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And the winner is.... CBCA awards local businesses for creative contributions

Colorado Business Committee for the Arts illuminates value of culture


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The Colorado Business Committee for the Arts (CBCA) announced the winners of the 2017 Business of the Arts Awards at their 30th annual luncheon March 15. 

Award recipients were selected due to their demonstrable commitments to philanthropy and service around the arts. Before the honors were doled out at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts' Seawell Grand Ballroom, Mayor Michael B. Hancock told the sold-out crowd of 700-plus attendees that Denver's ability to attract and retain its local work force can, at least partially, be attributed to the city's arts and cultural offerings. 

Following recent announcements from President Donald Trump's administration to cut funding for the National Endowment for the Arts and National Endowment for the Humanities, Hancock went on to say that under his leadership, the city of Denver will continue to support the NEA regardless of the political landscape.

With that positive message to bolster Colorado's creative future, the 2017 CBCA Award Winners were announced:


CREATE AWARDThis acknowledgement is bestowed on a creatively minded, for-profit business leaving an imprint on the local cultural economy.

And the winner is... TRG ARTSBased in Colorado Springs, TRG Arts is a data-driven, international management consulting firm that has helped numerous arts organizations, including the DCPA and Curious Theater Company, improve their financial wellness, grow audiences, train leaders and increase their potential for positive impact.

EY NEXT WAVE LEADERSHIP AWARDThe honor spotlights emerging leaders and arts advocates who are models of civic engagement and leading the future of our cultural community.

And the winner is... JACKSON STEVENSAs an active community volunteer, leader and musician, Stevens has successfully served as an ambassador for the arts, working to make cultural opportunities more streamlined and inviting young professionals to join in the cultural offerings in the community. The organizations he touches include Colorado Symphony's RemixCross Cultured and more. At the awards event, Stevens explained his insights from Commerce Kitchen, a local technology firm, have solidified his belief that the "arts have never been more vital."

IMPACT AWARD: This accolade highlights the use of the arts to propel business initiatives forward, engage employees and build community activities and relationships that strengthen arts and business partnerships. 

And the winner is... SAGE HOSPITALITYCommitted to constructing building with character that reflect the organization's values, Sage spends roughly $1 million a year on original, often local artworks in their hotels. Sage has more than 30 properties in Colorado and the Dairy Block project is soon-to-be in-the-works.

JOHN MADDEN, JR. LEADERSHIP AWARDThis award recognizes a local professional who has made significant contributions to advancing arts and culture in Colorado.

And the winner is... TIM SCHULTZA passionate leader at the Boettcher Foundation for more than 20 years, Schultz has contributed to Colorado's Creative Districts program Space to Create Colorado. Schultz champions the arts as a vehicle for economic and community vitality statewide.

PHILANTHROPY AWARDHonoring exemplary corporate citizenship, this distinguishes generosity to arts and cultural projects and organizations. 

And the winner is... NOBLE ENERGYThis powerhouse in the energy industry has several partnerships with cultural organizations throughout Colorado, working with DCPA to bring theater professionals and engineers together for an innovative arts integration initiative in classrooms.


CBCA's 2016 Economic Activity Study, cited at the 2017 awards event, indicated the local creative economy is on the upswing, showing a $56 million contribution last year.

The Scientific and Cultural Facilities District (SCFD) is a seven-county special tax district that funds more than 300 nonprofits by collecting 1 cent tax on every $10 of retail purchases. Its success has propelled the Denver metro area's cultural scene forward and served as a national model for local arts funding. 

New funding rules for the SCFD are set to take affect July 1, 2018, following a statewide reauthorization vote through 2030. The changes will include more funding for small organizations and an emphasis on diversity. 

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Gigi Sukin

Gigi Sukin is digital editor at ColoradoBiz. She can be reached at gsukin@cobizmag.com.

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