Society Of Arts & Letters Honors Wick, Talented Students At Star Maker Ceremony


By: Dale King Contributing Writer

Marilynn Wick had already racked up a long list of accomplishments even before the Florida East Coast Chapter of the National Society of Arts & Letters, based in Boca Raton, presented her with its Lifetime Achievement honor during its Star Maker Awards ceremony in late April at Boca West Country Club.

The annual affair was punctuated with performances by NSAL scholarship recipients and competition winners. The top competitors in fields that included music, theater and vocal talent stepped forward to present pieces in their areas of specialized talents.

NSAL also recognized Donald Mandich with the Member Emeritus Award and honored Christopher Wittig for his length of service. Visual artist Duaiv served as honorary chair and donated two of his paintings for the silent auction. Kim Champion co-chaired the event with Howard Schwartz.

Summoning Wick to the front of the hall, co-chair Kim Champion said: “Marilynn Wick’s contribution to the theatrical community is unprecedented. Her preservation of Broadway’s history through her world-renowned costume collection and her magnificent productions at the Wick Theatre have made her an industry treasure.”

Upon receiving the Lifetime Achievement Award from NSAL President Judi Asselta, Wick delighted the audience with humorous and heart-warming anecdotes about her rise in the costume industry and theater productions.

The woman who rescued the former Caldwell Theatre on North Federal Highway from bankruptcy six years ago and revived the local showplace with a selection of popular musicals featuring local and nationally known stars recognized the important contributions of both of her daughters, Kimberly and Kelly, and she thanked the many theater and costume museum supporters who have made The Wick Theatre and Costume Museum a popular cultural venue.

“I was honored and thrilled to receive the Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Society of Arts and Letters for my contribution to the arts,” said Wick. “I have had the pleasure of collaborating with so many artists in my journey — including my daughters Kelly Wick Kigar and Kimberly Wick — and I share this honor with all of them.”

“Creating theater and preserving treasured costumes has been an undertaking that I am so proud of. Seeing the faces of our patrons when they are moved and entertained by our productions means the world to me. Thank you to NSAL for this prestigious award, I will treasure the memory of this evening forever.”

When it came time to recognize culturally capable students, Juan Upequi received the Florida Atlantic Scholarship recipient for piano performance and Martyna Reczka took home the theatre arts honor. The Lynn University piano performance recipient was Kimiea Rafieian and the strings honoree was Yue Yang.

First Place Collaborative Piano and Brass Duo Competition winners were Kristine Mezines and Sodienye Finebone.

The 2019 Chapter level Drama Competition winner was Darius J. Manuel; the 2019 recipient of the Winston Voice National Scholarship was Laura Santamaria-Mendez and the Winston 2-D Art National Scholarship recipient was Kathryn Dennison.

“The depth of talent that we have in our community is truly outstanding,” said event co-chair Howard Schwartz. “Our chapter is thrilled to be able to support these incredible emerging artists through our scholarship and competition programs.”

NSAL aims to discover talented young people at the beginning of their careers and provides scholarships and competitions in art, dance, drama, literature, music and musical theatre, and works to advance their careers and creative opportunities.

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