Tucson was well represented among the winners of the recently announced 2014 Governor’s Arts Awards, given for contributing to the “diversity and excellence of Arizona’s arts and culture community.” The Old Pueblo took three of the six award categories, presented last week.
Writer and documentarian Daniel Buckley took the award for Artist; The University of Arizona Poetry Center won the top honors in the Community category, and John P. and Helen S. Schaefer were presented with the Shelley Award.
Buckley is a kind of walking encyclopedia when it comes to world music, especially mariachi. He has been working on an oral history series on the political and social evolution of Tucson’s Mexican-American population. and has launched a new project of large-scale desert landscape photography. In addition, Buckley composes and has been a performance artist with the now dormant and deliciously outrageous The Little Dinks.
The UA Poetry Center is known nationally for its reading series, library, and for the fact that it is one of the few centers in the country devoted to poetry. It also has a well-developed education program that reaches out to children, high school students, teachers and parents.
The Schaefers are well known in Tucson for their passionate support of the arts, from the literature to theater to music to the visual arts.
John Schaefer, president emeritus of the UA, founded the Center for Creative Photography with Ansel Adams, and Helen Schaefer was instrumental in raising funds for the Poetry Center’s building, which bears her name. The Shelley is named after Shelley Cohn, the one-time executive director of the Arizona Commission on the Arts, which oversees the Governor’s Arts Awards. The award is given to those who have “advanced the arts through strategic and innovative work in creating or supporting public policy beneficial to the arts in Arizona.”
The awards were presented in a Phoenix ceremony late last week.