On Tuesday morning, August 10 the Sawyer Free Library hosted a ribbon-cutting to commemorate their amphitheater’s new awning in memory of one of Gloucester’s preeminent and beloved public citizens, the late Janis Davidson Stelluto.
Dr. Michael Stelluto, Janis’ husband, her family, friends and colleagues, along with the Sawyer Free Library leadership, came together to mark the official opening of the Library’s now shaded expanded outdoor space. Gloucester’s Mayor Sefatia Romeo Thenken , former chair of the City Planning Board Jack Clarke, President of Library Board of Trustees Mern Sibley and Library Director Jenny Benedict offered remarks prior to the ceremonial ribbon cutting.
Through the Stelluto family’s generosity, the Library was able to bring to fruition the installation of a state-of-the-art awning over its amphitheater as a lasting tribute to their family matriarch Janis Davidson Stelluto, who dedicated herself to serving the Gloucester community for over two decades. Among many other organizations, Janis Stelluto served in leadership roles at the Sawyer Free Library for more than twenty years.
Shaded by the new awning, the Sawyer Free Library’s outdoor amphitheater located on Dale Avenue now serves as an inviting venue for Library programs, public performances, including theater and musical performances, art exhibits, lectures, and community activities.
“We are very grateful for the Stelluto family’s generosity,” said Mern Sibley, the Gloucester Lyceum and Sawyer Free Library’s Board of Trustees’ President. “Janis made it her life’s work to find ways to improve our Gloucester community, all the while seeing beauty in the world. It only seems fitting that the awning has been installed in her memory, creating a welcoming space where people can take advantage of all that the Library offers while enjoying being outside.”
“The awning has created a welcoming outdoor gathering space for Sawyer Free Library’s summer programs which are open and free to the community,” said Library Director Jenny Benedict. “From children’s storytimes and adult book club gatherings to family concerts, we have found with the new awning, the sky’s the limit to what we can do! Stay tuned because we have big plans, and we can’t imagine Janis Stelluto would want it any other way.”
The Sawyer Free Library is open throughout the summer, Monday through Friday, 10 am to 5 pm, Thursday 12 – 7:00 pm, and Saturday 10:00 am to 1 pm and 24/7 at sawyerfreelibrary.org.