Regional Arts Luminaries in the Spotlight

This article originally appeared in Zocalo Magazine.

by Rafael Otto

Tucson’s annual LUMIES award ceremony will celebrate outstanding arts luminaries at the historic El Casino Ballroom on June 9. Hosted by the Tucson Pima Arts Council (TPAC), the celebration recognizes individuals, organizations, and businesses for their artistic, cultural, and economic achievements that nurture and advance the arts.

“This event celebrates the people who energize our community’s creative soul,” says Roberto Bedoya, TPAC executive director. “These individuals and organizations established our notable national reputation as a thriving hub for the arts.”

This year, 40 nominees are in the running across ten categories including Lifetime Achievement, Emerging Arts Organization, and Arts Educator. Winners will be announced at the event on June 9.

Thom Lewis, 2002 LUMIES winner as an Individual Artist says, “It’s wonderful to be respected by peers who have to both nominate and elect you in order to win.”

Originally called the Mayor’s Arts Award starting in 2000, the award took the LUMIES name and assumed a broader scope in 2005 to underscore the significance of the arts in the region’s cultural climate as well as those who strengthen the arts community.

Karen Falkenstrom, along with Rome Hamner, received the Emerging Arts Organization LUMIES award in 2008 for Odaiko Sonora. “It’s exciting to be recognized publicly,” Falkensrom says, “to be acknowledged for the work we put into our art.” Odaiko Sonora produces more than 50 programs per year including performances, team building, and residencies throughout the region.

The Jons, hailing from Southern Arizona, will provide entertainment at the celebration with original music that draws from rock, bossa nova, and pop influences, features vocals in English and Spanish, and has a searing horn section. General admission tickets are on sale for $35 and VIP tickets for $60 at Tickets at the door will be $45. Sponsorship opportunities are also available by contacting TPAC at 520.624.0595 x.10.

Falkenstrom adds, “We found ourselves in such good company. There are so many who deserve to be nominated, and never enough awards for the amount of arts excellence that exists in our community.”

Event Details

Thursday, June 9, 2011

El Casino Ballroom, 437 E. 26th St.

6pm– 7pm: VIP Happy Hour

7pm: Main Event Doors Open

7:15pm: Ceremony Begins

Evening includes appetizer buffet, dancing, and cash bar.