BAYarts Moondance honors Bay resident
Mary Conway Sullivan is the 2018 Moondance honoree. She has been part of BAYarts for 12 years now and is the current BAYarts board president.
Moondance is the cultural arts center's annual fundraiser, which features live music (Mike Petrone for 2018), over 15 different restaurants, five local breweries, fine wine and bonfires under the stars of BAYarts' Huntington Reservation campus. Each year someone who has made contributions to the arts or quality of life for Northeast Ohio is honored. Past honorees have been Brian Zimmerman (Cleveland Metroparks), Tom Schorgel (Community Partnership for Arts & Culture) and another Bay resident, Liz Maugans (YARDS Project.)
Living in Bay Village for 21 years, the 2018 honoree is also a world traveler. Conway Sullivan loves going to Spanish-speaking countries such as Spain and Costa Rica. "But anywhere," she says. "Everywhere! It's a big wide world out there."
Fittingly, she has dual Bachelor of Arts degrees in English in Spanish from Marquette University. Some of her passions include "Cooking, writing, dancing, yoga, walking and entertaining friends and family." When it comes to writing, Conway Sullivan is very focused, as she runs a blog called "What the Farm." Readers are routinely entertained by her stories, like the only time she mowed a lawn, her ode to fireflies, and why she planted shamrocks on her farm.
BAYarts Executive Director Nancy Heaton has worked alongside Conway Sullivan for years and credits her with helping to launch BAYarts' rebranding in 2006 and propel the organization into the future. "Mary has been an integral part of BAYarts' trajectory to the vibrant organization it is today; her intelligence, energy and humor have inspired all of us from day one. She is a great collaborator and leader for our board."
Also working beside Conway Sullivan is BAYarts board member Andrea Richards. She says she can think of no more deserving person to be given the honor this year. "Mary's passion and commitment to BAYarts is both inspiring and contagious. As a relative newcomer to BAYarts, I have been so impressed by her dedication that I too wanted to be a part of the BAYarts community. Mary uses her time and talent to enhance the community and is the perfect choice for this year's Moondance honoree."
Asked what some of her proudest BAYarts accomplishments are, she remarks, "All successes at BAYarts are team-based! We have an amazing staff, board and volunteer base! Everyone really has a passion to roll up their sleeves and get stuff done."
The biggest united campus hustle of the year is always Moondance. And the honoree says she's happy with how "large and successful" Moondance has become since its inception. "It's a fantastic evening and a great way to introduce folks to BAYarts. It's also a great way to celebrate the arts, community, music, food ... all things that make life worth living! I am really honored to be the board president of BAYarts. And I'm totally humbled to be the honoree at Moondance. It's a little embarrassing because, like I said, everything at BAYarts is a team effort!"
Moondance will be held on Saturday, Sept. 8. Tickets can be purchased at bayarts.net.
Jessica Stockdale is the Marketing Manager at BAYarts.