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The Wilfred E. Helwig Distinguished Artist Program

Wilfred HelwigThe Helwig Distinguished Artist Endowment was established in 1987 by Florence Lattimer Helwig in memory of her late husband.

Helwig Distinguished Artists have included Itzhak Perlman, Richard Stoltzman, Hal Holbrook, Andre Watts, Brian Bedford, Dave Brubeck, Cleo Laine and John Dankworth, Doc Severinsen, Chita Rivera, Billy Taylor, Peter Nero, Rosemary Clooney, Olivia Newton-John, Roger Williams, Amy Grant,  Marvin Hamlisch, and Bernadette Peters (pictured below with Florence L. Helwig and a group of music and theater students in May 2012). In March 2013, the Helwig Endowment also provided support the appearance of opera star Renée Fleming.

On September 16, 2014, previous Helwig Distinguished Artist Doc Severinsen will return to help the Lively Arts kick off its 25th anniversary season. The appearance will open the 2014-2015 Ovations! series and will also celebrate the long history of the Helwig Distinguished Artist program.

Wilfred E. Helwig (pictured at left), Indiana businessman and philanthropist, founded the Helwig Insurance Agency in Indiana in 1928. During his long and successful career, Mr. Helwig energetically participated in area civic, safety, and charitable organizations, actively supporting the Community Chest (now the United Way), the Indiana County YMCA, the Shrine Crippled Children’s Hospital and Burn Institutes, the Children’s Home for the Blind in Pittsburgh, and the Penn’s Woods Council of the Boy Scouts of America. He was a charter member of the IUP President’s Council.

Bernadette Peters with Florence Helwig and studentsFlorence Lattimer Helwig has carried on her late husband’s philanthropic work in the Indiana community and in her winter home in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., where she is a member of the Fort Lauderdale Opera Society, the Florida Symphony Association, and the Broward Friends of the Miami Ballet. In Indiana, Mrs. Helwig has actively supported the university as a charter and continuing member of the President’s Council and as a major benefactor through the endowment that supports this series.

She has energetically supported the Indiana Symphony Series, the YMCA, the Indiana Arts Council, and many other Indiana County charitable organizations. She has received the Distinguished Patron of the Performing Arts Award from the Indiana Symphony Society for “long-term, consistent active support to the furtherance of the performing arts in Indiana.”

The Lively Arts on Facebook Follow the Lively Arts on Twitter In 1994, she received two Support of the Arts Awards from the Indiana Arts Council as a result of submissions from both the Lively Arts at IUP and the Indiana Symphony Society. The Indiana County chapter of the American Red Cross has honored her with a lifetime membership on its board of directors. She is also listed as one of Indiana’s Most Notable Women and, in 2000, received the IUP President’s Medal of Distinction.

  • Lively Arts
  • Performing Arts Center, Room 202
    Fisher Auditorium
    403 South Eleventh Street
    Indiana, PA 15705-1008
  • Phone: 724-357-2787
  • Fax: 724-357-7899
  • Office Hours
  • Monday through Friday: 8:00 a.m.–4:30 p.m.
  • Summer Hours
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