Arts = Downtown = Bevy of LUMIES

June 22, 2011

To prove that the arts are one of the pillars of Downtown, many of Tucson Pima Arts and Business Awards 2011 LUMIES went to people and organizations steeped in Downtown. 

The LUMIES go to individuals, organizations and businesses that create and cultivate arts and culture throughout Tucson and Pima County. This is the 11th year these awards have been presented by the Tucson Pima Arts Council in partnership with business, government and the arts community. The awardees were selected from 43 nominations of artists, arts organizations and arts supporters by members of the community. 

“This event celebrates the people who energize our community’s creative soul,” said Roberto Bedoya, TPAC executive director. “These individuals and organizations established our reputation as a thriving hub for the arts. The arts substantially strengthen our economy and greatly improve our quality of life. That too is cause for celebration.” 

The LUMIIES that went to Downtownters are: 

EMERGING ARTS ORGANIZATION – Casa Libre en la Solana – The goal of Casa Libre en la Solana is to support and enhance creativity among professional and novice writers. For the past eight years, Casa has offered writing classes, book release events, residency programs and an emerging-writer reading series. In a world where words are often used as weapons or not used at all, Casa allows writers to apply words in celebration of the human spirit.

ESTABLISHED ARTS ORGANIZATION – Kore Press – Championing women writers and those under-represented in the cultural mainstream, Kore Press has thrived as an independent press in difficult economic environments that easily favor corporations. Kore Press is one of only six feminist literary publishers in the nation and a leading voice for advancing progressive social change in Southern Arizona.

ARTS EDUCATION PROGRAM – Sonoran Glass Art Academy – Since its founding in 2001, Sonoran Glass Art Academy has attracted thousands of Tucsonans and Arizona visitors to the unique art of molten glass. It serves to boost the confidence, creativity and artistic capabilities of a diverse population, but most especially the youth of Southern Arizona who are given priority with the Youth Glass Arts Education Program. Sonoran Glass also is integral in hosting the annual Tucson Glass Festival.

SMALL BUSINESS PARTNER – Peach Properties, Inc. – Ron and Patricia Schwabe, owners of Peach Properties, are aware of the importance of art to a thriving community. They often renovate their historic properties without question to fit an artist’s sensibilities. Without this property company’s expertise, much of the downtown transition into a setting that supports local artists would be insurmountable. The company allows artists to use vacant properties for exhibitions and other special events whenever possible, and provides guidance to artists looking for studio space.

LARGE BUSINESS PARTNER – COX Communications – The Southern Arizona cultural landscape would not be as diverse and robust without the support of Cox Communications. Cox established the employee-funded Cox Charities foundation as a way to strategically support local causes, many of which involve the arts. Their multi-layered involvement includes providing the time and talent of Cox associates. The vital support that Cox provides to arts organizations fosters and enriches Southern Arizona’s exceptional creative and imaginative spirit.

LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT – David Tineo – Art that prompts purposeful discussion, presents the world in an unfiltered light and expresses it profoundly is the art of David Tineo. He’s produced more than 80 vibrant murals and 120 lasting public displays of art. As an instructor, his legacy has been left for young and old in the schools where he has lectured, as well as on the walls of the city. Even with macular degeneration affecting his sight, David continues to passionately apply his talents to aid others with debilitating illnesses.

SPECIAL RECOGNITION – Jim Glock, P.E. – A special LUMIES award was presented by TPAC’s Board of Directors to Jim Glock, director of the Tucson Department of Transportation for his consistent advocacy for public art, support of artists’ endeavors to advance in the historic warehouse district and dedication to a greater downtown community.

Glock joined the Tucson Department of Transportation in 1982 and was named director in 2002, responsible for four divisions and more than 300 employees. He also oversees the regional operations of Sun Tran and Sun Van and the planning, design and construction of projects funded through the Regional Transportation Authority. 

Glock currently is responsible for the overall management, planning and design of the Tucson Modern Streetcar project.  Under his guidance, an application for federal funding resulted in the award of a $63 million TIGER Grant. He will retire at the end of this year. Public art in transportation improvement projects is funded at the discretion of the transportation department. Glock has consistently supported the inclusion of public art to enhance transportation improvements.  As a result of this vision, Tucson has acquired a reputation nationally as “a public art town.”

For more information on the LUMIES winners and nominees plus other TPAC projects, visit the TPAC website at www.tucsonpimaartscouncil.org.

by Teya Vitu

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