Beck Center for the Arts dazzled 300 guests at Cleveland Grays Armory Museum with its fifth annual “Spotlight” gala.
This year’s honorees, Iris November and Rosemary Corcoran, are dear friends to each other and to Beck Center. November, a longtime supporter and sponsor of Beck Center for the Arts Youth Theater, and Corcoran, past board president of Beck Center, joined together in celebrating the common theme of providing arts experiences to all people.
“I’m proud to lend my support to Spotlight, Beck Center’s gala supporting dynamic arts and performance education programs,” benefit chair Mickey Mencin said. “This year is even more special, because we are not only celebrating Beck Center’s 85th anniversary of professional theater, but also recognizing two of the most dedicated arts champions in Greater Cleveland, Iris November and Rosemary Corcoran.”
“Arts through the Ages is our theme this year, since Beck Center for the Arts and its predecessor Lakewood Little Theater have had such a meaningful impact on the many generations who have come through our doors for dynamic arts education and performance,” Beck Center President Lucinda Einhouse noted. “Through the ages, this organization has stayed true to its patron-and-student-centric values, creating arts experiences that are as individual as the people we serve.”
In celebration of its 85th anniversary, Beck Center initiated its inaugural Alumni Hall of Fame. This year’s inductees included Rory O’Malley and Matthew Rego, Michael Rego and Hank Unger of the Araca Group. O’Malley is best known for his Tony Award-nominated performance as Elder McKinley in “The Book of Mormon.” He just ended his run performing the role of King George III on the national tour of “Hamilton.” O’Malley took theater classes at Beck Center in the 1990s.
The Araca Group is a live entertainment merchandise and production company founded in 1997 by the Regos and Unger. First achieving success as producers of the musical “Urinetown,” the company gradually became more involved in merchandising following the success of “Wicked.” All three grew up attending theater classes at Beck Center and have continued to lend their support over the years.
Proceeds of Spotlight will be used to advance Beck Center’s mission to provide arts education, performances, exhibits, creative arts therapies and outreach programming to the community. STORY BY CYNTHIA SCHUSTER EAKIN/PHOTOGRAPHS BY ERIC EAKIN