Last Night’s Event in Words and Pictures

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Hon. Senator John DeFrancisco

Friends of the Arts 2016 recipient

Senator DeFrancisco giving his acceptance speech and speaking about his published book.
Below Left:  Our esteemed audience.















Below: Cheryl Chappell: Recipient of the Friends of the Arts 2016 award.  Presented by artist and penwoman, Linda Bigness


Our branch President Janet Fagal presents Senator John DeFrancisco with his award.


Below left:  Joan Applebaum, our branch vice president welcomes our distinguished guests, friends, and patrons of the arts.

Below right: Another view of our distinguished audience and some of the artwork, awards, and memorabilia on display.

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Mary Gardner published poet and Vice President for Programs & Special Events read her poem dedicated to the CNY Penwomen branch.









Mary Gardner presents the Friend of the Arts Award to James Emmons, Founder/Coordinator of the Syracuse Poster Project.













Nancy A. Dafoe, Vice President of Communications, CNY Branch of NLAPW
CNY Branch of the National League of American Pen Women (NLAPW)
For more information, contact Joan Applebaum, Vice President Membership Development
at (315) 430-5529

Senator, Gallery Owner, Poster Project Founder to Receive
Friend of the Arts Awards

Syracuse, NY: The Central New York Branch of the NATIONAL LEAGUE OF AMERICAN PEN WOMEN is pleased to announce the recipients of the 2016 FRIEND OF THE ARTS AWARDS, to be presented to individuals or organizations who have made unique and sustained contributions to the creative arts. The awardees are Senator John DeFrancisco, Cheryl Chappell, Edgewood Gallery owner, and Jim Emmons, founder and coordinator of the Syracuse Poster Project. The awards will be presented during a public reception at the Onondaga Historical Association headquarters, 321 Montgomery St. on October 13, 5:30-7:30pm. The OHA has mounted an exhibit of artifacts and a show of member art and publications, honoring the 90th Anniversary of the Branch which was founded in the Onondaga Hotel on October 1, 1926. The reception program will include a NYS Senate Proclamation, the awards ceremony, and a celebratory closing of the Branch’s 90th Year.

Senator John DeFrancisco is a long-time supporter of the arts, securing state grant money for many events and projects, including the Young CNY Artist Program which assists students financially in grades 7-12 in their artistic development through enrollment in special programs.
He is a supporter of literacy initiatives, such as visiting local libraries in the NYS Senate Summer Reading Program.

Since 2001, the Syracuse Poster Project, under Jim Emmons’ tireless and creative leadership,
has hung 240 posters in city kiosks, together representing many aspects of life in and around Syracuse and the diversity of its people. It reflects the potential of public art to reflect the best of a community’s culture is and provides opportunities for writers and artists to create and be honored. It receives no governmental or institutional funding.

Under Cheryl’s leadership over the past sixteen years, Edgewood Gallery has come to be considered the main for-profit gallery in the area, and therefore, a source of revenue for artists.
The gallery has displayed the work of over 400 fine artists working in several different art forms.
She is supportive of other galleries and hosts an annual juried show for local high school students. Significantly, Edgewood is scheduled four years in advance.

The Friend Award, first presented in 2009, was designed to recognize those “who have creatively, consistently, and collaboratively advanced the cause of visual arts, literary arts, music composition or choreography in Central New York, thereby having a significant impact on the quality of life for individuals and groups at organizational, community or regional levels.”

The OHA Exhibit runs from September 7 through November 9, 2016. Hours are 10:00am-4:00pm Wednesday through Friday. Weekend hours are 11:00am-4:00pm.



National League of American Pen Women 90th Anniversary Exhibit

The Onondaga Historical Museum exhibit features 90 years of the Pen Women of CNY’s chapter’s history, including artwork, poetry, photographs, books, and other writings, as well as awards.  The exhibit also includes a loan of an original 1928 photograph of Pen Women taken outside the White House with President Calvin Coolidge.  The framed photograph includes a very young Dorothy Lowell Wakker, a current resident of Lyncourt, NY.  Dorothy’s mother, Rose Lowell, a member of the two year old CNY chapter of NLAPW, took her daughter to the event in Washington, D.C.  Rose Lowell was a free lance columnist with the Syracuse newspapers in the 1930s & 1940s.

A special anniversary reception will be held on October 13th between 5-7 pm. 

