36th Annual Governor’s Arts Awards presented to artists, advocates from throughout Arizona

By SoAzNewsX

Tucson artist, educator and founder/director of the Global Art Project, Katherine Josten, was named the 2017 Governor’s Arts Awards Artist of the Year at the 36th annual Governor’s Arts Awards dinner and celebration at the Phoenician Resort.

Dr. Ruth Tan Lim of Mesa, a practicing physician for more than 35 years and also a devoted arts advocate, donor, volunteer and board member, received the Individual Award.

In the Business Category, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona, a consistent supporter of arts and culture organizations for many decades, was named Large Business of the Year.  Galiano’s Café of Douglas, which opened in 2012 and has spearheaded a regrowth in the historic downtown area, was named Small Business of the Year.

The Mesa Arts Center, the largest multidisciplinary arts center in the Southwestern United States, received the Community Award.

In the Arts in Education category, David Andres of Tucson, a printer, printmaker and photographer who has devoted his life to teaching others to discover themselves through their artwork, received the Individual Award.  The Osborn School District in Phoenix, whose art programs reflect a deep commitment to student access and achievement and where every child receives 50 minutes of music and 50 minutes of visual art instruction every week, was named Organization of the Year.

The Governor’s Arts Awards are presented by Arizona Citizens for the Arts in partnership with the Office of the Governor.

The annual event attracted more than 500 artists, educators, business leaders, advocates and community members.

At the event, Mary Way of Paradise Valley received the inaugural Philanthropy Award and ten Pioneers of Advocacy received 2017 Shelley Awards for their dedicated work on behalf of arts and culture during the formative years of arts advocacy in Arizona that helped create the vibrant arts and culture environment we enjoy today, and in celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Arizona Commission on the Arts.

Way of Paradise Valley was honored for her extraordinary philanthropic leadership through the contribution of financial resources to non-profit arts and culture organizations, and by encouraging the philanthropic support of others.

Way has had a significant impact on a number of the Valley’s major arts institutions, most recently chairing the $15 million capital campaign at ASU Gammage.  A major donor to Phoenix Art Museum, she also has served as a board member of the Contemporary Forum and is a consistent financial supporter of the Asian Arts council and Friends of European Art.

She also has had significant impact on Southwest Shakespeare, donating many volunteer hours and making financial contributions that helped transform a once-struggling company.  In the last 18 months, as Governing Board President, she helped install a new board, raise significant capital, install new reporting systems, balance the budget and reduce their debt.

The Pioneers of Advocacy honorees who were recognized at the annual celebration are:

  • Dino DeConcini and Beth Murfee DeConcini, Tucson – Arts, philanthropy and advocacy leaders
  • Katie Dusenberry, Tucson, Corporate philanthropy and arts leader
  • Shirley Estes, Tucson, Corporate philanthropy and arts leader
  • Terry Goddard, Phoenix, Former Mayor of Phoenix
  • Myra Millinger, Phoenix, Foundation leader and arts advocate
  • Gene Polk, Prescott, Foundation leader and arts advocate
  • Kim Sterling-Heflin, Phoenix, Corporate philanthropy and arts leader
  • Richard and Linda Whitney, Phoenix, Arts, philanthropy and advocacy leaders

Since 1981, more than 200 artists, individuals, arts and cultural organizations, educators and businesses have received Governor’s Arts Awards.

The 2017 Governor’s Arts Awards honorees are:

Artist: Katherine Josten (Tuson) is an Arizona artist, educator, speaker and founder/director of the Global Art Project, a multi-cultural celebration of peace and diversity that has involved 145,000 participants in 93 countries on seven continents.  Nominated for a UNESCO Prize, the mission of her Global Art Project is to joyously create a culture of peace through art. As an artist, her paintings are included in museum collections and her book, Visions of Global Unity: Inspired Images from the Global Art Project, is sold at the United Nations bookshop in New York City.  Her body of work, Origins, is an installation involving large-scale paintings, poetry and sculpture.  She believes so strongly in the intrinsic power of art to heal that she left her teaching position and took time away from her studio art to connect people around the world through art.  She is on the advisory board of the International Network of Museums for Peace in The Hague.

Individual: Ruth Tan Lim (Mesa), a practicing physician for more than 35 years, also is a devoted arts advocate, donor and volunteer as well as a passionate advocate, board member and volunteer for organizations addressing health care for uninsured children, the homeless, migrant workers and an advocate for non-violence. Her support of the arts reflects the important values she places on broad access to quality arts for all people, especially children and young adults.  She speaks passionately about what music does for brain development and takes joy in bringing a wide array of arts learning opportunities for children. She has served multiple terms on the Mesa Arts Center (MAC) Foundation board of directors and currently is on the board at the i.d.e.a. Museum.  She ushers for Arizona Opera and Chandler Center for the Arts and last year joined the docent corps at Mesa Contemporary Arts Museum.  Last year. Dr. Lim also joined MAC’s Street Pianos Task Force and personally committed to a Street Piano Sponsorship.

