Award to an Individual

RONNIE WATERS

Central PA Jazz Legend and Music Educator

Trumpet/Piano/Arranger/Composer

Waters, an area music legend, has been in the forefront of the Central Pennsylvania jazz scene since the 1950’s. He was born and raised in in Harrisburg. At John Harris High School he was a member of the marching band and symphonic winds band. After graduating from the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music, he joined the Army and served as dance band director of the 427th Army Band in Europe.  After returning from Europe, he led his own Quintet and worked with Marge and the Majors. Since 1983, Waters has organized and conducted the Central Pennsylvania Friends of Jazz Youth Band. He is credited with mentoring countless young local musicians, including many who have gone on to professional careers, like saxophonists Tim Warfield, Jr. and Jonathan Ragonese. Waters is a member of the Central Pennsylvania Friends of Jazz Hall of Fame. In 2009 he was selected as one of 150 Harrisburg notables to be profiled in the Highmark Blue Shield “Living Legacy” oral history project, part of the City’s “SusqueCentennial” celebration/

Award to an Organization

THE State Museum of Pennsylvania

The State Museum of Pennsylvania, adjacent to the State Capitol in Harrisburg, is one of 24 historic sites and museums administered by the Pennsylvania Historical & Museum Commission as part of the Pennsylvania Trails of History. The State Museum offers expansive collections interpreting Pennsylvania’s fascinating heritage. With exhibits examining the dawn of geologic time, the Native American experience, the colonial and revolutionary eras, a pivotal Civil War battleground, and the commonwealth's vast industrial age, The State Museum demonstrates that Pennsylvania's story is America’s story.  With its roots dating to the late Victorian era and the “Old State Museum Building” next door to (and older than) the Capitol itself, the present State Museum opened in 1964.  It was designed by Harrisburg’s preeminent architectural firm of Lawrie & Green in a mid-century modern style of striking geometric shapes that includes the accompanying and contrasting State Archives Tower.

In its early years, the William Penn Memorial Museum, as it was then known, served as home and headquarters for a wide array of Harrisburg arts and cultural institutions.  The Historic Harrisburg Association, the Greater Harrisburg Arts Council and Arts Festival, Women in the Arts, and other groups were established and based there.  The museum auditorium served as Harrisburg’s first art house movie theatre, presenting films and related educational programming unavailable elsewhere.  With numerous diverse events and ceremonies staged and hosted there (including the first ten years of Arts Awards), the museum was for many years Harrisburg’s de-facto civic center.  The annual “Art of the State” juried art exhibition has been staged at the State Museum since 1967, underscoring the State Museum’s assumption of a leadership role in collecting and retaining contemporary Pennsylvania art.

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