WILKES-BARRE — Esther and Bill Davidowitz, of Kingston, have been named winners of the 2017 “Howard B. Fedrick Friend of the Arts Award,” the Board of Directors of the Fine Arts Fiesta announced Monday.
Initiated in 1997 as suggested by then board member, the late Howard B. Fedrick, the “Friend of the Arts Award” is designed to honor an individual or organization for their longstanding commitment and/or generous support of the Fine Arts Fiesta in addition to their general contributions to the cultural and artistic life of the local and regional community.
Following Fedrick’s death in February 2011, the board of directors renamed the award in his memory, which is now sponsored by his widow, Mary Anne Fedrick.
Individually and together, Esther and Bill Davidowitz have been involved in a wide variety of activities in local, regional, and national organizations. Both Esther and Bill have served as the chairperson of the Wyoming Valley United Jewish Appeal and held leadership roles in the Jewish Community Center. They have received the Seligman J. Strauss Lodge Award for their outstanding community service.
Bill Davidowitz has served on the boards of the Fox Hill Country Club, the Penn State University Wilkes-Barre campus, and the Board of Trustees of Luzerne Community College. He was recognized by his Luzerne County Community College colleagues for his role in the early construction and growth of the school.
Esther Davidowitz has been in leadership positions in the Osterhout Library, Ballet Northeast, Dance Theatre of Wilkes-Barre, United Hebrew Institute, WVIA, the Northeast Pennsylvania Philharmonic, and the F.M. Kirby Center for the Performing Arts and others. She has also served as a representative of the National Council of Jewish Women to the United Nations. She has worked with international organizations to develop videos to assist women to learn to run their own businesses and attain financial independence.
Esther has served as an editor for numerous collections of essays and poetry. She has studied the harp with renowned harpists and is a flutist with the local Klezmer Band “Freilox and Bagels.”
The award will be presented on May 18 at noon during the annual opening ceremony of the Fine Arts Fiesta on Public Square, Wilkes-Barre.
Reach Bill O’Boyle at 570-991-6118 or on Twitter @TLBillOBoyle.
1997 Ken Marquis
1998 Kevin and Helen McDonald
1998 Alfred S. Groh*
1999 Ruth B. Schooley*
2000 Dr. Robert S. Anderson*
2001 Roger A. Lacy
2002 William Hogan Sr. and sons
2003 Murray Popky*
2004 Lee Vincent*
2005 Wyoming Valley Art League
2006 The City of Wilkes-Barre & Pat McHugh
2007 Little Theatre of Wilkes-Barre
2008 Tom & Dorothy Womelsdorf & Family
2009 Alan* & Robert Finley
2010 The Osterhout Free Library & Brian J. Benedetti
2011 Mary Ellen Fowler, Flossy The Fiesta Clown
2012 Charles Barber/The Luzerne Foundation
2013 Irem Shrine Stewards & Dorothy M. Carr*
2014 David, Natalia & Julia Kerr
2015 Micky Nieman
2016 Jane Lampe Groh* & Gina Prokop-Malsky
2017 Esther and Bill Davidowitz