Pleased to See Nazareth Library Director Honored at Arts Awards

Josh Berk, director of The Memorial Library of Nazareth and Vicinity, was honored Thursday at the 24th Annual Arts Ovation Awards.

I had the pleasure of attending the 24th Annual Arts Ovation Awards, held by the Allentown Arts Commission, on Thursday. I saw several talented and passionate arts advocates receive due recognition for their efforts and achievements.

As the development director of the Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival, I witnessed two of the Festival's best receive awards: Lee Butz of South Whitehall Township and Patrick Mulcahy of Lower Macungie Township.

Butz is board chairman of Alvin H. Butz, Inc. and received the Lifetime Achievement award. He is the volunteer resident photographer at the Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival. In 2011, Butz produced the book Majestic Vision: The Photography of Lee Butz at the Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival.

Mulcahy received the Performing Arts award. He is the producing artistic director of the Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival and a talented professional director and educator.

I was also delighted to see David Venditta of Allentown receive an award for his series on veterans in The Morning Call. The stories are so powerful, they never fail to bring tears to my eyes -- hearing about them at Thursday's ceremony produced the same effect.

That said, I was surprised and delighted to learn that new director was receiving the award for emerging artist.

of Bethlehem published The Dark Days of Hamburger Halpin in June of last year. Part mystery and part coming of age, the young-reader book's central character is a hefty, deaf newcomer to his high school. He befriends the least popular guy in high school and works to figure out who murdered the school's star quarterback.

The book is on my must-read list this summer and when you visit the library, congratulate Berk.The  Arts Ovation is quite an award, and The Dark Days of Hamburger Halpin appears to be quite a book!

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