Celebrating, honoring a champion of the arts

It could be argued that in her 40-year career as a champion of the arts in Rhode Island, Iona Dobbins did more to foster the growth and quality of art in this state than any single person before or after her. Iona – who passed away in July, 2012 – was the executive director of the RI State Council on the Arts, president of the Art League of RI, and a dear friend and supporter of FBP (last year’s Together We Dance 2 gala was in honor of Iona and her contributions to FBP).

Now, Iona’s legacy lives on in what is poised to be a powerful annual event honoring Iona’s legacy and recognizing the rich products of her life’s work. The first ever “IonaFest” will take place on Saturday, September 28, 2013 and will bring together a diverse collection of arts organizations from around the state.

Iona Fest

Central to this new event is the “IF” (IonaFest) award, which is given to a person who exemplifies Iona Dobbins’ fearless and universal love of the arts in RI. There is an open call for nominations, with a deadline of June 30 for this award. The award recipient will be selected on the following criteria:

The recipient of the IF Award will be an individual, from any walk of life, who embodies Iona Dobbins’ generosity and leadership in the arts community. The nominee should reflect Iona’s great skill at convening diverse artists and audiences; her tireless advocacy for all art forms; and her profile as an honest broker who crossed boundaries, everywhere present wherever art was being made, shown or dreamed.

To nominate an individual, or to learn more about the first annual IonaFest, please go to http://ionafest.org/

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