Saturday, October 4, 2008

Chris Miles to receive Good Patroon Award on 10/8

ALBANY, NY – September 30, 2008 – The Albany Roundtable has selected Christine M. Miles, Director of the Albany Institute of History and Art, to receive its prestigious Good Patroon Award for her commitment to making the museum a broadly accessible cultural and educational resource. This annual award was established in 1988 to recognize outstanding contributions to the community by institutions and individuals.

“Chris has done so much to solidify the important connection between the arts and business,” said Colleen M. Ryan, President of the Albany Roundtable. “When a delegation from Albany traveled to Austin, Texas in 2003 to determine how the predicted growth in high technology might affect our community well-being, Chris was there. And when the Upstate Artists Guild launched ‘First Friday’ in Albany, Chris advocated for the Institute’s participation in this cutting-edge approach to arts and culture. The continued success of the Albany Institute over two decades of momentous change is a testament to her visionary leadership, and we are delighted to honor her with the Good Patroon Award.”

Wally Altes, host of The Bottom Line with Wally Altes on WMHT – Channel 17 and former President of the Albany-Colonie Regional Chamber of Commerce, will present the Award at the first meeting of the Albany Roundtable’s 30th Anniversary Season on Wednesday, October 8th. The luncheon’s featured speaker is Robert Altman, President and CEO of WMHT Educational Telecommunications.

“Over the years, the Albany Institute has worked with the corporate and business sector to garner support for many high impact projects, the most successful to date being the GE-funded Excavating Egypt which drew record crowds from all over,” said Miles. “Visitors to Albany and our area ate in our restaurants, stayed in our hotels and shopped in our stores. Our current exhibition, Impressionist Giverny: American Painters in France is built on a similar model. As Jan Smith of GE Power Systems said while speaking at an Albany Institute Corporate Breakfast, ‘... projects like Excavating Egypt are a win-win situation for the public, our businesses and the arts -- our whole community.’ ”

The Albany Institute of History and Art is a cultural and educational institution dedicated to public service. As a museum, it mission is to collect, preserve, and interpret the art, cultural and history of Albany and the Upper Hudson Valley Region in a global context from the 17th century to the present. In 2009, the Institute will feature “HUDSON RIVER PANORAMA: 400 Years of Art, History and Culture,” based on new research and largely drawn from the Institute’s vast holdings, documenting life in the Hudson Valley.

Prior to coming to the Capital District, Christine Miles worked in New York City and Washington, DC at a number of museums. She has a BA in Art History from Boston University and an MA in American Culture and Museum Studies from George Washington University. Miles has been active in the museum and arts community state-wide and served as President of two boards: Museum Association of New York State and Gallery Association of New York State. Miles is active in the community, and currently sits on the board of the Albany County Convention and Visitors Bureau. She was born in Madison, Indiana and grew up living in the mid-west, the east coast, and England. Christine and her husband, Jake Kelliher, live in downtown Albany.

The October 8 Roundtable Luncheon begins at 12:00 noon and is held in the third floor former courtroom of the old Federal Building, now part of SUNY Plaza at the foot of State Street. The cost of the Luncheon is $12 for those who register on or before October 6, and $15 at the door. Reservations are required by Monday, October 6 and can be made by calling 518-431-1440 (the reservations hotline of the Albany Colonie Regional Chamber of Commerce) or by e-mail albanyroundtable@yahoo.com. For additional information call Colleen Ryan at 518-462-1900 or visit www.AlbanyRoundtable.com.

The most recent Good Patroon Award winners include Parsons Child and Family Center and its Executive Director Raymond Schimmer; Capital Repertory Theater and its Producing Artistic Director Maggie Mancinelli-Cahill; and the Albany Housing Authority and its Executive Director Stephen Longo.

“When he died in 1839, Stephen Van Rensselaer III was remembered as ‘The Good Patroon’ for his benevolent attitude toward the residents of Rensselaerswyck,” said Ryan. “The Good Patroon Award is the Albany Roundtable’s primary means of honoring those leaders who make our community a better place to live. We are so pleased to be able to present Chris with this award.”

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