Bridgeport, CT (January 25, 2011)–Michael J. Potashnick, co-emcee and original production manager of the popular Gathering of the Vibes festival, died of pneumonia January 10.
Born Oct. 7, 1958 in Trenton, NJ, and raised in nearby Morrisville, PA, Potashnick’s career began as an acrot, performing in more than 85 plays and musicals, including appearances on the soap operas, General Hospital and Another World. In 2006, he relocated to Vermont, where he was best known in his fundamental roles as Production, Stage and Site Manager at Lake Champlain Maritime Festival, the Flynn Center for the Performing Arts, Burlington Discover Jazz Festival, and Burlington’s First Night, among other events in the Burlington, VT region. He also remained involved at the Gathering of the Vibes Festival, acting as Production Manager from 1996-2004 and Co-Emcee from 2004 through 2010.
“Michael was family,” said Ken Hays, founder of the Vibes. “He exemplified what the Vibes means to so many, reminding us from his spot on center-stage of the love we have to offer each other, and that through music, we can truly see the light that brings harmony and balance to the world. We will miss him tremendously.”
Two gatherings will take place to honor Potashnick; the first gathering, organized by a collaborative group of his extended Burlington production family, will take place Sunday, February 13th from 2-5 p.m. at the Flynn Center for the Performing Arts, 153 Main Street, Burlington, VT. Friends and family are invited to join together for an afternoon of storytelling, remembrance and celebration.
Hosted by Gathering of the Vibes, the second celebration will take place Sunday, February 20th on the campus of the University of Bridgeport’s Arnold Bernard Center from 3-9 p.m. The Bridgeport gathering will include live music and dedications by some of Michael’s favorite artists.
Those planning to attend either event are requested to RSVP via the “Michael Potashnick Memorial” Facebook page. Those wanting to make contributions in his memory are asked to donate to his favorite charities: The United Way and the SoNo Arts Festival in Norwalk, CT.
Those who would like to contribute stories and photos to Michael Potashnick’s memorial services are asked to submit medium/high-resolution photographs (preferably in JPEG format) and stories (1-2 paragraphs) through a special memorial website, www.atomicproaudio.com/mikep.html, or email them directly to [email protected]