Voting still open for Creative York's Big Idea award

Sean Philip Cotter, 505-5437/@SPCotterYD

As Election Day nears, Yorkers can cast online ballots to choose from several options that probably all actually have pretty good favorability ratings: the four candidates for Creative York's Big Idea award.

The third annual Creative York awards ceremony will take place from 6 to 9:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 28, in the Yorktowne Hotel, 48 E. Market St. in York City, followed by a Halloween-themed dance party that runs until midnight at the Creative York building at 10 N. Beaver St.

Creative York

The awards honor locals who demonstrate creativity, according to the organization. This year, local visual artist Ophelia Chambliss, Caroline Morris' Kimman's Co. boutique store downtown and Central York High social studies teacher Greg Wimmer are the honorees for the art, business and education awards, respectively. Kathy Butera, who the organization says has played a big role in the formation of YorkArts, which eventually became Creative York, also will receive an award.

And then there's the "people's choice" accolade: the Big Idea award, which is supposed to spotlight outside-the-box ideas that have benefited the York area, according to Laura Abbott, Creative York's head of marketing. The four choices are: the chess club at Po's Bookstore, the Small Star Art House gallery and indie theater, the WeCo summer series of events and the rebranding of the York County History Center.

The chess club, created by Po Bertram, who opened the used bookstore last year in the first block of South George Street, has more than 300 members, according to Creative York. 

"It's an excellent example of you don't have to be this big company to give back," Abbott said.

The Small Star theater and gallery opened earlier this year, screening different off-beat movies every weekend and featuring work by local artists.

"Small Star is supporting itself but also giving back to the community," Abbott said.

The WeCo summer series — which included the creek fire events, the city's 275th birthday celebration and partnerships with the York Rescue Mission and Wolfgang Candy — brought excitement and awareness to happenings in the newly branded WeCo neighborhood, Abbott said.

The final nominee is the rebranding of the organization formerly known as the York County Heritage Trust to become the York County History Center, which includes a new look and, eventually, a new building. Abbott said this new campus will be able to better put a spotlight on York County's long and colorful history.

Abbott said the awards ceremony is meant to highlight all four nominees, which were selected by a committee.

"It's letting people know about all the good things that are going on," she said.

Anyone can vote on the organization's website,, which has more info about each nominee.

The Crypt Kicker dance party after the ceremony is open to everyone 18 and up, whether they came to the ceremony or not. The organization is looking for $10 donations at the door from each person. Attendees should feel free to dress in Halloween costumes and bring their own food and drinks, according to the Facebook page for the event.

The proceeds from the evening's events benefit Creative York's art and education programs, Abbott said.

— Sean Cotter covers York City for The York Dispatch. Contact him or on Twitter at@SPCotterYD.