Art is everybody’s business

"The Dream Boat" featured on the Schuff-Perini Climber at the Children's Museum of Phoenix

American consumers rarely want for more choices. Just ask the new parents whose heads spin when they try to tackle the baby food aisle, or the teenager who walks into a quaint little record or book shop and tries to decide how to spend a gift card.

We forget too often that the way we shop, the businesses we choose to support, are a reflection of our values. For arts supporters, it makes sense to support businesses that support the arts.

Mesa Arts Center, recently honored by the Arts and Business Council of Greater Phoenix

I never open a Playbill without noting the corporate and business sponsors of the event I am enjoying–because I want to know which Arizona companies, large and small, are investing in the arts and culture of our local communities.

Check out these award recipients, selected from among 42 nominations throughout Maricopa County, honored earlier this week at the Business in the Arts Awards Breakfast organized by the Arts & Business Council of Greater Phoenix and presented by Wells Fargo:

Large Business Partner of the Year: Schuff Steel Southwest for donating labor. materials and expertise to creating and installing a three-story climber at the Children’s Museum of Phoenix.

Small Business Partner of the Year: DMB, Inc. of Scottsdale for providing various types of support to the West Valley Arts Council and making arts/culture a focus of their Verado development.

Arts Organization of the Year: Mesa Arts Center for launching four major initiatives, along with two partners, for expanding the reach of arts and culture within its community.

Arts Advocate of the Year: Bobb Cooper of Valley Youth Theatre in Phoenix for programs supporting underserved children and integrating youth theater into the community.

Arts Board Member of the Year: Harold Dorenbecher, chair of the Ballet Arizona board of directors, for longtime involvement that has helped the organization secure quality leadership and funding.

A Special Business Volunteer Award went to Mike Nolan for “donating more than 75 hours to four different arts organizations during the past year.” Nolan’s volunteering–focused on marketing, development and volunteer programs–benefited Phoenix Theatre (which opens its 90th season on Aug 25), Four Seasons Orchestra (of Scottsdale), Red Rocks Music Festival (Sept 1-5 in Sedona) and String Sounds (of Phoenix).

Next time you attend a music, dance or theater performance where business sponsors are recognized on stage or simply by name, put your hands together. Without their financial support of the arts, all that clapping we offer after the show might never come to pass.



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