Laveen artist Martin Moreno, who harnesses the power of art to help at-risk students complete their General Equivalency Diplomas (GEDs) and whose murals, sculptures, paintings and mosaics have been exhibited across the state, received the 2011 Artist Award at the 30th annual Arizona Governor’s Arts Awards at the Herberger Theater Tuesday night.
RAK staff multimedia journalist Vicki Louk Balint interviewed Moreno for a story in our January 2010 magazine. Her podcast of that interview is available here and a story she later co-produced with 12News is available here.
Also honored at the event were longtime arts supporter and advocate Carol Duval Whiteman, who received the Individual Award, and Ann Ludwig, an educator, mentor, choreographer, performer and director, who received the Arts In Education – Individual Award, the first time that award has been presented.
Other honorees included:
More than 500 arts supporters, advocates, business leaders and elected officials attended the annual event at which honorees were named in six categories. Nearly 80 individuals, artists, businesses, arts education programs and community programs from 22 communities around the state were nominated for 2011 Governor’s Arts Awards.
Whiteman’s connection with Arizona arts and cultural organizations began in Tucson in the late 1960s with the Tucson Museum of Art and she was later instrumental in founding Arizona Theatre Company. A published poet and author, Whiteman also helped build a new venue for the Arizona Poetry Center. She was a driving force in helping sustain Ballet Arizona during its darkest days 10 years ago and has served on the boards of Actors Theatre, Arizona Theatre Company, Ballet Arizona, Childsplay and the Arizona Commission on the Arts.
Ludwig, the founder and artistic director of A Ludwig Dance Theatre, has guided many students and artists into successful careers as choreographers. She has served as Graduate Director of the Arizona State University Department of Dance and is a recent recipient of a presidential award from the National Dance Education Organization in recognition of her service, impact and passion for dance.
Free Arts for Abused Children in Arizona is the state’s only organization combining arts with a social service setting to reach 5,500 children from age 3 to 21 each year. Through the program that has reached nearly 65,000 abused and at-risk children living in poverty since its founding in 1993, young people are able to productively channel their emotions, improve social skills and develop trust in adults. The organization relies on 800 volunteers who serve children at 110 foster care homes, emergency shelters and residential treatment centers.
For more than three decades, the all-volunteer Tonto Community Concert Association has programmed performances ranging from classical to country and baroque to The Beatles that reach communities and schools in Payson and the surrounding areas. Complementing each performance are student outreach programs designed in collaboration with each of the performing artists. Students of every age are bussed to Payson High School to participate in the programs.
Cox Communications of Southern Arizona has been a consistent supporter of arts and culture for many years. In one year alone, the company donated more than 1,000 employee volunteer hours, provided more than $1 million in cash sponsorships and more than $1 million in public service and in-kind ads. Among the organizations supported by Cox in Southern Arizona are the Loft Cinema, Museum of Contemporary Art, Tucson Children’s Museum and Opening Minds Through the Arts.
The Governor’s Arts Awards are presented by Arizona Citizens for the Arts, the Arizona Commission on the Arts and the Office of the Governor to recognize outstanding achievement and contributions to the Arizona arts and culture community.