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Sandra Olson Winners

For the past ten years, New Urban Arts has recognized individuals and organizations that demonstrate extraordinary commitment to New Urban Arts through the Sandra Olson Awards. Extraordinary contributions of time, expertise, money, energy, or support – often given without solicitation – qualify recipients. The award’s namesake, Sandra Olson, once mailed New Urban Arts a $2 check each week over the course of two years. Her gifts totaled over $250.

This year’s awards will be presented at New Urban Arts’ Annual Campaign fundraiser on Thursday, April 12, 7PM as we celebrate New Urban Arts’ fifteenth birthday. Please join us in our celebration and help us congratulate the 2012 Sandra Olson Award winners!


Sara Bergman, alumni artist mentor and volunteer
Sara has continued to stay involved as a volunteer, donor and friend since being an artist mentor. She launched the Bergman Fund, an endowment to support RISD artist mentors at New Urban Arts and has been a dedicated volunteer leader in our capital campaign.

Emily Ustach, alumni artist mentor and volunteer
Emily has played a variety of roles at New Urban Arts, volunteer, artist mentor, and staff member. Last year, she voluntarily led a committee of advisors to help New Urban Arts prepare its programming for a new space and manage our rising youth enrollment. 

Site Specific, business
The Site Specific team went above and beyond in renovating New Urban Arts’ new home, finishing under budget, securing in-kind donations from vendors, and most importantly, building a beautiful and inspiring permanent space for our youth and artists.

Emmy Bright, Arts Mentoring Fellow
Emmy has contributed an extraordinary number of hours, far more than expected, to our students and artist mentors. She invests deeply in the organization and the people in it. She asks more of herself than we ever could.

Noel Puello, student
Noel is a graduating senior admitted to several colleges including Parsons School of Art and Design and Massachusetts College of Art.

Noel has been an active student for several years and one of our most dedicated ambassadors. “Noel has made contributions to both New Urban Arts and Providence that I have never seen before in a high-school student. Noel is possibly the most courageous person I know.” -Nominee

Past winners are:
2002 – Peter Hocking, Jephry Floral Studio, Marly Louis, Echoing Green Foundation
2003 – Kathleen Connolly, Jason Yoon, Gasbarro’s Wines
2004 – Jesse Banks III, White Electric, Craftland
2005 – Michael Fournier, Kedrin Frias, Jennifer Rice, Cornish Associates
2006 – Priscilla Carrion, White Whale Web Services, Tamara Kaplan, Judy Vilmain
2007 – John Tabor Jacobson, Mary Adewusi, Esther Chak, Simon Moore, Jack Richter
2008 – Sarah Meyer, Myrth York, Aneudy Alba, Andrew Oesch
2009 – Deborah Obalil, Mathias Arling, Vilmain Inc., Erik Gould
2010 – Angelo Manioudakis, Andy Cutler, Rosalia Velis
2011 – Jane Androski , Virginia Branch, Jay Glasson, CJ Jimenez, Susan Smulyan

Congratulations to Sara, Emily, Site Specific, Emmy and Noel! We are so grateful for all of your work!