The Flagstaff Arts Council is pleased to announce the Finalists and Legacy Award recipients for the 13th Annual Viola Awards. The Viola Awards honor excellence in the arts, sciences, and culture in Flagstaff. 2020 was an unprecedented year, but the finalists of the year’s Viola Awards prove the creativity and resiliency of our community.

This year’s awards will honor 36 finalists across 9 categories with some finalists being recognized in multiple categories. All finalists will be honored at the Viola Awards event on Friday, June 18, 2021 at the Pepsi Amphitheater at Fort Tuthill.

For the first time this year, the Flagstaff Arts Council has produced a digital magazine featuring all Finalists and Legacy Award recipients. The 2021 Finalist Magazine can be downloaded here. A full list of finalists can also be found below.

Edith A. Copley taught at Northern Arizona University for 31 years in the choral studies area in the School of Music.  She conducted the highly acclaimed Shrine of the Ages Choir (founded in 1933) for 27 years.  She also conducted the Chamber Singers and University Singers during her tenure and taught courses in graduate and undergraduate conducting, graduate choral literature, and choral methods. From 1993 to 2016, Copley served as the music director of the Master Chorale of Flagstaff, a 100-voice community choir that performs four concerts each year, including a choral/orchestral works with the Flagstaff Symphony Orchestra (FSO) each spring. Dr. Copley previously won the Viola Award for Music in 2011.

Nat White has been an active member in the Flagstaff community for more than fifty years. Nat worked at Lowell for 38 years as an astronomer, retiring in 2007. His research emphasis was the measurement of stellar properties using lunar occultations and the development of astronomical instrumentation, high-angular-resolution astronomy. Nat retired in 2007 in the position of Lowell Observatory’s program manager for the development of the Navy Prototype Optical Interferometer on Anderson Mesa. Throughout his time in Flagstaff, Nat has been involved on the Flagstaff City Council, Coconino Community College, Flagstaff Community Band, and was a founding member of the Flagstaff Road and Track Club.

Nearly 200 nominations were sent into the Arts Council from members of the community. Panels of former Viola winners, experts, educators and artists reviewed all nominations and selected the official Finalists.

Tickets are available now for the Viola Awards Gala at Pepsi Amphitheater at Fort Tuthill on Friday, June 18, 2021 and can be purchased here. With public health and safety in mind, tickets are in limited supply. The title sponsor for the event is Northern Arizona University. The founding sponsor is the Babbitt Brothers Foundation.

13th Annual Viola Awards Finalists:

Excellence in Visual Arts:

  • Parched: The Art of Water in the Southwest
  • Eric Retterbush: The Resilience Series
  • PIVOT at Brandy’s Restaurant

Excellence in Performing Arts:

  • Horizon Concert Series: Voice of the Whale
  • Flagstaff Symphony Orchestra: The Nutcracker
  • Flagstaff Shakespeare Festival: As You Like It
  • Ed Kabotie: Coyote Inna Quarantine & 500 Years
  • F-Town Sound: February 29, 2020 performance at The Orpheum

Excellence in Music:

  • An Illustrated Mess
  • Tow’rs
  • Sci Fi Country
  • Sean Golightly

Excellence in Storytelling:

  • The Man in the Dog Park: Coming Up Close to Homelessness: Cathy A. Small, Jason Kordosky, & Ross Moore
  • Walking Flagstaff Photo Journal: George Breed
  • Parched: The Art of Water in the Southwest Documentary: Julie Comnick, Jane Marks, & Nick Geib
  • Deidra Peaches: 2020 films
  • Austin Aslan: 2020 works

Excellence in STEAM:

  • Flagstaff Festival of Science
  • Parched: The Art of Water in the Southwest
  • Lowell Observatory
  • Tynkertopia

Excellence in Education:

  • Alice Christie
  • Kayley Quick
  • Melinda McKinney
  • Owen Davis
  • Stephanie Yingst Galloway

Emerging Artist:

  • Grace Noelle
  • Lauren Sarantopulos
  • Revel Lucien
  • Sierra Bryan
  • Tyrrell Tapaha

Community Impact Individual:

  • Duane Koyawena
  • Emma Gardner
  • John Taylor
  • Nick Geib
  • Scotty Jensen

Community Impact Organization:

  • Exodus Program & Pop-Up Art Show
  • Flagstaff Shakespeare Festival
  • Flagstaff Festival of Science
  • MOCAF (Museum of Contemporary Art Flagstaff)
  • The Murdoch Center & Southside Community Association