Mesa Arts Center was named the Arts Organization of the Year by the Arts & Business Council of Greater Phoenix (A&BC) at the 20th annual Business in the Arts Awards Breakfast organized by A&BC and presented by Wells Fargo on Wednesday, Aug. 18 at the Sheraton Downtown Hotel. Honorees were chosen by an independent panel of judges based on forty-two nominations from across Maricopa County.
The Mesa Arts Center, along with two partners, launched four major initiatives to expand the reach of arts and culture in its community including MACFEST, which brings art into downtown Mesa; Mesa Bucks, through which customers making purchases in Mesa can use sales receipts for entry into arts and cultural events; and Target Three for Free, which defrays admission costs to the Mesa Arts Center and other cultural venues the first Sunday of each month.
Other honorees included:
Arts Advocate of the Year: Bobb Cooper, Valley Youth Theatre, Phoenix. During the past fourteen years, Cooper has taken Valley Youth Theatre from performing in a basement to a permanent home in downtown Phoenix; created programs that provide nearly 5,000 underserved children with books, study guides and seats at shows; and collaborated with other youth organizations to integrate youth theatre in the community.
Arts Board Member of the Year: Harold Dorenbecher, Ballet Arizona. A longtime Ballet Arizona board member and now its chair, Dorenbecher recently led the organization’s launch of a capital campaign as well as a national search to replace the executive director. Over the years, he also has been involved in addressing the challenges of the economic downtown and acquiring a new building for the state’s largest professional ballet company.
Schuff Steel Southwest, which donated 50 tons of structural steel as well as fabrication and installation of the three-story tall “Climber” at The Children’s Museum of Phoenix, was named Large Business Partner of the Year.
Schuff Steel’s $300,000 commitment to The Children’s Museum of Phoenix also included engaging nearly forty sub-contractors in the effort as well as company employees.
In addition, Mike Nolan received a Special Business Volunteer Award for donating more than seventy-five hours to four different arts organizations during the past year. Nolan, who lives in Phoenix, provided a range of support for Phoenix Theatre, Four Seasons Orchestra, Red Rocks Music Festival and String Sounds from creating marketing and development plans to helping develop volunteer programs.
Small Business Partner of the Year: DMB, Inc. of Scottsdale. Through an extensive collaboration with the West Valley Arts Council, the DMB development Verado reflects the company’s extensive commitment to arts and culture. DMB also supports the West Valley Arts Council through board membership and participation in major fundraisers.
The Business in the Arts Awards Breakfast was sponsored by: Diamond Sponsor: Wells Fargo; Platinum Sponsors: APS, American Express, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona, Boeing, SRP; Gold Sponsors: Arizona Lottery, Fennemore Craig, Lewis and Roca.
The Arts & Business Council of Greater Phoenix (A&BC) links the vitality and expertise of the business community to non-profit arts and cultural organizations. Originally chartered as Business Volunteers for the Arts (BVA), today, the organization is a strategic partner for capacity building and offers a range of services including governance training, educational opportunities for artists, leadership skills and board training for executives and key managers and business to business opportunities. For more information, visit www.artsbusinessphoenix.org.