Mayor’s Awards for Excellence in Arts & Culture

Congratulations to the 2015 winners and nominees! 

In the spirit of IMAGINE 2020 Denver's cultural plan, the mayor of Denver annually recognizes individuals and organizations that make significant and lasting contributions to the artistic, cultural and creative landscape in the City and County of Denver. 

YOUTH ARTS & CULTURE AWARD

This award is presented to a person under 18 that has made a noteworthy difference in the community through the arts or an organization that has significantly impacted the lives of youth in the City and County of Denver through the arts. Nominees: Art from Ashes, Jimmy Bruenger, Creative Industries Internship at Center for Visual Art at Metropolitan State University of Denver, Bridget Galaty

2015 AWARD WINNER: JIMMY BRUENGER
Jimmy Bruenger is an accomplished actor at the Denver School of the Arts (DSA) with lead performances as Link in “Hairspray,” Lefou in “Beauty and the Beast” and as Hanschen in the musical “Spring Awakening.” A senior at DSA, he leads by example and strives for excellence in all he does. His peers have elected him as the Thespian/Theatre Department President for his senior year, and the younger students see him as a role model. In the 2016 spring semester, Jimmy will be choreographing the 8th grade production of “The Little Mermaid Jr.” Additionally, Jimmy has a passion for raising funds and awareness for the Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS and the local charity Denver Actor’s Fund. He spearheaded the fundraising campaign and helped to raise $2,000 for each charity. This year he plans to support a local group that assists teens who are in abusive situations.

WATCH HIS STORY

 

ARTS & CULTURE IMPACT AWARD

This award is presented to an individual or an organization that has made a significant and lasting impact on arts and culture in the City and County of Denver. This category requires that the nominee have at least 10 years of history in the arts in the City and County of Denver. Nominees: Arts Brookfield, Center for Visual Art at Metropolitan State University of Denver, CHAC Gallery & Cultural Center, cmDance, Mark Hough (Colorado Ballet), Katey Laurel, Mark Sink, Brenda Tierney

2015 AWARD WINNER: BRENDA TIERNEY
Brenda Tierney serves as a Public Art Manager for the Regional Transportation District (RTD). In rail construction projects, she is responsible for liaising between engineers, contractors and the public during design and construction. 21 years ago Brenda created the Art-n-Transit program, which she continues to manage today. Starting in 1994 working in the Central Rail Line construction project, the first light rail line in Denver, she listened to the impacted community as they requested public art at their new stations. With no RTD funding for artwork, she formed a non-profit corporation and started fundraising. Over the next five years, enough money was raised to install the first five artworks. By the end of 2016, even with no formal program or funding for artwork at RTD, the collection will have grown to 70 pieces.

WATCH HER STORY

 

ARTS & CULTURE INNOVATION AWARD

This award is presented to the individual or organization that is breaking new ground in the arts and whose contribution to innovation in the arts has been significant in 2015. Nominees: Wonderbound, MSU Denver: Journey through our Heritage, Spoke N Motion Dance, Phamaly Theatre Company & Lone Tree Arts Center, Museum of Contemporary Art Denver

2015 AWARD WINNER: PHAMALY THEATRE COMPANY & LONE TREE ARTS CENTER 
On June 16, 2015, Phamaly Theatre Company and the Lone Tree Arts Center copresented Denver’s first Sensory Friendly Summit. Held at the Lone Tree Arts Center, the goal of the Summit was to lay the groundwork to make Denver the most sensory friendly community in America by creating a network of organizations committed to welcoming a much-neglected population through their doors. Sensory friendly programming is designed for individuals with autism, sensory processing disorders, or other intellectual or developmental disabilities, and their families. Sensory friendly programs may include simple changes to productions and performances to make these encounters accessible and enjoyable for patrons. Most importantly, sensory friendly programs take place in a judgment-free environment where all are welcome without the f ear of disturbing others.

WATCH THEIR STORY

 

GLOBAL ARTS & CULTURE AWARD

This award is presented to an individual or organization that has brought Denver’s arts and culture to the national or world stage. Nominees for this category have received national or international recognition through collaboration, media coverage, or grant dollars received. Nominees: Buffalo Bill Museum & Grave, Phamaly Theatre Company

2015 AWARD WINNER: BUFFALO BILL MUSEUM & GRAVE
The Buffalo Bill Museum & Grave, located in Denver’s Lookout Mountain Park, has provided a context for Denver’s Western Heritage since 1921. As part of the Denver Mountain Parks system, the site was a popular destination before William “Buffalo Bill” Cody requested to be buried here in 1917. Every year hundreds of thousands of visitors pay homage to Cody, one of the most legendary and visionary personalities in American history. Beyond Cody’s historic grave and amazing view, this is a world-class museum filled with rare and authentic relics interpreting Cody’s life. The museum’s mission is to preserve and interpret “the life and times” of Buffalo Bill. Cody lived during a transformative era of America’s history and this is reflected in educational exhibits.

WATCH THEIR STORY

 

IMAGINE 2020 AWARD

An individual or organization that exemplifies the vision and goals of Denver’s cultural plan through their programs and initiatives. This individual or organization is setting an example for others to aspire to as we IMAGINE 2020.
Nominees: Children's Museum of Denver, Federal Blvd. Business Improvement District, Go Play Denver, Hope Tank, RedLine Contemporary Art Center

2015 AWARD WINNERS: HOPE TANK AND REDLINE CONTEMPORARY ART CENTER
Hope Tank is a social enterprise boutique where many items sold are created by local artists. Each item sold benefits a different charity. Items have information on the supported charity, so if the purchase is a gift, the recipient will also have the knowledge of the impacted organization. Hope Tank supports local talent and through their partnership, they educate, inspire and move everyone who shops in the store to act for the betterment of our society.

WATCH THEIR STORY


RedLine Contemporary Art Center fosters engagement between artists and communities to create positive social change. The nonprofit organization strives for artistic excellence while viewing art as a vehicle for strengthening neighborhoods and civic engagement. With its dynamic physical space, talented resident artists, and proximity to some of Denver’s most culturally diverse areas, RedLine Contemporary Art Center is a place where all forms of creative expression are celebrated and integrated into the fabric of the community. By supporting artists and creating programs that respond to the needs of the community, RedLine Contemporary Art Center hopes to inspire new generations of cultural and civic transformers.

WATCH THEIR STORY

 

PEOPLE'S CHOICE AWARD - UNIQUE COLLABORATIONS

Nominees for this award have formed collaborations that are unique either in the scope of the collaborative partners or in the work performed by the collaborative. Nominees: Center for Visual Art at Metropolitan State University of Denver, Colorado Hebrew Chorale, North City Park Neighborhood Association, Phamaly Theatre Company & Lone Tree Arts Center

2015 WINNER: PHAMALY THEATRE COMPANY & LONE TREE ARTS CENTER
On June 16, 2015, Phamaly Theatre Company and the Lone Tree Arts Center copresented Denver’s first Sensory Friendly Summit. Held at the Lone Tree Arts Center, the goal of the Summit was to lay the groundwork to make Denver the most sensory friendly community in America by creating a network of organizations committed to welcoming a much-neglected population through their doors. Sensory friendly programming is designed for individuals with autism, sensory processing disorders, or other intellectual or developmental disabilities, and their families. Sensory friendly programs may include simple changes to productions and performances to make these encounters accessible and enjoyable for patrons. Most importantly, sensory friendly programs take place in a judgment-free environment where all are welcome without the fear of disturbing others.

 

PEOPLE'S CHOICE AWARD - IN SCHOOL ARTS

This award is for Denver Public School art teachers or non-art teachers who are creatively using arts in their curriculum. Nominees: Eric Mills of Denver School of the Arts, Shawn Hann of Denver School of the Arts

2015 WINNER: SHAWN HANN
Shawn Hann has been teaching since 1994 and has been the Chair of the Department of Theatre at Denver School of the Arts since 2001. Hann sees 160 unique theatre artists from grades 6-12 every day. She does everything in her power to try to better understand how she can help every student grow to his or her full potential. Hann’s veins run thick with creativity. Her directing process begins with dramaturgy. Believing that theatre “is a time capsule”, Hann starts her casts in the right direction by first educating them on the time period, the economics, the social world, the political world, art and architecture of the time, and religion. This way of starting a process not only helps to educate the cast about the world around them, making them well rounded human beings, but also creates a basis for character building and development from a real, genuine place. Hann’s directorial research doesn’t stop at the actors, either. She works extensively with the production designers to create an accurate world on-stage from color palate, all the way down to the geometrical patterns on the wall paper.


CONTACT

For additional questions and information please contact Brooke Dilling: Brooke.Dilling@denvergov.org or 720-865-4325
Videos created by ZeroSun Creative
Photos by Trevor Davis