POUGHKEEPSIE – Bettina “Gold” Wilkerson of Poughkeepsie has been named Dutchess County’s Poet Laureate for 2017. She will read her poetry at the state of county address delivered by County Executive Marcus Molinaro on Thursday, February 16 at 5 p.m. at the CIA in Hyde Park.
Wilkerson will serve in the unpaid position for one year and bring poetry to the community through a series of readings and events.
She was the recipient of the 2016 Dutchess County Executive’s Artivist Award; a 2016 Dutchess County Athena Award honoree by the chamber Foundation, Inc.; the 2016 recipient of the Exempt Firemen’s Association Black Heritage Committee’s Outstanding Community Service Award for extraordinary contribution and dedication; and the 2014 New York State Council on the Arts Individual Artist Tier Grant Awardee for Dutchess County.
She was the artist-in-residence for the Leadership Overnight Camp, hosted by Rural Migrant Ministry; served as host for the 2016 RMM Rural Women’s Assembly; hosted the 2015 state Women’s Rural Conference, among other honors.