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Dayton Philharmonic Artistic Director Neal Gittleman Will Receive 2014 Governor's Award for the Arts

Chuck Duritsch
Communications and Media Manager
Dayton Performing Arts Alliance
Phone 937-224-3521 x1138

DAYTON, OH (December 4, 2013) - Neal Gittleman, Artistic Director and Conductor of the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra, has been selected to receive the 2014 Governor's Awards for the Arts in Ohio. The award for Community Development and Participation will be presented at a luncheon ceremony on Wednesday, May 21, 2014, in Columbus in conjunction with Arts Day.

The Dayton Philharmonic merged with Dayton Ballet and the Dayton Opera eighteen months ago to create the Dayton Performing Arts Alliance, the first combined classic arts organization in the U.S. Gittleman is credited for bringing this new collaborative business model to the table.

“I'm flattered to be honored by the Governor, but also humbled,” Gittleman said today. “This really honors the Dayton Philharmonic’s – and now the DPAA’s -- focus on community engagement and community service over a period of many years. The award puts the spotlight on me, but everything I do -- on-stage and off -- is a team effort.  It's wonderful to have that effort recognized and that should inspire all of us at the DPAA to strive to serve our community better and better as we move forward.”

Gittleman has been a tireless cheerleader for the arts in the Dayton region for nearly two decades. His desire and ability to continually seek out new community partnerships that reach different communities and audiences resulted in the creation of the DPO Stained Glass Concerts, a series of free concerts held in predominantly African-American churches. He helped collaborate with the East End Community Center and Ruskin Elementary School on a pilot after-school program, Q the Music. He regularly visits classrooms as part of the DPAA’s SPARK (School Partners with Artists Reaching Kids) program.

“It’s hard to imagine an orchestra conductor being more visible or present in the community than Neal,” said DPAA President and CEO Paul Helfrich. “But there’s more to it than that. Neal has given time and energy to countless good causes in Dayton including Clothes That Work, Habitat for Humanity, Discover Classical 88.1 and 88.9, WYSO, and Daybreak Youth Shelter.

The annual luncheon will honor six recipients including Dayton Contemporary Dance Company’s Sheri “Sparkle” Williams and is hosted by the Ohio Arts Council and Ohio Citizens for the Arts Foundation.


About the Dayton Performing Arts Alliance

The Dayton Performing Arts Alliance was formed in July 2012 as the result of a groundbreaking and innovative merger between the Dayton Ballet, the Dayton Opera, and the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra. Together, they are the largest performing arts organization in the community, offering a tremendous variety of performance and education programs and setting a new standard for artistic excellence.  Dayton Performing Arts Alliance performances are made possible in part by Montgomery County and Culture Works, the single largest source of community funds for the arts and culture in the Miami Valley. The Dayton Performing Arts Alliance also receives partial funding from the Ohio Arts Council, a state agency created to foster and encourage the development of the arts and to preserve Ohio's cultural heritage. Funding from the Ohio Arts Council is an investment of state tax dollars that promotes economic growth, educational excellence, and cultural enrichment for all Ohio residents.  The Dayton Performing Arts Alliance is proud to be one of five performing arts organizations in the country selected to receive a three-year "Music Alive" grant from New Music USA and the League of American Orchestras.  

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