On March 9, the Colorado Business Committee for the Arts, a nonprofit that builds bridges between the business and cultural sectors, will host its annual Business for the Arts Awards, a gala that brings people together to network, enjoy a variety of cultural offerings, and celebrate leaders in the arts and business sectors.
"These really are awards designed for for-profit and nonprofit organizations that go above and beyond," says Christin Crampton Day, head of the CBCA.
And this year, the winners went a long way to help keep Colorado's cultural efforts alive.
At the celebration — which is virtual this year — the CBCA will honor an impressive mix of winners, many of whom have been instrumental in helping the arts community make it through the pandemic, including RedLine Contemporary Art Center and Levitt Pavilion Denver, both nonprofits that advocated hard for arts, culture and venue funding and helped get money into the hands of struggling organizations.
Also in the mix are smaller companies like Jack's Solar Garden, which runs an Artist on the Farm program, and Pizzeria Locale, which has partnered with Access Gallery and Art From Ashes to display artworks and poetry on pizza boxes. The CBCA will also celebrate giants like Charles Schwab, which has been creating opportunities for artists at its corporate campus.
Here's CBCA's list of the winners, and the organization's explanation for why they were picked:
Carbondale Clay Center plays a vital role in the Roaring Fork Valley as a supportive and healing place to build community through artistic expression and education.
Charles Schwab has integrated the arts into their metro Denver headquarters and supports a range of accessible and inclusive arts and performance programs at the Lone Tree Arts Center.
Craig Hospital has embedded the arts into their rehabilitation programs and partners with groups like Phamaly Theatre Company to ensure the arts are accessible for all.
Eclectic Activation launched Windows of Inspiration, which brings together corporate sponsors, small businesses, and artists to boost awareness and hope during this challenging time.
Jack’s Solar Garden, a solar-powered farm in Longmont, is cultivating creativity through their Artist on the Farm program and unique community partnerships.
Levitt Pavilion Denver’s impact extends beyond their 50 free music concerts a year to advance Colorado’s music industry through education, inclusion and advocacy.
Pizzeria Locale amplifies the transformational power of the arts through partnerships with Access Gallery and Art from Ashes, such as featuring poetry and original artworks on their pizza boxes.
RedLine Contemporary Art Center has stepped up in countless ways to support Colorado’s creative sector, from administering vital economic relief funds to community organizing for social justice.
PNC Bank Cultural Leadership Award — Michael Sattler, executive director of Rocky Mountain Arts Association, is a true arts champion even in the face of uncertainty leading his 2020 Leadership Arts class to raise a record-breaking amount of scholarship funds while steering the growth of his own organization comprising Denver Gay Men’s Chorus and Denver Women’s Chorus.
Volunteer Attorney Impact Award — Shirin Chahal, associate attorney at Law Offices of Daniel T. Goodwin, has transformed a lifelong passion for arts and music into a legal practice that supports the creative industries, including pro bono assistance through CAFTA and civic leadership positions.
EY Next Wave Leadership Award — Jose “Chepe” Rosales, founder and artistic director of ArtistiCO, is a trailblazing leader and professional Mexican folklórico dancer with an entrepreneurial spirit who is innovating new ways to advance arts and culture across heritages, generations, borders and technology.
John Madden, Jr. Leadership Award — Jeanette Trujillo-Lucero, founder and artistic director of Fiesta Colorado Dance Company, is a pillar in Colorado’s arts community and has been a tireless performer, educator, mentor and catalyst for the Latino arts for over 40 years.
"I think it’s a really good mix of honorees in that, in addition to folks like RedLine, we have larger companies but also smaller businesses that are being recognized, too," Crampton Day says. "We have urban examples and also rural examples."
Choosing winners is always tough, but this year was particularly challenging. "We had a record number of nominations this year," says Crampton Day. "I think that shows how business and arts partnerships are more relevant and critical than ever."
Individuals who've made major contributions to keeping the cultural scene alive will also be honored at today's event. For more about the awards, go to the CBCA website.
This story was updated on March 9 to include the individual award winners.
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