Governor Hickenlooper at the Business for the Arts Awards Luncheon. Photo: Steve Peterson

CBCA) announced the winners of the 2015 Business for the Arts Awards, Colorado’s signature event honoring companies and individual’s for their exemplary partnerships and engagement with the arts, to a sold-out crowd of arts, business, and civic leaders at the Seawell Ballroom this afternoon.

“Congratulations to the outstanding Colorado business leaders recognized today for their engagement with the arts,” said Deborah Jordy, Executive Director of CBCA. “These winners and finalists demonstrate a strong commitment to corporate philanthropy and service to the arts. For three decades CBCA has been advocating for the arts, building strong leadership for the arts and initiated the conversation around arts and economic development.”

Also at the luncheon, Governor John Hickenlooper received the 2015 National Award for State Arts Leadership given by Americans for the Arts and The United State Conference of Mayors. The award was presented by Robert L. Lynch, President & CEO of Americans for the Arts.

“For thirty years, CBCA has been championing strong arts and business partnerships in Colorado,” said Governor John Hickenlooper. “CBCA continues to be a leader in advancing arts and economic development, broadening cultural exposure for business and partnering to advance our state’s creative economy.”

Denver Mayor Michael B. Hancock celebrated the CBCA’s 30th anniversary and spoke on the important role arts and business partnerships play in keeping the city vibrant, livable and innovative. “With economic activity tied to arts, cultural and scientific organizations across metro Denver totaling about $1.85 billion in 2013, the economic importance of the arts is undeniable,” Mayor Hancock said. “And that figure is rising thanks to leaders like those being honored with this year’s Business for the Arts Awards.”

Guests enjoyed pre-entertainment from Denver Museum of Nature & Science and Frequent Flyers Productions. Local band Shady Elders, Curious Theatre Company, Central City Opera and Denver Center for the Performing Arts’ Broadway touring production of STOMP provided powerful and entertaining performances during the event. In addition, the Ladies Fancywork Society “yarn bombed” the luncheon, by covering the ballroom and several guests with crocheted items.

2015 Business for the Arts Awards Winners

These five winners were chosen from fifteen finalists and announced during the luncheon:

Create Award

  • Boulder Digital Arts is a vital resource for digital artists and creative professionals through workshops, classes and events in this ever-changing field.

Impact Award

John Madden, Jr. Leadership Award

  • Bill Marino spearheaded the creation and development of the Lakewood–West Colfax creative corridor.

EY Next Wave Leadership Award (NEW IN 2015)

  • Katie Kruger galvanizes young professionals’ involvement in the arts through board service and leadership of Cross-Cultured

Philanthropy Award

  • Janus Capital Group’s innovative Student Art Buying Program engages students with the creative economy and the value of art in their schools.

The distinguished judging panel for the 2015 Business for the Arts Awards consisted of:

  • Jandel T. Allen-Davis, MD, Vice President, Government and External Relations, Kaiser Permanente
  • Joe Blake, Chancellor Emeritus, Colorado State University
  • Margaret Hunt, Director, Colorado Creative Industries
  • Rich Kylberg, Vice President, Global Marketing & Communications, Arrow Electronics
  • Sacha Millstone, Senior Vice President, Investments, The Millstone Evans Group of Raymond James & Associates

CBCA thanks our generous sponsors who make this event possible. Corporate sponsors include EY, Kaiser Permanente Colorado, Arrow Electronics, Arts Brookfield, Delta Dental Colorado, GE Johnson Construction, John Madden Company and Snell & Wilmer.  Media and in-kind sponsors are CBS4, ColoradoBIZ Magazine, Comcast, The Denver Post Community, Ligature Creative Group and The Publishing House.