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Local Arts Patron Belin Dies

November 8, 2018
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Local Arts Patron Belin Dies

Those who knew Harry Belin remember him as a man with a deep passion for the arts and community. “He believed the arts and artists have true value and art can bring people together,” Maria Wilson, executive director of the Waverly Community House, said. Belin, who was born in 1942, died Tuesday, Wilson said. Though he lived most of his life in Washington, D.C., and northern Virginia, Belin loved Waverly Twp. He often visited and considered it the family home, Wilson said. His family roots locally run deep. For instance, his great-grandmother founded the Comm. In 2015, Belin moved the remains of six family members to the family plot in Hickory Grove Cemetery. Belin had a commitment to giving back to the Comm and fostering the arts community. Among his many contributions locally: funding for the Peter Belin Garden at the Comm and development of art programs like the F. Lammot Belin Arts Foundation, which gave rise to the Waverly Small Works Gallery and the Northeastern Pennsylvania Film Festival. Belin also worked to expand and build on the F. Lammot Belin Arts Scholarship, which annually provides up to $12,000 to an artist resident of Northeast Pennsylvania to work on a project. The scholarship differs from others in that it is open to artists of all ages and mediums, said violinist Sophie Till, the 2004 recipient of the scholarship. The scholarship is special because it aids the artist and also gives something back to the region, she said. Belin was passionate for art of all disciplines, from music to poetry to sculpture and beyond, said painter and colorist Bill Chickillo, owner of Skylake Gallery in Benton Twp. and the 1973 recipient of the scholarship. “He was kind, considerate and whenever you met him, he was so gracious and interested in what you were doing,” Chickillo said. Oftentimes, he kept in touch with scholarship winners and sent them handwritten notes congratulating them on successes, Wilson said. She recalled something Belin used to say. “He believed the true meaning of community was a place where you could have conversations of consequence,” Wilson said. Contact the writer: cover@timesshamrock.com; 570-348-9100 x5363; @ClaytonOver on Twitter

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