Community: Mesa Arts Center (MAC) (Mesa) opened in 2005 in the heart of downtown Mesa after operating as a vibrant community arts center for 25 years in a former elementary school in Mesa.  At 212,000 square feet, MAC is the largest multidisciplinary arts center in the southwestern United States. The mission is to inspire people through engaging arts experiences that are diverse, accessible and relevant. The presenting program features 60-80 performances by established and emerging touring artists and the venue is home to six founding resident companies including Southwest Shakespeare Company, East Valley Children’s Theatre, Metropolitan Youth Orchestra, Mesa Encore Theatre, Symphony of the Southwest and Ballet Etudes. MAC’s 14 state-of-the-art studios offer nearly 1,000 visual and performing arts classes annually and four major festivals and numerous events provide free entry points for visitors of all ages. MAC has actively experimented with new ways to engage citizens and developed programs that model the benefits of a healthy arts ecosystem and ways the arts serve as a resource to other sectors.

Arts in Education, Individual: Ruth Tan Lim (Mesa), a practicing physician for more than 35 years, also is a devoted arts advocate, donor and volunteer as well as a passionate advocate, board member and volunteer for organizations addressing health care for uninsured children, the homeless, migrant workers and an advocate for non-violence. Her support of the arts reflects the important values she places on broad access to quality arts for all people, especially children and young adults.  She speaks passionately about what music does for brain development and takes joy in bringing a wide array of arts learning opportunities for children. She has served multiple terms on the Mesa Arts Center (MAC) Foundation board of directors and currently is on the board at the i.d.e.a. Museum.  She ushers for Arizona Opera and Chandler Center for the Arts and last year joined the docent corps at Mesa Contemporary Arts Museum.  Last year. Dr. Lim also joined MAC’s Street Pianos Task Force and personally committed to a Street Piano Sponsorship.

Arts in Education, Organization: Osborn School District (Phoenix) is a high-achieving, urban public school district serving 3,000 students in Central Phoenix. They are enriched by students, parents and staff who are culturally and linguistically diverse, representing 49 countries and 38 languages.  Nearly 90 percent of Osborn students qualify for free and reduced lunch. The District’s art programs reflect a deep commitment to student access and achievement. Every child receives 50 minutes of music and 50 minutes of visual arts instruction every week from highly qualified teachers. All children have access to free music lessons after school, including participation in the District’s legendary trash can band.  Free music and art appreciation classes are offered through the 21st Century Afterschool Program, and students participate regularly in field trips to museums and performing arts organizations. The District is a leader in exploring the intersection between the arts and the environment through its “recycled instrument” and “recycled art” programs.  In music, students design and build their own recycled instruments and create compositions specific to the properties of the instrument. In art, students use found objects to create sculptures and mechanically functioning machines.

Large Business: Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona (Phoenix) provides local nonprofit health insurance as an independent licensee of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, serving more than 1.5 million customers and employing 1,500 in its Phoenix, Chandler, Flagstaff and Tucson offices.  Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona has been a consistent support of arts and culture organizations for many decades. The company’s giving takes many forms from general operating support, education and events to sponsorships. Recipients represent a wide breadth of artistic endeavor including the Phoenix Symphony, Tucson Symphony, Ballet Arizona, Valley Youth Theatre, Heard Museum, Phoenix Art Museum, Arizona Opera and the Act One Foundation, among others. In addition, Blue Cross Blue Shield employees contribute their time and talent through volunteerism. The company has been a strong advocate for public support of the arts and the importance of viewing cultural philanthropy as an investment in the strength of our community.

Small Business: Galiano’s Café (Douglas) opened in 2012 in downtown Douglas and since then has been a place of gathering. More than just a great coffee shop, Galiano’s is an example of how through arts and great effort, conditions can be changed for a whole town. Owners Robert and Jenea Uribe, a Douglas native, invested their future in the heart of a historic downtown that was slowly, but surely dying. In spite of limited resources, the family continues to strive  They are currently developing the Madison’s Arts and Wine Space as a venue for the arts and to attract more businesses to downtown. Galiano’s Café has been a key partner in the two biggest arts projects developed at the U.S.-Mexico border. The Repellent Fence, led by Phoenix-based native arts cooperative Postcommodity, the biggest sculpture ever made at the border, is designed to unite Douglas and Agua Prieta, Mexico to fight together for common goals. The second project, Dreams Across Borders, is comprised of three grand-scale murals that gave voice to the border communities to express opinions on migration.

For more information, visit www.azcitizensforthearts.org.

 

 

 

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