The Central NY chapter of NLAPW was founded in 1926 and has promoted and encouraged the development of creative talents throughout the CNY community through its Poetry/Art contest. In addition to the Poetry/Art contest, the CNY members participate actively in the local arts scene as visual artists, writers, poets, genealogists, and lecturers.

The CNY chapter began a yearlong celebration of its 90th anniversary in November 2015 with a visit from NLAPW National President Candace Long, and an art exhibit and poetry/prose reading at the Fayetteville Library. The event was open to the public and also featured Candace Long’s presentation, “Wired For Creativity”.

The group toured the National Women’s Hall of Fame in Seneca Falls NY. CNY Pen Women along with NLAPW President Candace Long presented Pen Women Vinnie Ream’s (1847 – 1914) name as a candidate for the Hall of Fame. Vinnie Ream is best known as the sculptor who created the statue of Abraham Lincoln for the U.S. Capitol Rotunda.

In April 2016, seven Pen Women journeyed to Washington DC to attend the NLAPW 2016 Biennial to experience four days of presentations in art, politics, music, dance and literature with Pen Women from all over the country.  Three CNY Pen Women were represented in the Biennial Juried Art Show, and one won an award in the Poetry Competition. One of the CNY members also was elected as a national vice president. In addition, five members had a private West Wing tour of the


Mary Gardner in the News

The promise of gardens while still in winter:

CNY Books and Authors

Gardner has been writing since she was a young girl in a one-room schoolhouse in rural Western New York. She continued writing in college, publishing some of her work, which led to writing becoming a constant part of her personal and professional life. Gardner has served as the Chair of the CNY Annual Poetry Contest and is the VP for Programs and Special Events for the National League of American Pen Women, CNY Branch.

Read More


90th Year “Celebration of the Arts”

banner for 90th anniversary Barbara Baum

The CNY Branch, National League of American Pen Women (NLAPW) celebrates the opening of its 90th year, with a month-long “Celebration of the Arts” show in the Art Gallery of the Fayetteville Free Library (FFL). A special event in the FFL on November 18 at 6:30 pm, features a multi-media presentation by NLAPW President Candace Long entitled “Unleashing the Creative Woman.” This talk is preceeded by a Reading of Poetry & Essay at 4:30 and Refreshments at 5:30.All events are free and open to the public.  Visit our Facebook page: Central NY Branch or call 315-685-2047.90th anniversary press release 2

Candace.web_ NLAPW President Candace Long

2015 Pen Women Poetry Contest Winners

Group 5 Winning Poems 2015 


Group 4 Winning Poems 2015



Group 3

1st Place


Katie Sherrin

We cry.

Not because we are weak,

But because we have been strong for too long.

We sing.

Not because we are musicians,

But because we want to be free.

We dance.

Not because we are ballerinas,

But because we cannot fly.

We laugh.

Not because we are happy,

But because it hurts us too badly to cry.

We die.

Not because we are old,

But because we feel it is impossible to stay alive.

Group 3

2nd Place


Lajencia Brown

A Plane that doesn’t Fly, A Year without July, A Stream

which became Dry. A Match without Fire, A Circuit

without the Wire, A Car without a Tire. Shoes without

Laces, A Sentence without Spaces, A Nerd without

Braces. A Phone without a Dial, A Face without a Smile, A

Clock without a While. Socks without feet, Fire without

Heat, A Heart missing its Beat………

Group 3

3rd Place


Lily Allen

I often think, of things that trouble me.

I often think, of why this could be.

Of bullies, the words that they say,

The jokes that they play.

I often ask, why me?

What have I done? Why am I the one?

I often think, of those who are like me.

Those who cry the tears of the rejected,

The tears of the lost.

I often think, what is the point?

Why am I here? Why must I live in fear?

But now, I often realize,

Of how I can stand tall, just like a brick wall.

I am better. I am stronger.

Stronger than they will ever be.

And now I see, that I am me.

And I am great. I am good.

I have proved more than they ever could.

Before, I wanted to escape, to run away and pout.

Now I often think, I am proud to be me, inside and out.

Group 3

Honorable Mention


Maddy King

Her words like a volcano.

Keep pouring out,

never ending.

Burning words

like jalapenos.

Big or small.

Weak or strong.

Burns them all.

Then it stopped.

No lava left

to hurt anyone.

No lava left in this mouth of a volcano.

