ArtistiCO performing at the 2022 Business for the Arts Awards Luncheon. Photo Credit: Amanda Tipton Photography

Denver – Colorado Business Committee for the Arts (CBCA) announces 12 honorees for its 2023 Business for the Arts Awards, the only statewide event honoring companies and individuals for their outstanding partnerships and engagement with the arts.

All of the honorees will be celebrated at the Business for the Arts Awards luncheon, presented by EY and PNC Bank, on Tuesday, March 7, 2023 in the Seawell Ballroom at the Denver Center for Performing Arts (DCPA). CBCA anticipates a sell-out, arts-infused event with 700 corporate, cultural and civic leaders in attendance, as well as livestream participants.

“The 2023 Business for the Arts Awards honorees illustrate the diverse ways in which arts and businesses collaborate in our state. These honorees advance our economy, inspire creativity and innovation, and build community,” says Christin Crampton Day, CBCA executive director. “These honorees also exemplify making the arts more equitable and accessible for all.”

2023 Arts & Business Partnership Award Honorees

The Arts & Business Partnership Award honorees are exemplary organizations that have gone above and beyond to support the arts and creative industries.

  • Colectiva is dedicated to advancing Latinx and BIPOC artists and creative businesses, ranging from chefs to dancers. Since 2020, Colectiva has worked with over 30 businesses and organizations to foster collaborations, infuse our community with art and advocate for culture.
  • Colorado School of Mines students and faculty in the George S. Ansell Department of Metallurgical and Materials Engineering and the Hennebach Program in the Humanities collaborated with performing arts collective itchy-O to create one-of-kind musical instruments, advancing the field of musical engineering and showcasing the intersection of the arts and science.
  • Fitzsimons Credit Union is deeply invested in supporting and promoting the Aurora Cultural Arts District. Fitzsimons staff and philanthropy support Downtown Aurora Visual Arts (DAVA), Aurora Fox Theater, Colfax Canvas Mural Fest, and We Are A-Town Art District Clean-Up events.
  • Gill Foundation & Scream Agency partnered with the LGBTQ artist community in Denver, as well as History Colorado and RiNo Arts District, to raise awareness about the pivotal LGBTQ movements in 2021. Local artists depicted key LGBTQ milestones on canvas, wood, and even a warehouse garage.
  • McWhinney believes that incorporating art is necessary for successful placemaking. With arts and culture as one of its brand pillars, McWhinney brings its commitment to life at a multitude of properties in Colorado, such as Dairy Block, Centerra in Loveland and Denver Union Station.
  • Mishawaka Amphitheatre and their philanthropic arm, the Mish Initiative, having been partnering with the Front Range community and beyond to expand access to live music, catalyze the careers of Colorado musicians, and shape the policy to improve the music ecosystem.
  • Modivcare worked with Access Gallery to fill their new corporate headquarters with nearly 100 original artworks created by artists with disabilities and seniors, which aligns with their mission to provide health access to underserved communities.
  • U.S. Bank in a national leader in corporate support and employee engagement for arts and culture. The arts are one of three community focus areas, which results in more than $250,000 annually to support a range of Colorado cultural organizations through the U.S. Bank Foundation.

EY Next Wave Leadership Award

The EY Next Wave Leadership Award honors rising professionals who are leading the future of our cultural community.

  • Ashley Cornelius, LPC, RESTORE Program Manager, Denver Health is a passionate advocate for mental health, empowerment and racial equity. A licensed counselor and Pikes Peak Region Poet Laureate, Ashley is committed to using poetry as a platform to speak up and out for marginalized groups and be a voice for those who have been silenced.

PNC Bank Cultural Leadership Award

The PNC Bank Cultural Leadership Award recognizes an outstanding graduate of CBCA’s Leadership Arts program who has made an impact on arts and culture in Colorado.

  • Deborah Malden, Co-Founder/Board Member, Create Boulder and Arts Liaison & Advisor, Boulder Chamber has been advocating for the arts since graduating from Leadership Arts in 2013. Deborah’s leadership service includes 3rd Law Dance/Theater, SCFD Board of Directors, Create Boulder, Boulder Chamber, CBCA’s Colorado Cultural Champions and more.

Volunteer Attorney Impact Award

The Volunteer Attorney Impact Award recognizes an outstanding attorney who has provided pro bono legal services to Colorado creatives and advanced CBCA’s Colorado Attorneys for the Arts (CAFTA) program.

  • Brian Hanning, Attorney, Hanning Law Limited has been an active volunteer with Colorado Attorneys for the Arts (CAFTA) since 2017, helping numerous artists and creative entrepreneurs with their legal needs, answering questions on CAFTA consultation clinics, and advocating for startup and small business support in Northern Colorado.

John Madden, Jr. Leadership Award

Named for CBCA’s founding chairman, the John Madden, Jr. Leadership Award recognizes a lifetime of extraordinary leadership and a legacy of support for the arts.

  • Merle Chambers, business person and co-founder, Kirkland Museum of Fine & Decorative Art is a pioneer of women’s leadership and philanthropy, supporting significant capital projects at several museums, performance venues and cultural institutions. Merle was recently appointed by U.S. President Joseph R. Biden, Jr. to the President’s Advisory Committee on the Arts (PACA).

The 2023 Arts & Business Partnership Award honorees, EY Next Wave Leadership Award, PNC Bank Cultural Leadership Award and John Madden, Jr. Leadership Award were selected by an independent panel of judges.

  • Kirsty Greer, Senior Vice President, McWhinney
  • Jen Morris, Executive Director, Denver Economic Development & Opportunity, City and County of Denver
  • Kennedy Pugh, Founder, Colorado Arts and Artists
  • Christine Quintana, Partner, EY
  • Jose “Chepe” Rosales, Co-Founder & Executive Director, ArtistiCO
  • David Siegel, Executive Director, Ent Center for the Arts at UCCS
  • Sam Somuri, OCIO Sr. Investment Advisor, PNC Bank

The Volunteer Attorney of the Year Award was selected by the CAFTA Advisory Committee.

CBCA thanks our generous sponsors who make this event possible. The Business for the Arts Awards are presented by EY and PNC Bank. Generous support is also provided by HealthONE, Bellco Credit Union, Moye White, and Xcel Energy. In-kind and media partners are CBS4, ColoradoBiz, Ligature Creative, Moxtopia, and The Publishing House.

Tables and tickets are on sale now at for the Business for the Arts Awards on Tuesday, March 7, 2023 at the Seawell Ballroom, DCPA. Premier Tables have additional benefits. Livestream tickets are also available.


Colorado Business Committee for the Arts (CBCA) advances Colorado’s creative economy by connecting business and the arts through arts engagement, advocacy, training, research, and volunteerism. CBCA is a 501c3 nonprofit membership organization of leading Colorado companies who recognize the link between cultural vitality and economic success.  Learn more at