ArtistiCO performance. Image by Amanda Tipton Photography

600 Attend Dynamic Event Featuring Diverse Local Entertainment and Artists

Colorado Business Committee for the Arts (CBCA) celebrated 12 honorees at its 2022 Business for the Arts Awards, presented by EY and PNC Bank, which was attended by 600 corporate, cultural and civic leaders at the Seawell Grand Ballroom at the Denver Performing Arts Complex, as well as livestreamed to attendees around the state. CBCA’s largest annual fundraiser and celebration, the Awards luncheon is the only statewide event honoring companies and individuals for their outstanding partnerships and engagement with the arts.

CBCA received a record number of nominations this year, and the 2022 honorees were selected by an independent panel of judges. Founded in 1985, CBCA has been producing this inspiring, arts-infused event for 35 years, featuring exemplary honorees and a variety of homegrown entertainers and Colorado artists. CBCA has honored nearly 200 companies and individuals in that time.

“We are thrilled to recognize these outstanding individuals and organizations for their inspiring and innovative business and arts partnerships. Their stories demonstrate the agility of the arts and creative industries sector, and how art is essential to our lives and strengthens our communities,” said Dustin Whistler, Chair of CBCA’s Board of Directors, and Founder & Principal, Forte Commercial Real Estate.

The main Awards luncheon program, emceed by CBS4 Anchorman and award-winning Journalist Jim Benemann, was punctuated with four live performances, underwritten by Moye White. The program opened with spoken word artist, Assétou Xango, a poet, coach, community activist and former Poet Laureate of Aurora. Local indie band, Ramakhandra, provided an out-of-this-world sonic experience featuring a harpist, bassist, Atari synth player, drummer and vocalist. Boulder-based Local Theater Company premiered an excerpt from a new musical, “Say My Name,” with Book & Direction by Pang Yuan Yuan and Music and Lyrics by David Nehls. The Awards luncheon closed with an energetic Mexican folklorico dance performance from ArtistiCO, a nonprofit uplifting Denver’s local Latin culture.

Prior to the event, guests mingled at a networking reception, underwritten by Xcel Energy, featuring an immersive dance, theater and artistic experience provided by Fort Collins-based LuneAseas.  Honorees and sponsors attended a VIP Reception, underwritten by East West Partners, with live music from jazz musician Camilla Vaitaitis at Prelude + Post. The original Award Artwork presented to each of the honorees was commissioned from Wheat Ridge sculpture artist Kevin Robb and underwritten by HealthONE. Each of the table centerpieces were handcrafted by students from MSU Denver’s Center for Visual Art, which were unique upcycled artworks, underwritten by Bellco Credit Union.

2022 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.

  • Artwork Archive, based in Denver with a global reach, goes beyond their core art inventory software platform to advance creative careers, including a robust blog and business accelerator grants and trainings.
  • The Colorado Chautauqua, a Boulder icon, partnered with Cal-Wood Education Center for Art in the Park, raising awareness for wildfire protection and recovery through creative benches built by local artists from fire damaged trees.
  • Conscious Alliance, of Broomfield, is a network of creatives working to end hunger through food drives and artistic posters at music concerts that fuel meals across Colorado and the U.S.
  • FCI Constructors, of Grand Junction, leverages their skills and resources to install downtown Grand Junction’s annual Art on the Corner sculptures, in addition to renovating the Avalon Theatre and philanthropically supporting the arts in Grand Valley.
  • Holiday Twin Drive-In, in Fort Collins, partnered with Fort Collins Musicians Association in 2020 to provide a safe place for live music during the pandemic with a weekly concert series supporting dozens of bands and hundreds of musicians.
  • Meow Wolf Denver’s new Convergence Station has been investing in Denver’s diverse creative community with a focus on social impact, accessibility and the needs of the Sun Valley neighborhood where they’re located.
  • PNC Bank has proven to be a champion of arts and culture partnerships through impactful sponsorships, significant grantmaking and employee leadership opportunities since entering the Colorado market in 2018.
  • Urban Peak’s downtown Denver youth shelter created a new music studio, spearheaded by a University of Colorado Denver songwriting professor, in order to provide youth experiencing homelessness with a cathartic and expressive outlet.

EY Next Wave Leadership Award

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

  • Tara Rynders, Registered Nurse, Artistic Director and Founder of You & Me and The Clinic, is harnessing the power of dance to combat compassion fatigue and build resiliency for healthcare workers through immersive performances and art-based workshops.

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.

  • Roopesh Aggarwal, Senior Director – Business Innovation at Xcel Energy, joined the Board of Central City Opera after graduating from Leadership Arts in 2016 and has provided extraordinary leadership, guidance and vision as Board President and now Co-Chairman during a transformative time for the organization.

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.

  • Dave Rein, Attorney at Erickson Kernell IP, is an advocate for the arts through his pro bono legal service and education with CAFTA, as well as volunteer roles with 40 West Arts, Jefferson County Cultural Council and Mi Casa Resource Center.

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.

  • Richard Carter is a renowned artist and activist and has been spearheading creative development in the Roaring Fork Valley since the 1970s, including founding the Aspen Art Museum and supporting Anderson Ranch Art Center, Art Base and the new The Arts Campus at Willits (TACAW) in Basalt.

“We thank all of the inspiring honorees and arts performers at today’s 35th anniversary Awards luncheon. The 2022 Business for the Arts Awards illustrate the mutual benefits when arts and business collaborate,” said Christin Crampton Day, CBCA executive director.

In addition to celebrating the 2022 Business for the Arts Award honorees, CBCA recognized Colorado State Representative Leslie Herod for receiving the 2021 Public Leadership in the Arts Award during this event. Representative Herod was presented with this Award by Americans for the Arts and National Conference of State Legislatures.

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