Group 3

Honorable Mention

End of Counterpoint

Katherine Martellock

Autumn’s cold is like a scythe,

It rat-a-tats on your window,

For fear of the wind’s blow,

Brings sickness and pain as sharp as a knife,

With the taste of blood, treats, and malice,

On the blade,

As cold as ice.

Winters cold is warmer still,

Carrying man’s good will,

Warmer than the seasons past,

Making all the memories last,

Of the silent joy and laughter,

Kept inside,

Forever after.

 Group 3

Honorable Mention

The Holiday

Lexi Emmi

Finally it’s almost here

Time for all the love and cheer

No, not Santa on his sleigh

No celebrating New Year’s Day

It’s not about a ghost or mask

Trick or treat you do not ask

No presents, no candles on a cake

No bunnies or eggs for goodness sake!

It’s not about turkey, stuffing or pie

You’ll see no fireworks in the sky

It’s not about your mom or dad

But there’s no reason to be sadThere will be

candy and a card

So by now it should not be hard

To figure out by this line

Will you be my Valentine!

Group 3

Honorable Mention


Emma Brewster

Light filters through the canopy.

Soon the air is filled with the gentle hum of life,

that will turn into a roar of existence.

Every meal symbolizes the tight twine of life,

binding predator and prey.

The steady swing of life here is the earth’s pulse,

radiating the vibrations of the love God shows.

A day in the jungle is a chance to stand truly in

the circle of life.


Group 2 1st Place

Morning Song

Grace Irish


Have you ever woken up to hear the Morning Song?

Have you ever heard the little birds tweeting right along?

As the sun begins to rise do you hear the hum

as you neighbor turns on his car, the motor is the drum?

Do you look out the window

and see a chickadee

perched on a twig

chirping oh-so happily?

It really starts your day off bright to hear this lovely song,

Time to do YOUR part in the morning song.


Group 2

2nd Place


The Dog Star

Kiru Morrissette


When you lay your head down,

Very far away,

The Dog Star

Winks at you.

You happily smile back,

Eager to go to sleep.

“Come for a ride little child,

I shall take you to places unknown,

You will have fun I guarantee,

If only you come with me!”

Says the Dog Star.

Travelling through unknown galaxies,

Learning about space and time,

If only you could do this forever,

You would feel extremely happy.

If only you could do this forever,

You would feel extremely happy.


Honorable Mention

Group 2



Tyler Figueroa






















Honorable Mention

Group 2



Bella Vigianno


Hippity hop, hippity hop, we found her all alone.

Hippity hop, hippity hop, I wanted her as my own.

Hippity hop, hippity hop, her color was all brown.

Hippity hop, hippity hop, most gorgeous one in town.

Thumpity thump, thumpity thump, her eyes did sparkle like a star.

Thumpity thump, thumpity thump, I came to find her from afar.

Thumpity thump, thumpity thump, I knew she was so sweet.

Thumpity thump, thumpity thump, my heart was glad that we could meet

Hippity hop, hippity hop, from the shelter, I bought my bunny.

Thumpity thump thumpity thump, I brought her home to be my honey.

Hippity hop, hippity hop, now she is my best, best, friend.

Thumpity thump, thumpity thump, I will love her to the end.




Group 2

Honorable Mention


Playing Outside

Mary Jerred


Parents tell us to go out and play,

And that out there we will stay,

We follow their commands obediently,

Outside we make snow figures perfectly.

Much time has passed by,

The sun setting in the sky,

Casting an orange glow,

All over the sparking snow.

My toes are extremely numb,

We have had so much fun.

Inside it is so very warm,

The heat enclosing us like a swarm.

We sit by the fire warming out toes,

As we drink hot cocoa with marshmallows.

Later we curl up on the couch,

Nobody’s feeling like a grouch.

We are done watching our holiday movie,

But now it is time for bed you see.

We snuggled in our warm beds,

While we dreamt about our day in our heads.



Group 1

1st Place

What I Like to Do in Summer

Carmella Fairbanks

The winter is such a bummer

I can’t wait until it’s summer

No more books, school is out

Hotter weather is what it’s all about

In summer we can play outside

Even go for a bike ride

To a camp and on a lake

A nice boat ride we can take

It’s so hot we can swim in a pool

Now we feel nice and cool

At night marshmallows we will roast

Tubing behind the boat is what I like to do the most

Those are things I love to do in summer

This winter has been such a bummer