The Legacy Award

Geva Theatre Center’s Legacy Award is presented to individuals or couples who have made a significant contribution to the theatre.  Contributions may include time, talent or treasure—and sometimes all three—to ensure that Rochester has a high quality professional regional theatre.

Some Legacy Award recipients were visionaries who dreamt of the possibility of a theatre like Geva.  Others elevated the theatre to a new level such as the move to its current home in 1985, and the renovation of the building in 2016.  Several recipients provided significant leadership, particularly in challenging times. Still, others provided inspirational philanthropy to make possible an ever-expanding vision.  Most award recipients were highly visible in the roles they played in the life of the theatre while others quietly worked behind the scenes making significant contributions to help move Geva along.

The award is designed by renowned Rochester glass artist Nancy Gong.

Recipients of the Legacy Award are:

  • Helen Berkeley
  • Ted Boucher
  • Derek & Janice Chapman
  • Linda Cornell Weinstein
  • David Fiedler
  • Ronald Fielding
  • Patrick Fulford
  • Suzanne Gouvernet
  • Joanna & Michael Grosodonia
  • Nan & Tom Hildebrandt
  • David Hoffberg
  • Art & Maureen Holtzman
  • Norman Horton
  • Jack Kraushaar
  • Dawn Lipson
  • Henry & Annabelle Martin
  • Peter Messner
  • Emily Neece & Alan Ziegler
  • Nannette Nocon
  • Elizabeth “Betty” Pine
  • Herb Rees
  • Jean Ryon
  • Blanche Saltzman
  • Robert Saltzman
  • Christina Selian
  • Maggie Symington





The Essie Calhoun Diversity in the Arts Award

Geva Theatre Center annually presents the Essie Calhoun Diversity in the Arts Award to an individual who or organization that promotes and encourages diversity in the arts. The award recognizes that art allows for the expression of truths and beliefs, and helps us gain an understanding of one another and our world.  It further acknowledges that a mixture of cultures stimulates creativity, the sharing of ideas, and the building of a common collective future, which has always been close to Ms. Calhoun-McDavid’s heart.

The award was established in 2011 and named in honor of Essie Calhoun-McDavid, retired Chief Diversity Officer, Director of Community Affairs, and Vice President of Eastman Kodak Company.  Ms. Calhoun-McDavid, a longtime advocate for diversity in the arts, was the first recipient of the award.

The award is designed by renowned Rochester glass artist Nancy Gong.

Recipients of the Essie Calhoun Diversity in the Arts Award are:

  • Essie Calhoun-McDavid
  • The Center for Youth’s Strings for Success
  • Rachel DeGuzman
  • Garth Fagan
  • Reenah Golden
  • Delores Jackson Radney
  • Debora McDell-Hernandez
  • Nydia Padilla-Rodriguez
  • School of the Arts
  • Thomas Warfield
  • David Shakes
  • Seneca Art & Culture Center at Ganondagan