To a record crowd of over 600 people, the winners of the 2015 Viola Awards for Excellence in the Arts were announced at High Country Conference Center in Flagstaff, Arizona. The 7th annual Gala event took place on Saturday, March 7, 2015.
The 2015 Viola Award (pictured at left) was designed by local artist and educator, Sonja London-Hall, who was also a nominee for Excellence in Arts Education. Sonja is an Arizona native and local artist. She has been an active member of the Flagstaff arts community, Flagstaff and Sedona galleries for the past 20 years. The award this year was designed to pay homage to Viola and the arts which “make the world go round” represented by the gears and spinning world.
2015 Viola Award Gala Noteworthy Items:
This was the highest attendance ever at a Viola Award Gala, with 600 people total (560 seated guests and 40 more staff, volunteers and performers).
- The Gala was highlighted by performances by Emerging Artist winner and musical act Tow’rs and nominee Flagstaff Aerial Arts (pictured), who had performers dancing in the air by hanging from silks off one of the main beams in the lobby.
- Mike Levin, who took home the Viola for his work with three other actors in God of Carnage, is one of only two individuals (Seth Muller) that has been nominated for a Viola Award in all seven years of the event’s history.
- Emcee Andres Adauto, also known as Dapper Dre, brought a fun, high energy element to the night.
- The first-ever tie in a category was recorded this year, with two individuals taking home the coveted Excellence in the Visual Arts Award: Tina Mion for Memento Mori, and Ulrike Arnold for Earth Art at the Museum of Northern Arizona. While a tie is indeed rare, it’s clear that both exhibitions and artists are worthy of the recognition.
- Forty-two video interviews were premiered on the big screen at the event, featuring all 42 nominees discussing their art and their work that led to their recognition. The videos can be seen on each nominee page.
- A bloopers reel of the interviews was played at the end of the night. All videos are posted on Flagstaff Arts Council’s YouTube channel.
- Photos from the Gala, both of the winners and from the photo booth, are posted on the Arts Council’s website.
Announcing the winners of the 2015 Viola Awards for Excellence in the Arts!
Excellence in the Visual Arts
Excellence in the Performing Arts
Excellence in Storytelling
Excellence in Arts Education
Excellence in Science Education
Business for the Arts
Excellence in Leadership
Emerging Artist Award
Click on each nominated project or nominee for more information and interview video
Nominees for Excellence in the Visual Arts
Sponsor: Hotel Monte Vista
Ulrike Arnold – WINNER
Tina Mion – WINNER
Map of My Heart
Sky Black & Mural Mice Artists R.E. Wall & Maggie Dewar
Sound of Flight
Flagstaff Arts & Leadership Academy
Chairs for Change
Nominees for Excellence in Storytelling
Sponsor: Freeman Huber Law Firm
James Jay & Jesse Sensibar – WINNER
Narrow Chimney Reading Series
Nominees for Emerging Artist
Sponsor: North Country HealthCare
Tow’rs – WINNER
Nominees for Business for the Arts
Sponsor: Twin Arrows
Hozhoni Foundation – WINNER
Nominees for Excellence in the Performing Arts
Sponsor: Findlay Toyota
Adrienne Bischoff, Becky Daggett, Mike Levin & Joe Maniglia – WINNER
God of Carnage
A Nightmare on Aspen Street
The Big Show
Flagstaff Symphony Orchestra, FALA, Flagstaff High School, & Summit High School
Human Nature Dance Theatre
Red Hot Patriot: the Kick Ass Wit of Molly Ivins
Ray Michalowski & Nancy Wonders
Orchestra Northern Arizona
Orbit: A Symphonic Fantasy
Nominees for Excellence in Arts Education
Sponsor: Full Circle Trade & Thrift
Thomas Byers – WINNER
Nominees for Excellence in Science Education
Sponsor: The Arboretum at Flagstaff
David Thompson – WINNER
Nominees for Excellence in Leadership
Sponsor: Flagstaff Medical Center Foundation
Todd Sullivan (NAU School of Music) – WINNER
Jeff Hall (Lowell Observatory)
Sharon Richards & Cathi Borthwick (It’s Elemental)
Stan Sutherland (Theatrikos Theatre Company)
Click on a button to view the three different photo galleries we have from the 7th Annual Viola Awards Gala on Saturday, March 7, 2015. 600 people attended the gala event.
Visit the Official Nominees Page to learn more about each nominee and view video interviews with them.
Special thanks to Brian Cass of Echo Productions for his video production work. He is the producer behind all the nominee videos. Click here to view our YouTube channel to see all the videos in one place.
Here’s the blooper reel that was shown during the Gala event: