Alberto Álvaro Ríos – native Arizona, longtime teacher and internationally known poet, will be honored with the prestigious Shelley Award during the 37th Annual Governor’s Arts Awards. He is being recognized for his work which has elevated understanding and appreciation for poetry and literature in and of Arizona.

The Shelley Award, named after former Arizona Commission on the Arts Executive Director Shelley Cohn, is presented annually to recognize individuals who have promoted public support for arts and culture through their strategic and innovative leadership.

The author of 11 books and chapbooks of poetry, Rios has been recognized with numerous literary awards. His most recent title, A Small Story About the Sky, was honored by inclusion in the National Endowment for the Arts Big Read initiative.   In 2013, he was name Arizona’s first Poet Laureate, and he is currently the artistic director of the Virginia G. Piper Center for Creative Writing at ASU.

We want to acknowledge ALL of the 2018 nominees, who are wonderful individuals and organizations that do so much for arts and culture in Arizona and deserve to be recognized for their talent, innovation and immense efforts. 

On February 6, 2018, nominees, sponsors and guests gathered at Herberger Theater Center to celebrate this year’s nominees and announce three finalists in each category as well as the inaugural Philanthropy Honoree. The celebration consisted of a cocktail hour, live entertainment and a semi-formal program.

Artist Award

This award recognizes an Arizona artist of significant merit, leadership or reputation whose creations or contributions enrich the state and the field of the arts. This category is open to artists of all artistic disciplines.

Liliana Gomez, Phoenix

Doug Hyde, Prescott

Dennis Rowland, Phoenix

Arts in Education | Individual

This award recognizes, educators, teaching artists, school administrators or school volunteers that have demonstrated significant support or participation in activities which foster excellence in, appreciation of, or access to arts education in the State of Arizona.

Dr. Julian Ackerley, Tucson

Dennis Ott, Sedona

Karen Rolston, Mesa

Arts in Education | Organization

This award recognizes a nonprofit arts organization or a school that has demonstrated significant support for or participation in activities fostering excellence in, appreciation of, or access to arts education in the State of Arizona.

Foothills Fine Arts Academy, Glendale

Hilltop Gallery & Arts Education Center, Nogales

Young Arts Arizona, Ltd., Phoenix

Business | Small

This award recognizes small, private businesses (1-99 employees), that have demonstrated significant support locally or statewide, through a contribution of time, energy, personnel, expertise and/or financial support or by participation in activities which foster excellence in, appreciation of, or access to the arts.

Benner-Naman, Inc. Wickenburg

Changing Hands Bookstore, Tempe

Manley Films and Media, Phoenix

 

Business | Large

This award recognizes large, private businesses (100+ employees), that have demonstrated significant support locally or statewide, through a contribution of time, energy, personnel, expertise and/or financial support or by participation in activities which foster excellence in, appreciation of, or access to the arts.

Alliance Bank of Arizona, Phoenix

Vestar, Phoenix

Community

This award recognizes an organization that has demonstrated significant support or participation in activities which foster excellence in, appreciation of, or access to arts in the State of Arizona.

Del E. Webb Center for the Performing Arts, Wickenburg

Phoenix Center for the Arts, Phoenix

PSA Arts Awakenings, Phoenix

Individual

This award recognizes an individual for significant contributions to the arts in Arizona in the areas of arts leadership and personal commitment of time and talent.

Hope Ozer, Paradise Valley

Sam, Phoenix

Vincent VanVleet, Phoenix

Philanthropy

This award recognizes extraordinary philanthropic leadership through the contribution of financial resources to non-profit arts and culture organizations, and by encouraging the philanthropic support of others.

Judith Hardes, Phoenix