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'Behind The Scenes' But Much Appreciated

The Ridgefield Arts Council honored 11 volunteers whose efforts promote arts and culture in town.

Eleven volunteers were honored by the Ridgefield Arts Council on Thursday evening for their contributions to the arts and culture scene in town.

"This is the best part of this job," said outgoing RAC chairman Nancy Baldwin Andrews as she and First Selectman Rudy Marconi prepared to present the awards at the ceremony, called "Behind the Scenes."

This is the first year that Behind the Scenes, which has taken place annually since 2004, honored all the people nominated instead of sifting through them to select just one.

"It's endless, all the different organizations that really foster arts and culture for us," event chairman Paul Gervais said.

Honorees included Donna Case of the Ridgefield Symphony Orchestra, Joseph Consentino of the Playhouse, Michelle Friedman from The Aldrich, Pat Hegnauer from Weir Farm, Valerie Jensen of SPHERE, Wayne Leiss of Theatre Barn, Chris Pike of CHIRP, Mary Ann Sherry of RMAC, Lynn Schneider from the Ridgefield Chorale, Greg Westman from Woodcock Nature Center and Nancy Zangre of Productions for Young People.

Andrews read a blurb about each person's efforts, and then Marconi presented an engraved crystal memento, a framed citation and a Ridgefield 300 plate. Andrews noted that two recipients, Friedman and Westman, are both college students, and she lauded them for making substantial community contributions at such young ages.

After all 11 people were feted, incoming RAC chairman Alison Greeley turned the tables, thanking Andrews with a bouquet for her 11 years leading the group. She's moving to Redding next month, so she's no longer eligible to be an official RAC member.

Marconi gave Andrews a hug as the ceremony came to a close and everyone started to leave.

"Thank you for everything you've done," he said to her, quietly. "You've done a wonderful job."

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