On November 12, 1975 the Poughkeepsie Branch held a dinner at the Vassar Alumni House to commemorate the International Women's Year and to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the founding of our branch. Eight women were honored for outstanding service to the residents of Dutchess County. Since that time, the Poughkeepsie Branch AAUW has selected a local woman to honor as our Woman of the Year. These women exemplify the goals stated in AAUW's mission statement:
The American Association of University Women advances equity
for women and girls through advocacy, education, philanthropy, and research.
We invite you to nominate candidates for consideration of this honor using the form linked below to print, fill in and mail. Your nomination will be in consideration for two years from the date you submit the form to one of the Woman of the Year Committee Co-Chairs: Margaret Ouart, 26 Broad St, Fishkill, NY 12524 or Gail Sisti, 313 Forest Rd, Wallkill, NY 12589
Carole J. Wolf is the Founder and Executive Director of Mill Street Loft, a not-for-profit Multi-Arts Educational Center based in the City of Poughkeepsie. She holds a Master's degree in Art Education and has taught art in high school and at Dutchess Community College for over 25 years. Carole Wolf is a frequent presenter at national, state and regional conferences. In addition to her tireless work on behalf of Mill Street Loft, she has served in volunteer positions on the boards of directors of: The Anderson School for Autism, the New York State Intergenerational Network, the Arts Education Advocacy Coalition in Albany, and the Dutchess County Regional Chamber of Commerce, and currently serves on their Education Committee.
Carole Wolf has provided professional and personal leadership as well as community service to thousands across generations, genders, ethnicities, and socio-economic class. As an artist by trade, an educator by training, and an inspirational force by nature, Carole found a way to bring those worlds together in Mill Street Loft. The Mill Street Loft is dedicated to changing lives through the arts, while rebuilding a shared sense of community. In 1982, she created the award winning Dutchess Arts Camp, which currently offers a visual, performing, and media arts program with professional artist educators to more than 1,000 children each summer in Poughkeepsie, Millbrook, and Red Hook.
Under her leadership throughout its history Mill Street Loft has collaborated with other area organizations and offered intergenerational and arts-in-education programs. This major award-winning Dutchess County arts organization currently offers The Art Institute, The Junior Art Institute, and year-round art classes and workshops for all ages and abilities, as part of its tuition-based programming. Mill Street Loft's underlying philosophy is to create, develop and implement programs that "build self-esteem while learning through the arts." The Art Institute has provided its students with more than 12 million dollars in merit-based scholarship offers to career-minded high school students interested in studying visual arts at the nation's leading colleges and universities.
In 1994 Mill Street Loft created the first of its Outreach Programs that serve economically disadvantaged youth in the Cities of Poughkeepsie and Beacon. Project ABLE and its Habilidad component (begun in 2002), for Hispanic and Latino middle and high school students, are arts-based jobs skills training and career exploration programs to help youth access the workforce. In 1999, Mill Street Loft created PASWORD (Program for Adolescent Student Women of Real Direction). The program uses the arts to address gender-specific issues for urban girls ages 11-15 at risk of delinquency, teen pregnancy, gang and domestic violence, and fosters self-esteem and personal empowerment. Its sister program, Project AWARE (Adolescent Women Are Realizing Empowerment) was created in 2002 to serve girls in the City of Beacon.
Mill Street Loft launched its Arts for Healing partnership program with the Vassar Brothers Medical Center in 2007 -demonstrating another powerful example of how "arts change lives." The program serves children with acute and chronic diseases and their families. Through a wide variety of art projects patients are encouraged to create and use their imaginations. The projects ease them through the tension, stress, and fear of their hospital experience and benefits the practitioners as well as patients and their family members. Recognition of Carole's efforts both professional and community include: the Dutchess Community College Recognition Award for 25 years of teaching, The Poughkeepsie Rotary Club Service Above Self Award, a Certificate of Recognition by Dutchess County Executive William R. Steinhaus, Certificates of Merit from the New York State Senate and Assembly, The Best of the Hudson Valley Social Activist Award, The Dutchess County YWCA Salute to Women Award, the 2006 Community Service Award from the Poughkeepsie Area Chamber of Commerce, the 2008 Dutchess County Athena Honoree, the 2008 Best of the Hudson Valley Friend of the Arts, and also in 2008 she received Congressional Recognition from the US House of Representatives.