2013 is The Year of the Arts in Westerville.

2013 is The Year of the Arts in Westerville.

The arts enrich a community and provide not only opportunities for the appreciation of the arts, but also opportunities to participate in the arts.

Westerville has a very vibrant and exciting art community. We are blessed with a Symphony, a Concert Band, a theater group -- the Curtain Players -- an Art League and multiple dance studios, including a ballet company.

Local development of the arts and these artistic groups are the result of the hard work, talents, and devotion of many people.

On Jan. 12, the Arts Council of Westerville will recognizing six individuals who have contributed greatly to the Westerville Art Community. These leaders have shared their artistic talents through teaching, performing and creating. Please join us in thanking and honoring these individuals.

The honorees:

Jim Atwood -- Artist and teacher. Jim has taught art lessons to adults and children for close to 40 years in Westerville. He has been influential in the development of children art exhibits at not only Westerville's Music & Arts Festival, but also at the Ohio State Fair.

Cheryl and Michael Munkascy -- Co-owners and directors of Westerville Center for the Arts. Cheryl's background in acting, singing and theater, combined with Mike's background in music make them dynamic teachers and coaches. The Munkascys have shaped and developed many of the performers in Central Ohio.

Peter Stafford-Wilson -- Maestro and music director of the Westerville Symphony. Peter is marking his 20th season with the Westerville Symphony. During this time, he has developed programs such as Tunes and Tales and the Independence Day Concert. Peter also is music director of the Springfield Symphony Orchestra and of the Columbus Symphony Youth Orchestra.

Carol Straub -- Director, Straub Dance Center. Carol has been mentoring and teaching dancers since 1967. Her skills and tenacity have landed some dancers with professional and semi-professional performances, including Ohio Theatre's Summer Movie Series, Wendy's International, Blue Jackets, Veterans Memorial Grand Celebration and many more.

Richard Suddendorf -- Music director and conductor of the Westerville Concert Band. Before joining the Westerville Concert Band, Richard was director of band and professor of music at various universities, including Ohio State University, Capital University and Western Michigan. Richard has developed the Concert Band's featured artist concert; this features a guest artist in the spring concert.

These six local artists will be honored at the Rhythm and Arts, Year of the Arts Kick-off Event Jan. 12.

The event will take place from 7-11 p.m. at Embassy Suites, 2700 Corporate Exchange Drive.

For more information call 614-901-6500. Tickets can be obtained through the Westerville Community Center.

Jane Denick is a member of the Arts Council of Westerville.

Calendar of arts events

The Westerville ArtsLine column and calendar is provided by the Arts Council of Westerville and printed as a public service by ThisWeek Westerville News & Public Opinion. Email listing submissions to artscouncil westerville@yahoo.com.

Jan. 3-March 15 -- "The Fluxfax Portfolio," Leslie H. and Ethyl Rose Miller Gallery, Art and Communication Building, 33 Collegeview Road. Thirty-five artists' images created in honor of George Maciunis, the founder of the Fluxus art movement, including works by Yoko Ono and Nam June Paik. Gallery hours are 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday through Friday and 1-4 p.m. on Saturday and Sundays. Closed on holidays. For information call 614-823-1792.

Jan. 3-May 19 -- "Altering Life by Holding it Still: Photographs by Dorothea Lange and Marion Post Wolcott," Fisher Gallery Roush Hall, 27 S. Grove St., Images from the 1930s and 1940s by two of America's most important documentary photographers. The title in a reference to Lange's statement: "Photography takes an instant out of time, altering life by holding it still." Gallery hours are 9 a.m.-9 p.m. daily. Closed on holidays. For information call 614- 823-1792.

Jan. 5, 12, 19, 26 -- Live music at Java Central, 7-10 p.m., 20 S. State St. Each Saturday. java-central.com or 614-839-0698.

Jan. 9-May 10 -- "Impulsos Vertiginosos," Frank Museum of Art, 39 S. Vine St. Chilean artist, Isabel Cauas, explores landscape themes in recent monotypes and intaglio prints. Museum hours are 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Wednesday-Friday during Otterbein University's academic year. Closed on holidays and university breaks. For information call 614-818-9716.

Jan. 12 -- Explore, Experience & Live the Arts, Year of the Arts kickoff event: 10 a.m.-1 p.m., Westerville Public Library, 126 S. State St. and the Westerville Parks and Recreation Program Center, 64 E. Walnut St. All ages can experience the arts first-hand and be a part of live performances, demonstrations and opportunities for art and crafting. Drop in and explore the arts! Part of Westerville's Year of the Arts Celebration. 614-901-6500

Jan. 12 -- Rhythm and Arts, Year of the Arts kickoff event: 7-11 p.m., Embassy Suites, 2700 Corporate Exchange Drive Columbus 43231. Come and celebrate the beginning of a yearlong salute to our community's arts organizations. The evening affair is a $25 ticketed event at the Embassy Suites and will feature the smooth sounds of Dwight Lennox and the Motown stylings of the Anticipations from Otterbein University. During the evening six members of the Westerville community will be honored for their contributions to the arts in Westerville. Part of Westerville's Year of the Arts celebration.