Act One Announces Inaugural Tancer ‘Arts in Education’ Award

Posted By on July 7, 2021
Robert Tancer

Act One, a nonprofit founded in 2011 to provide children in Title 1 schools in Maricopa, Pinal, and Pima counties with the opportunity to experience arts performances and exhibitions through field trips to professional theaters and museums, has announced the inaugural Tancer Award to be presented this fall.

The award will be given to an Arizona teacher dedicated to sharing a love of the arts with their students. The Tancer Award will be presented at Act One’s Arts in Education Celebration on September 17 at the Heard Museum during the National Arts in Education Week.

National Arts in Education Week is an annual celebration recognizing the transformative power of the arts in education. Designated by Congress in 2010 through House Resolution 275, the celebration is intended to bring attention to this cause for elected officials and educational decision-makers across the country and to support equitable access to the arts for all students. National Arts in Education Week is led nationwide by Americans for the Arts and celebrated locally by Act One and Arizona’s arts community.

The award received its name in memory of Robert “Bob” Tancer, local art advocate extraordinaire, who passed away in March 2020. Tancer was an active member of the Act One Board, believing in the organization’s mission and working on the committee to expand the educational depth of the field trip experience.

Tancer believed that the classroom teacher had the opportunity and responsibility to build on the field trip experience both before and after the field trip, tying it to the current life, talking about what was happening at the time of the performance, and why the message of the performance was important and relevant to today’s world. Bob saw the tremendous role the teacher played in making the experience rich and educationally rewarding.

Any Arizona full-time, certified pre-kindergarten through 12th-grade general education, special education, or arts education teacher is eligible to apply or be nominated. The application deadline is July 15, 2021. The prizes to the award winner include recognition at the Act One’s Arts in Education Celebration event at the Heard Museum, a $1,000 monetary award, a gift certificate from Changing Hands bookstore, an original piece of art, and much more. For more information or to nominate someone, email

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