The Northwest Connecticut Arts Council recently hosted the third annual CultureMAX Awards honoring six people and institutions in the region.

The event, which was held at the Warner Theatre in Torrington, was attended by people who love the arts and history, as well as individuals who make up the region’s cultural community.

Litchfield Bancorp, Thomaston Savings Bank, Aquarion Water Company and the Warner Theatre co-sponsored the Nov. 15 event.

The 2016 recipients are Danielle Mailer of Goshen (arts category); Ed Kirby of Sharon (heritage professional category); Diane Dubreuil of New Milford (volunteer category); the After School Arts Program in Washington (cultural organization category); and the Litchfield Distillery/Crystal Rock Water (culture-loving business).

A surprise 2016 Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to Roberta Willis, who was caught unaware when the award was presented to her.

The council kept the award a secret, and didn’t even pass out the programs to guests until Willis was safely backstage where she prepared to preside as the master of ceremonies for the evening.

“Roberta believes that art and culture should go hand in hand with community, economic development and politics,” said Kristina Newman-Scott, Connecticut’s director of culture at DECD.

“In 2010, Roberta introduced legislation on ‘developing the creative community’ in Connecticut so that the state could recognize, measure and promote one of Connecticut’s greatest assets,” Newman-Scott said.

“She sees that investing in arts and culture has economic development benefits, grows a vital creative workforce and encourages communities to flourish through their cultural assets,” she said.

The CultureMAX Awards were six one-of-a-kind glass globe sculptures created by Nunwell Glass of Limerock

Nunwell Glass is the collaborative identity of glass makers Andrew Pyle and Leslie French.

They have been making glass together since 1986.

In addition to the CultureMAX Awards, the recipients of the Regional Initiative Grants were celebrated and presented with checks.

For this grant program, the state of Connecticut’s Office of the Arts gave each regional cultural council equal amounts of funding to administer through a competitive grant program within their respective region.

This program is in its second year and the grantees are artist Debra Lill, Keith Paul of Desultory Theatre Club, Joel Melendez of Matica Arts, the Torrington Police Activities League, the Warren Historical Society, Friends of Main Street in Winsted, Region One Schools, Regional School District #10, and SingOUT! CT.