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Geva establishes award in honor of Calhoun

Essie Calhoun

Essie Calhoun, retired chief diversity officer, director of Community Affairs, vice president of Eastman Kodak Co. and chair of the 2011 United Way of Greater Rochester Campaign, was honored Saturday at Geva Theatre Center.

The evening performance of August Wilson’s Radio Golf was dedicated to her in recognition of her many contributions to diversity in the community and in the arts.

In addition, Geva Theatre Center has created the Essie Calhoun Diversity in the Arts Award which will be given annually to a person or organization that promotes and encourages diversity in the arts. Calhoun is the first recipient.

“It gives me a special joy to honor Essie Calhoun in this manner on behalf of all Rochester organizations that have benefited from her dogged support and clear philanthropic vision,” said Geva’s Artistic Director Mark Cuddy.

“Going forward, whomever receives the annual “Essie” Award will be standing on some pretty broad shoulders,” Cuddy said. “It’s a fitting tribute to the legacy one person can build in our community.”