36th Annual Governor’s Arts Awards

More than 500 arts supporters from all corners of Arizona and all parts of the community gathered at The Phoenician on May 4 to celebrate the individuals and organizations that comprise the growing arts sector in Arizona. The 36th Annual Governor’s Arts Awards, presented by Arizona Citizens for the Arts in partnership with the Office of the Governor, were punctuated by performances from Scorpius Dance Theatre, Phoenix Chorale and Phoenix Theatre actors throughout the evening.

In celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Arizona Commission on the Arts, 10 Pioneers of Advocacy from across the state were honored with Shelley Awards for their dedicated work on behalf of arts and culture.

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

• Dino DeConcini and Beth Murfee DeConcini, Tucson, Ariz., arts, philanthropy and advocacy leaders

• Katie Dusenberry, Tucson, Ariz., corporate philanthropy and arts leader

• Shirley Estes, Tucson, Ariz., corporate philanthropy and arts leader

• Terry Goddard, Phoenix, former Mayor of Phoenix

• Myra Millinger, Phoenix, foundation leader and arts advocate

• Gene Polk, Prescott, Ariz., 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. Seventy nominations were submitted from 19 Arizona communities in eight categories for this year’s awards.

The 2017 Governor’s Arts Awards were presented to:

• Katherine Josten, Tucson, Ariz., artist, educator, speaker and founder/director of the Global Art Project, Artist Award

• Dr. Ruth Tan Lim, Mesa, Ariz., practicing physician and devoted arts advocate, donor and volunteer, Individual Award

• Mesa Arts Center, Mesa, Ariz., community arts center, Community Award

• David Andres, Tucson, Ariz., painter, printmaker and photographer, Arts in Education Individual Award

• Osborn School District, Phoenix, high-achieving, urban public school district in Central Phoenix, Arts in Education Organization Award

• Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona, Phoenix, local nonprofit health insurance, Large Business Award

• Galiano’s Café, Douglas, Ariz., coffee shop opened in 2012 in downtown Douglas, Small Business Award

• Mary Way, Paradise Valley, Ariz., devoted arts advocate, donor and volunteer, inaugural Philanthropy Award

Way who received the inaugural Philanthropy Award was honored for her philanthropic leadership through the contribution of financial resources to nonprofit 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 Company, 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.

Billie Jo and Judd Herberger were the presenting sponsor; Arizona Public Service, the nominee reception sponsor; Salt River Project, the evening program sponsor; Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona, the entertainment and video sponsor; J.W. Kieckhefer Foundation and Margaret T. Morris Foundation, the artist award sponsor. Sonoran Glass School sponsored the Shelley awards and created the centerpieces.


Myra Millinger, Anne Dusenberry, Shirley Estes, Beth Murfee DeConcini, Dino DeConcini, Terry Goddard, Gene Polk, Dick Whitney, Linda Whitney and Kim Sterling-Heflin

Owners of Galiano’s Café Jenea Sanchez and Robert Uribe, 2017 Small Business Honorees, with Bobbi McMurry, center.

Rusty Foley, Arizona Citizens for the Arts executive director, artist Beth Ames Swartz and Tom Wilson, board president of Arizona Citizens for the Arts.

Artist Bryan David Griffith and Katherine Josten, 2017 artist of the year

Osborn School District receiving the 2017 Arts in Education Organization Award, with Patricia Tate, superintendent, holding the artwork.

Rich Boals with artist Bonny Stauffer

Dennis Kavanaugh and Ryan Winkle

Mary Way, 2017 Philanthropy Honoree, and Colleen Jennings-Roggensack, executive director of ASU Gammage.


About Perrine Adams

Perrine Adams is the Managing Editor of The Red Book and Lifestyle Editor for Frontdoors Magazine.

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