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November 14, 2017

13th Annual Women's Luncheon Brings Together Top Female Professionals, Philanthropists to Celebrate Women, Art and Education

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Sharon RameyCynthia FralinROANOKE, Va. (Nov. 13, 2017) – More than 400 of the region’s top female professional and philanthropic community members came together today to celebrate women, art and education at the TaubmanMuseum of Art’s 13th Annual Women’s Luncheon.

Carilion Clinic President and Chief Executive Officer Nancy Howell Agee served as the event’s honorary chair and master of ceremony. On behalf of the Museum, she presented awards to two area women for their work furthering arts and education in the community: Cynthia Fralin and Dr. Sharon Ramey.

Cynthia Fralin was presented with the Ann Fralin Award, which annually recognizes a woman for her vision, commitment and support of the arts, education and quality of life in the community.

Cynthia and her husband, Heywood, are avid collectors of mid-19th to early 20th-century American art. Through the Horace G. Fralin Charitable Trust, they have directed funds to build the permanent American art collection at the Taubman Museum of Art. Significant gifts include paintings by John Singer Sargent, Winslow Homer and Norman Rockwell, thereby providing the Roanoke community opportunities to see world-class art in their own hometown.

Cynthia has been engaged in several non-profits in the region - her most recent board service includes the Mill Mountain Theater, Virginia Foundation for the Humanities and, for the past 12 years, the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts.

Dr. Ramey received the Sheila S. Strauss Art Venture Award, which recognizes a woman for her outstanding leadership in arts education and for her volunteerism in partnership with the Taubman Museum of Art.

Dr. Ramey is a distinguished scholar of human development at the Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute who holds professorships in Psychology, Neurosciences, and Human Development at Virginia Tech and Psychiatry at the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine. Her lifelong scientific contributions include the development and rigorous testing of new treatments to improve outcomes for children with developmental disabilities and those with economic and social challenges as well as promoting healthier pregnancies.

She has written award-winning books and television programs for parents and educators and authored hundreds of scientific articles. In Roanoke, Drs. Sharon and Craig Ramey have applied their scientific knowledge about children and literacy to the Star City Reads partnership - which emphasizes the arts - and to Roanoke’s success in winning the All-America City Award in 2012 and 2017.

Nationally renowned multidisciplinary artist Angela Ellsworth delivered the luncheon’s keynote address. Her Seer bonnets, made from thousands of long, pearl-tipped, steel corsage pins, is currently on view in the exhibition, Tangled: Fiber Art Now!, and explore notions of family, spirituality and identity. Raised in a Mormon community, Ellsworth is the great-granddaughter of Lorenzo Snow, the fifth prophet and president of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

The 13th Annual Women’s Luncheon was presented by Kroger with additional lead support provided by Advance Auto Parts, Carilion Clinic, Blue Ridge Beverage, Coca-Cola, Moss & Rocovich Attorneys-at-Law, Diane and Bill Elliot, Garnett Smith, Lesleigh Strauss, and Jenny and Nicholas Taubman.

Media inquiries may be directed to Sunny Nelson at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 919.452.9689.

About the Taubman Museum of Art

The Taubman Museum of Art is an American art museum located in the heart of downtown Roanoke, Va. Designed by noted architect Randall Stout and accredited by the American Alliance of Museums, the Taubman Museum of Art is home to a respected permanent collection and offers 15-20 annual exhibitions showcasing work by global, national and regional artists. Museum hours are Wednesday-Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday 12-5 p.m. Additional hours include every First Friday and Third Thursday when the Museum is open until 9 p.m. Free general daily admission is sponsored in part by American Electric Power Foundation and Haley Toyota. For additional event, exhibition and programming information, visit TaubmanMuseum.org or call 540.342.5760.

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Images: Nancy Howell Agee pictured with both Cynthia Fralin and Dr. Sharon Ramey [Courtesy of Jeff Hofmann]

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