The West Windsor Arts Council, like many non-profit organizations, depends greatly on the service of its volunteers. WWAC’s staff is lucky to have over 120 individuals that are ready to step up when needed. For National Volunteer Appreciation Week, April 7 – 13, WWAC wanted to make sure all the volunteers knew how grateful we are for their time, energy and enthusiasm in helping at everything from events, to fundraising, to serving on committees and on the board. The West Windsor Arts Center would also like to honor three very dedicated individuals who went above and beyond in service to the Arts Council, awarding them Volunteers of the Year.
This year Archana Vadivelu has been selected to receive WWAC’s Volunteer of the Year award for her exemplary service in support of the arts. She has been with the WWAC’s Exhibition Committee since the Fall of 2015 helping to support the receptions for the art shows and representing WWAC at events. Vadivelu states, “WWAC is more like a family for me. It’s always fun to be with like-minded people and organize events. The WWAC family embraces each other with love and I’m truly blessed for being a part of the WWAC family.” She cherishes every step right from planning to executing, and making the event a grand success. Archana Vadivelu comes to art after earning a Masters degree in Business Administration and a career in banking. Archana believes that being creative is not a hobby, it is a way of life. She has developed a unique technique using rice to create intricate works of art, but she experiments in different mediums as well. Archana is also a seasoned Indian Classical Dancer and a culinary expert. Archana Vadivelu lives in South Brunswick with her husband and son.
Arushi Patel, a Junior at West Windsor-Plainsboro High School, has been selected to receive WWAC’s Student Volunteer of the Year award for her dedication and willingness to do whatever is needed as part of the Student Volunteer Crew. As an artist herself, she finds volunteering at the art shows intriguing and a great learning experience. One of the projects that particularly interested Patel was the transformation of a carpet into a martian landscape. Other volunteer projects have included gardening and face painting. Patel feels, “Being a part of the Special Events Crew is not just a fun way of getting involved with the community but is also an opportunity to familiarize yourself with your surroundings through art. I am glad that I got the chance to be a part of this crew and engage myself with the community.”
Kerri Hamm, Senior Vice President and Client Manager in the Reinsurance Division of Munich Reinsurance in Princeton and holding a BS from Georgia Tech, will receive WWAC’s Most Valuable Player award for her 10 years of service. Kerri began volunteering in 2009 when she moved to Princeton from Atlanta, GA. Her first position was on a classes sub-committee to develop the curriculum for the newly opened art center. Kerri also worked at the membership booth at the grand opening party and subsequent annual celebrations. Kerri remembers that is was staff member Kaveri Kalawar who first got her thinking that she could consider being on the Board one day. It was in 2013 when she responded to an email calling for Board Members. After 6 months she was installed as an official Board Member. Kerri then volunteered as the Fundraising Chair. “I loved this role because I got to know so many wonderful WWAC supporters! My first organized event was a luncheon in honor of Dick Snedeker.” Hamm became Board President in 2016 when Elane Gutterman was rolling off of the board and Aylin Green, Executive Director, was newly hired. Now as she becomes a Board President Emeritus, she looks back at how she greatly enjoyed this leadership role and supporting Aylin in achieving WWAC’s operational goals. Kerri is especially proud of achieving an original goal as a Board Member: operational sustainability for WWAC. WWAC wishes her continued success in all her endeavors and looks forward to her continued involvement and support.
West Windsor Arts Center sends a sincere thank you to Archana Vadivelu, Arushi Patel, Kerri Hamm and all our volunteers for sharing their talents with West Windsor Arts Council and welcomes members of the community to join this vital team. For more information, click HERE.
THANK YOU WWAC VOLUNTEERS!
Seema Ghosh Bhattacharjee
Qinfang (Fiona) Guo
Anne Marie Miller
Anusha Saran Rohatgi
Yingchao (YZ) Zhang