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Luzerne County Celebrates WVIA Legends George Graham and Erika Funke with Hall of Fame Induction Announcement

George Graham and Erika Funke graphic with hall of fame logo.

PITTSTON, PA – WVIA is proud to announce that two of its esteemed personalities, George Graham and Erika Funke, have been selected to be inducted into the prestigious Luzerne County Arts and Entertainment Hall of Fame. This recognition celebrates their significant contributions to the cultural landscape of our region and their unwavering dedication to our arts and entertainment community.

George Graham, Director of Artistry and Repertoire for WVIA’s jazz record label, Chiaroscuro Records, and Senior Producer and host of WVIA’s Mixed Bag, All That Jazz, and Homegrown Music has been a driving force behind the discovery and promotion of independent and emerging artists for over five decades. He was the project manager and engineer who designed and built WVIA FM and the individual that threw the switch to get WVIA on the air back in 1973. Graham has introduced audiences to a wide range of musical genres, from folk and blues to rock and jazz, fostering a deep appreciation for diverse musical styles. His commitment to supporting local talent and providing a platform for artists to share their work has left an indelible mark on the cultural fabric of Luzerne County and beyond.

Erika Funke, Senior Producer and host of WVIA’s renowned ArtScene Program and of WVIA’s program Keystone Edition: Arts, has been a cornerstone of the local arts scene for five decades. Her infectious enthusiasm and boundless curiosity have captured the hearts of viewers and listeners and left a lasting impression on our local arts community. Her passion for showcasing the diverse talents of artists, musicians, and cultural organizations has enriched the lives of countless viewers and listeners throughout the region. Funke’s deep knowledge and genuine enthusiasm for the arts have made her a beloved figure in the community and a trusted advocate for creative expression.

“I am deeply honored for this induction into the Luzerne County Arts and Entertainment Hall of Fame. I join a very impressive roster of influential figures, people I have respected and looked up to over the years,” stated George Graham. “I have been privileged to be able to present the wealth of talent in our region to our radio audience over the past 50 years, and it has been a lot of fun as well. I am most pleased that the committee and the larger community has chosen to honor the importance of local music programming that my colleague Erika Funke and I have been able to present on WVIA Radio, and look forward to continuing the tradition.”

“We know the importance of Luzerne County to the industrial history of the US,” stated Erika Funke. “The Arts & Entertainment Hall of Fame shines a spotlight on the cultural impact of the region in a similar way. And to be even a small part of that history is a singular honor- especially alongside my longtime colleague at WVIA, George Graham. I'm so very grateful.”

“We are thrilled to see George and Erika recognized for their outstanding contributions to the arts and entertainment community,” said WVIA President & CEO, Carla McCabe. “Their passion, dedication, and tireless advocacy have helped to enrich the lives of countless individuals and strengthen the cultural vitality of our region. This honor is a testament to their lasting impact and legacy of excellence.”

The induction ceremony for the Luzerne County Arts and Entertainment Hall of Fame will take place on November 16th at the F.M. Kirby Center in Wilkes-Barre, where Graham and Funke will be joined by a distinguished group of artists, performers, and cultural leaders who have been recognized for their significant achievements and contributions to the arts community.

For more information, including the full list of those inducted alongside George and Erika, visit www.facebook.com/LCAEHOF.

About the Luzerne County Arts and Entertainment Hall of Fame
The Luzerne County Arts & Entertainment Hall of Fame was founded in 2022. Its mission is to honor those from Luzerne County, or those that have roots in Luzerne County, that have achieved success, gained notoriety, or have had a great impact in the world of arts and entertainment. Categories include music, stage, art, film and media.

About WVIA
WVIA is the PBS and NPR affiliate serving over 22 counties in northeastern and central Pennsylvania. For over 50 years WVIA has been committed to serving the people by offering informational, educational, and entertaining content that enriches and expands viewpoints and serves as a catalyst for positive change. WVIA television channels include WVIA TV, WVIA PBS Kids 24/7, and WVIA Create. WVIA’s radio channels include WVIA Radio, WVIA HD2, and the Chiaroscuro Channel. WVIA’s programs can also be found streaming live and on-demand on wvia.org and the WVIA app.

WVIA Mission
WVIA educates, inspires, entertains and fosters citizenship, diverse cultures, and perspectives to nurture community.