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Allentown Arts Commission to Honor WDIY for Outstanding Service to the Arts

Shamus McGroggan
Irish bluegrass/folk band We Banjo 3 perform live in the WDIY studios in August, 2019. WDIY's diverse music offerings were one of the reasons cited by the Allentown Arts Commission for honoring WDIY with an Arts Ovation Award.

WDIY will be honored for outstanding service to the arts at Allentown Arts Commission’s 31st annual Arts Ovation Awards, it was announced on Thursday.

This award recognizes individuals or organizations who have had a major impact on the arts through exceptional service, volunteerism, or leadership.

"We're extremely grateful to the Allentown Arts Commission for this honor," said WDIY Executive Director Greg Capogna. "We also need to thank WDIY's volunteers, members, and listeners. We're only receiving this award because of your support and dedication."

Along with honoring WDIY, eight other awards will be given to individuals and organizations during this year's ceremony, taking place at Miller Symphony Hall in Allentown on Thursday, September 26 at 7 p.m.

Another notable recipient this year will be Allentown Symphony Orchestra’s music director and conductor Diane Wittry. Wittry will be honored with an award for outstanding achievement in literary arts. Allentown Symphony Orchestra has been a longstanding WDIY partner with Wittry appearing on WDIY Classics many times in the station's history.

Receiving the lifetime achievement in the arts award will be Jodi Duckett, former arts and entertainment editor of the Morning Call. Duckett retired from the paper in January after nearly 40 years, the last 20 of which were spent producing the paper’s popular Go Guide section.

WDIY's award announcement comes as the station is preparing to celebrate its 25th anniversary. WDIY first began broadcasting on January 8, 1995. The official mission statement of the organization throughout this past quarter century has remained the same: to engage the Lehigh Valley community through a wide-ranging exchange of music, arts, news, and culturally diverse information.

The arts have always been central to WDIY’s service to the community, with weekly programs like Lehigh Valley Arts Salon and Musings placing the spotlight on the artists, venues, and programs unique to the Lehigh Valley. WDIY's diverse music programming has also served as an important platform for the arts over the past 25 years, bringing local artist interviews, on-air performances, and special programming features to the area.

The group behind the Arts Ovation Awards, the Allentown Arts Commission, describe themselves as promoting and encouraging public artistic programs and acting as an advisory board to the city of Allentown in all matters pertaining to the arts and cultural development of Allentown.

Last year's award recipient for outstanding service to the arts was Jessica Bien, general manager of the Muhlenberg College Department of Theatre and Dance, another one of WDIY's community partners.

More information on the 31st annual Arts Ovation Awards can be found here. A full list of this year's award recipients is below:

Jodi Duckett
Lifetime Achievement in the Arts

WDIY 88.1 FM
Outstanding Service to the Arts

Ron De Long
Outstanding Achievement in Visual Arts

Mike Krisukas
Outstanding Achievement in Performing Arts

Diane Wittry
Outstanding Achievement in Literary Arts

Allentown Symphony’s El Sistema Lehigh Valley
Outstanding Achievement in Arts Education

City Center Allentown
Outstanding Philanthropy

Aaron Stone
Outstanding Emerging Artist  

Michael McDonald
Crescendo Award

Shamus is WDIY's Membership and Development Director, responsible for managing the station's membership activities, grant writing, public relations, and online activities. He is also the producer and host of Tape Swap Radio.