception, Sprocket Mural Works has painted, commissioned, and collaborated on 150 pieces of public art (85 of which are large-scale murals). Its bi-annual festivals attract muralists from across the nation and around the world. Megan Caruso is President and Co-Founder of Sprocket Mural Works. Co-Founder Jeff Corpus has authored a guidebook for organizations to develop their own community projects.


Program ads are black and white and should be supplied JPEG, PDF or PNG files. Please send ads to: [email protected]. Questions or information, call 717-232-5501.

Proceeds benefit Theatre Harrisburg
Theatre Harrisburg is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization. A copy of the official registration and financial information may be obtained from the PA Department of State by calling toll-free (800) 732-0999.


Larry Newland, Music Director and Conductor, Harrisburg Symphony Orchestra
Lois Lehrman Grass*, Arts Leader & Philanthropist
Mim Warden, Arts Leader and Founder, MetroArts (now Jump Street)

Lucy Miller Murray, Founder, Market Square Concerts
Whitaker Foundation

Carrie Wissler-Thomas, Executive Director, Art Association of Harrisburg
Central Pennsylvania Friends of Jazz

Marcia Dale Weary*, Founder, Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet
Hershey Foods Corporation

Donald Clapper*, Conductor, Harrisburg Choral Society
Mellon Bank, Commonwealth Region

Jane & Edward First, Jr.,* Arts Leaders
Perry County Council of the Arts

Barbara* & Clyde McGeary, Arts Educators & Leaders
The City of Harrisburg, Mayor Stephen R. Reed*

Elsie Swenson,* Arts Leader & Advocate
Harsco Corporation

David Jenkins Morrison, Arts Leader & Advocate
John Crain Kunkel Foundation

Anne & Donald Alsedek & Marianne Fischer, Founders, Open Stage
AMP Incorporated

David Hoffman* & Charles Peguese,* Arts Advocates, Supporters & Volunteers
WITF, Incorporated

Harold A. McInnes, Founding Board Chair, Whitaker Center for Science and the Arts
Allied Arts Fund (Predecessor to Cultural Enrichment Fund)

Nicholas & Ellen* Hughes, Arts Leaders & Advocates
Harristown Development Corporation

Steve Rudolph, Musician and Founder, Central PA Friends of Jazz
Danzante, Multi-Disciplinary Urban Arts Center

Recognition of a Special Achievement
Dr. Thomas Stone
, Founding President, Whitaker Center for Science and the Arts

Marion C. & William H. Alexander, Arts Advocates, Leaders, and Philanthropists
Harrisburg Symphony Association

Robert C. Lau, Ph.D., Composer of Choral Music
Susquehanna Art Museum

Clark & Melissa Nicholson, Founders, Gamut Theatre Group
Capital BlueCross

Robert Stadnycki, Executive Director, Harrisburg Arts Council
Capital Area School for the Arts

Mary Webber Weston, Arts Advocate & Leader
The Wednesday Club

Stuart Malina, Music Director and Conductor, Harrisburg Symphony Orchestra
Rose Lehrman Arts Center & Live at Rose Lehrman

Linda Tedford, Founder & Conductor, Susquehanna Chorale
PA Media Group

Jay and Nancy Krevsky, Actors & Arts Advocates
The Hall Foundation

Bill* and Beverlee Lehr, Arts Leaders, Artist & Philanthropists

Mike Greenwald, Arts Leader & Advocate
Market Square Concerts

Elizabeth “Bebe” Mullaugh and Jeff Lynch, Arts Advocates
Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet

Recognition of a Special Achievement
Dr. George F. Orthey, Jr.,*
World Renowned Artisan of Handcrafted Autoharps

Chris Baldrige and David Skerpon, Arts Leaders and Advocates
Midtown Cinema

Ronnie Waters*, Jazz Musician and Music Educator
The State Museum of Pennsylvania

2020 (delayed by COVID until 2022)
Jeff Woodruff, Retired Executive Director, Harrisburg Symphony Orchestra
TheBurg Magazine

Peter Sirotin and Ya-Ting Chang, Musicians, Music Educators, Music Presenters
Sankofa African American Theatre Company

*Fondly remembered

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