Long Beach women in the arts


Artists in Partnership Inc. and Long Beach REACH teamed up to host the first annual Women in the Arts awards and recognition party and fundraiser at the Allegria Hotel on March 24.

In observance of Women’s History Month, Johanna Mathieson-Ellmer, executive director of AIP, invited guests to enjoy a night of live music provided by local musician Benoir of Studio Noir, a fashion show, vendors showcasing hand-crafted jewelry and accessories and a talk from keynote speaker Donna Drake, an international award-winning media personality.

The fashion show featured items from Ooh la la, Josef Rose, Tijhani, Moku Surf, Elicon Art, Gonzo headpieces and Random LB Boutique fashions styled by Chris Banks. Proceeds from the event benefitted AIP youth programs as well as the LBNY Arts Council.

Among those recognized for their support of the arts were Nassau County Legislator Denise Ford and City Councilwoman Anissa Moore. Artists Naomi Diracles, Mary Mendoza and Hedy Pagremanski earned lifetime achievement awards.

Local business owners recognized for their contributions to the art world included Jennifer Aly of Decor & Lots More, Brooke Robyn Dairman and Erica Ascher of the Professional Youth Theatre, Natalie Dangerfield of Random LB Boutique, Michelle Kelly of Earth Arts and Samantha “Sammi Hoop” Metzger of Arts in the Plaza.

Organizations and local educators were also awarded for their efforts, including Denise Bory, of Artist Mothers Group; Elizabeth Connolly, of the LBNY Arts Council; Ingrid Dodd, of the Long Beach International Film Festival; Shoshanah Findling, of the Long Beach Art League; Joanne Phillips, of J-Bird Music for the Arts; Mary Ellen Pollina, of the West End Beautification Association; Kathryn Ramsey, LBNY Arts Council; Kathleen Regan, West End Visual Arts Guild; Nelly Romero, Long Beach Latino Civic Association; and Laura O’Shaughnessy Swan, of AIP and Long Beach school district.