TPV residents honored by AZ Commission on the Arts

Ten Pioneers of Advocacy from across the state will be honored with 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.

The Shelley Award, named after former Arizona Commission on the Arts Executive Director Shelley Cohn, is presented annually to recognize individuals who have advanced Arizona arts and culture through strategic and innovative leadership to create and support public policy beneficial to the arts in Arizona.

Two Paradise Valley residents are among those to be honored at the event.

An independent panel of judges selected Mary Way of Paradise Valley as the recipient of the inaugural Philanthropy Award to recognize extraordinary philanthropic leadership through the contribution of financial resources to non-profit arts and culture organizations, and by encouraging the philanthropic support of others.

Hope Ozer, also of Paradise Valley, is among those nominated for an individual Governor Arts Award.

Pioneers of Advocacy being honored 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

They will be recognized with a musical tribute during the 36th annual Governor’s Arts Awards, May 4 at the Phoenician Resort.

“These individuals truly are ‘pioneers’ of advocacy, each in their own way.  As leaders in the corporate and arts community, they established a tradition of corporate support for the arts that helped create institutions like the Arizona Commission on the Arts to serve the arts in every corner of our state,” said Catherine “Rusty” Foley, executive director of Arizona Citizens for the Arts, which coordinates the annual Governor’s Arts Awards.

“And they provided the leadership for the development of major cultural institutions in Phoenix and Tucson – examples to communities all over Arizona. In so many ways, they are role models for today’s leaders and examples of how dedicated community stewards support arts and culture.“

Finalists for 2017 Governor’s Arts Awards are:

• Artist: Liliana Gomez, Phoenix; Katherine Josten, Tucson; Dennis Rowland, Phoenix.
• Arts in Education, Individual: David Andres, Tucson; Dr. Mary Erickson, Tempe; Dennis Ott, Sedona.
• Arts in Education, Organization: Children’s Museum of Phoenix; Osborn School District, Phoenix; University of Arizona Museum of Art.
• Individual: Lin Ling Lee, Phoenix; Hope H. Ozer, Paradise Valley; Dr. Ruth Tan Lim, Mesa.
• Community: Del E. Webb Center for the Performing Arts, Wickenburg; Mesa Arts Center, Mesa; Phoenix Center for the Arts, Phoenix.
• Small Business: Arizona Copper Art Museum, Clarkdale; Galiano’s Café, Douglas; Partridge and Associates, CPAs, Scottsdale.
• Large Business: Alliance Bank of Arizona, Phoenix; Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona, Phoenix; Casino Del Sol Resort, Tucson.

Since 1981, more than 200 artists, individuals, arts and cultural organizations, educators and businesses have received Governor’s Arts Awards.
For registration information and to purchase tickets, visit

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