LeMoyne Announces Award Winners

Foremost among the winners is prominent Tallahasseean Paula S. Fortunas who received the Richard L. Puckett Leadership in Arts award for her role as Chair of LeMoyne’s Art for Always Capital Campaign. This award is named for LeMoyne’s first Executive Director, Richard L. Puckett. Dan Taylor, local artist and last year’s Puckett Award winner, presented the award. Fortunas received the Puckett Award sculpture, which is carved and donated each year by nationally and internationally renowned Tallahassee sculptor Anthony Quickle.

Under Fortunas’ direction, LeMoyne has raised some $2.5 million toward its goal of $3.2 million to fund the purchase and renovation of LeMoyne’s new education building, renovation and expansion of LeMoyne’s ever popular gardens, design and construction of a new plaza and a gazebo, repurposing of its former education building into ceramics classrooms and leased artist studios, and creation of a facilities maintenance endowment fund. Much of the success of LeMoyne’s Capital Campaign is due to the capable leadership of Fortunas.

In acknowledging her award, Fortunas said, “The Art for Always master plan and its associated capital campaign represent LeMoyne’s covenant with the future for the arts in this region. While I am honored to receive the Puckett Award, the campaign’s success is attributable to the efforts and generosity of countless arts advocates, donors, the LeMoyne Board of Directors and its cohort of volunteers. Fundraising is definitely a team sport.”

Now retired, Fortunas’ distinguished career perfected the skills and expertise leading to her success as Chair of LeMoyne’s Capital Campaign. It included a variety of professional roles―first at Florida State University (FSU), where she was Foundation CFO and VP for Planned Giving, as well as adjunct faculty, and then as VP of Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare (TMH) hospital and later President and CEO of the TMH Foundation. In addition to her tenure on the LeMoyne Arts Board of Directors, she has served on numerous councils and boards, including such arts–related organizations as Tallahassee’s Artists Series, Word of South Festival, the Appleton Museum of Art in Ocala, and the Ringling Museum of Art in Sarasota, to name only a few.

Also receiving LeMoyne Arts awards the same evening were Danny Allen, named 2022 Volunteer of the Year, and Cyrus Paul, selected as Student Volunteer of the Year. Their many hours of hard work have given LeMoyne much-needed extra hands maintaining its appearance and fostering administrative efficiency.

Allen, a local entrepreneur, first volunteered to assist with the Chain of Parks Festival, then found his various skills dovetailed with LeMoyne’s need for help maintaining the gallery’s front yard and gardens, allowing him to spend treasured time outdoors. His energy, kindness, and great communication skills have made him indispensable to LeMoyne Arts. Said Allen, “I feel very much appreciated by everyone at LeMoyne Arts. Volunteering at the gallery has been a joy for me and I look forward to expanded responsibilities.”

Cyrus Paul is a senior at FSU working towards a degree in music. He hopes to pursue a master’s degree and then a career in Arts Administration. “It’s been great learning about all of the moving parts that help an organization run, and I’m honored to have been a part of that process. I’ve loved being able to contribute to something greater than myself. Being in the presence of such amazing works of art has also been a highlight of my time here.”

LeMoyne’s Art for Always campaign is ensuring it will continue its mission of service to our community for years to come. LeMoyne Arts has been at the heart of Tallahassee’s cultural and visual arts for nearly 60 years. LeMoyne’s education programs have nurtured the artistic talent of four generations of Tallahassee families, and its signature events are an important part of our community’s cultural life. LeMoyne has made the arts more accessible to people of all ages and economic levels, promoted and supported the work of local artists, and generated millions of dollars for our local economy through events such as its annual multicultural Holiday Show (this year’s theme is Happy Holly Days) and the annual Chain of Parks Art Festival.

For more information or to make a donation to LeMoyne’s Art for Always campaign, please contact Paula Fortunas at 850-933-2770 or PaulaFortunas@gmail.com. If contributing by check, make it payable to LeMoyne Arts, write Art for Always on the check’s memo line, and mail to: 125 North Gadsden Street, Tallahassee, Florida 32301. Thank you for helping LeMoyne create community through art.