Hank Knerr, director of public events for the College of Fine Arts at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, was recently awarded the first Presenter of the Year Award by Pennsylvania Presenters. The award was given in a public presentation at the organization’s annual meeting and conference in Pittsburgh on May 29, 2009.
Pennsylvania Presenters is a statewide organization of over 150 members who represent performing arts venues from small community theaters to large university performing arts centers. Members work to bring touring performing artists to their communities for concerts, recitals, and outreach activities. Pennsylvania Presenters, formed over twenty-five years ago, is considered one of the most active and respected presenting consortium organizations in the country.
The award will be given on an annual basis to a presenter who has made a meaningful volunteer contribution to Pennsylvania Presenters and the presenting field. According to a resolution by the organization’s board of directors, it was given to Knerr “in appreciation for his presenting quality performances in his region and his tireless commitment to the PA Presenters organization. We applaud your loyal service.”
Knerr, who presents touring performance artists through Lively Arts’ Performance Plus series, came to IUP in July 1989. In addition to presenting touring performers, he also works to promote and manage a variety of other public events within the College of Fine Arts. He also directs ArtsPath, an arts-in-education partnership with the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts that serves a five-county region. Additionally, he heads the facilities management for the IUP Performing Arts Center and leads the College of Fine Arts’ web team.
Knerr has been a member of Pennsylvania Presenters for most of his twenty years at IUP and has served on their board of directors and as president. He served as the cochair of the organization’s 2002 state conference and numerous other committees. More recently, he served as the chairperson of the first Pennsylvania Spring Arts Conference held in Pittsburgh in May 2009, which brought over 250 presenters and other community arts leaders from Pennsylvania and neighboring states to Pittsburgh.
Locally, he has served on the boards of the Indiana County Tourist Bureau, Indiana Arts Council, and Indiana County Humane Society and on the advisory committee for the Indiana Players. He has presented professional sessions and workshops at numerous state, regional, and national conferences; served as a consultant in presenting and arts-in-education; and participated as a panelist for numerous granting organizations in the arts.