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Photo: N/A, License: N/A, Created: 2019:02:20 14:43:20

Gina Prokop-Malsky surrounds herself with excellence to make her businesses the best.

She is the founder and director of Downtown Arts, the Dance Theatre of Wilkes-Barre, and the Work of Art Learning Center.

Malsky is the “light bulb” of programming and operations of her businesses and accepts full responsibility for everything the companies offer.

“Without all of my amazing instructors I could not do what I do. We are a team of excellence,” she said.

She got to where she is today due to hard work, a willingness to take a chance, sweat and many tears, but most importantly, laughter and smiles.

Miss Gina began her dance training in Wilkes-Barre before moving into the professional world of dance in the big cities of Pittsburgh, New York and Philadelphia. She attended Point Park University and holds a bachelor of arts in performing arts. She was a scholarship recipient of the Governor’s School of Arts, one of only 30 dancers in Pennsylvania to receive such.

After her professional performing career, she returned to Northeast Pennsyvania to raise her family and continue doing great things in her community. Her husband of 29 years, Leo, and children, Alexandra, Leo and Anna, are the joy of her life. She expresses her gratitude for the support of her family and their willingness to “share” her with the community.

Malsky was the children’s director at the Jewish Community Center for more than 20 years, taught dance electives at Misericordia University and currently operates her own pre-school and dance studio.

Malsky sits on many boards and volunteers for events such as Fine Arts Fiesta, Third Friday Art Walks, Leadership Wilkes-Barre and the West Pittston Cherry Blossom Festival.

She was the recipient of the Howard B. Frederick Friend of the Arts award. She was also chosen to chair the 2018 PA Governor’s Award for the Arts and a judge for NEPA’s Scholarship Pageant.

Along her journey she has been fortunate enough to be influenced by many extraordinary people. In her “dream team” are Essy Davidowitz (“less is more”), Cliff Melberger (never retire) Mckenna Granahan (passion), Mary Petrov (there is a place for everyone ), her mother (don’t let the bastards get you down) and many others whose love and support has made her who she is today.

“I did not get here alone,” she said. “Listening to their words of wisdom and to always lead by example. I thank each and every one of you for affording me the opportunity to do what I love and my love is work,” she said.