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The Tilles Center’s Own is Honored

Dorianna Valerio 

Dr. Elliott Sroka, Executive Director of LIU Post’s Tilles Center, was honored as one of the “Top 25 Art Advocates” by the Long Island Arts Council at Freeport on January 25th.

The first Advocate for the Arts reception honored individuals who are passionate about and dedicated to the arts, said Marnie Katzman, Executive Director of the Long Island Arts Council at Freeport.

Sroka was honored because he devotes his time and energy to the arts, Katzman added.

“It’s a gratifying emotion,” Sroka said of the honor, adding that it’s always a pleasure to see how much the performances mean to people.

“Dr. Sroka’s ability to create innovative and traditional programs is second to none,” Dr. Noel Zahler, Dean of the School of Visual and Performing Arts, said.

The Tilles Center is the home to the performing arts and has been around since the early 1980s.  As the Executive Director of the Tilles Center since 1986, Sroka oversees the artistic planning and programming. He is responsible for deciding which artists appear at the Tilles Center as well as what types of programming are shown. “Those artistic decisions are primarily mine, and that’s the fun part of the job,” he added.

Sroka also performs senior level management duties, such as supervising the staff, scheduling, negotiating contracts with artists and spreading the word about the Tilles Center by meeting with media and community members. Fundraising is the most challenging part of the job, Sroka mentioned.

Regarding his biggest accomplishment, Sroka said that presenting world-class artists and sharing them with the community, despite the troubling economy, is his greatest triumph. “Given the economy, our goal is to continue to change with the times, present new artist and maintain quality of the programming,” Sroka said about what he plans to accomplish in the future.

The Tilles Center fosters relationships between students and professional artists while remaining deeply committed to the surrounding community.  The Tilles Center is also a major employer of Post students. It employs approximately 1,000 students according to Sroka.

Working at the Tilles Center has been great experience, said Potoula A., a freshman Speech Pathology major who works at the box office. She added, “It makes you a better person because you learn responsibility and teamwork.”

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