On May 7th, The Arts Council of Silicon Valley announced the ABBY awards, “Extraordinary Times Call for Extraordinary People”. The awards and recipients are listed below:

The Lifetime Achievement Award is awarded to an individual who demonstrates exemplary leadership skills and dedication to supporting the arts throughout Santa Clara County.

LarryStone04-06_000.JPGLarry Stone, Santa Clara County Assessor, former President and co-founder of Arts Council, Silicon Valley

ABOUT LARRY STONE: As one of Silicon Valley’s most powerful civic and community leaders, Santa Clara County Assessor Larry Stone, has successfully leveraged his extensive knowledge and network within local, State and Federal governments to promote and creatively identify support for the arts in Santa Clara County. For more than 30 years, he has been an ardent champion of the arts.

Beginning with his role as co-founder and longest serving member of Arts Council Silicon Valley, Stone not only served as Board President, but led the effort to create the Arts Council non-profit governance model. As Mayor of Sunnyvale (1979-1980 and 1987-1989), Stone was instrumental in creating many facets of the City’s arts presence including establishing the Arts Commission and the creating the first City budget allocation for the arts, as well as driving passage of a City ordinance requiring creation of a public art program for major public and private development projects.

Stone has served on the Board of Directors for numerous arts organizations including the Community School of Music & Arts (CSMA) and the Euphrat Gallery, DeAnza College. He currently serves on the San Jose Jazz Advisory Board and is involved as a member of 1stACT Arts Investment Catalyst Team. A native of Seattle, Stone has an MBA from the University of Washington and has studied at the Institute of Politics at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. He and his wife Carmen have lived in Sunnyvale since 1970 where they raised three sons.

The Spirit of the Arts Award celebrates and recognizes select individuals in the community who go above and beyond their jobs and job descriptions to support the arts and culture of the region.

mmann-129-croppedMichelle Mann, Director, Corporate Social Responsibility, Adobe and Executive Director, Adobe Foundation

Michelle Mann is the Director of Corporate Social Responsibility for Adobe Systems Incorporated and the Executive Director of the Adobe Foundation. She has held positions at Intel Corporation and Kaiser Permanente in the areas of community and government relations. Michelle also worked in the public sector and was responsible for intergovernmental and community relations for the City of Mountain View She is active in community organizations such as 1stACT and the Silicon Valley Chamber of Commerce.

Siobhan-Kenney-croppedSiobhan Kenney, Senior Manager, Global Community Affairs, Applied Materials

Siobhan Kenney is the Senior Manager of Global Community Affairs at Applied Materials – the global leader in nanomanufacturing technology solutions. In her 10 years with the company, Siobhan has assumed responsibility for corporate grantmaking, community relations, and employee programs that reinforce the company’s commitment to global citizenship and social responsibility. She is actively involved with the Applied Materials Foundation and brings extensive experience in the both the nonprofit and private sectors to her role.

The Arts Leadership Award honors those individuals who have worked tirelessly to produce work that continues to engage and inspire while dealing with sustainability and economic difficulties.

Due to the tremendous challenges arts groups have faced during these tough times, this year we felt that arts leaders themselves should also be recognized and celebrated. Clearly, these extraordinary times call for extraordinary people to help keep the arts strong.

This year, the Arts Council is proud to acknowledge 64 arts leaders from across Santa Clara County who have been nominated for this award!

Listing of Arts Leadership Award Nominees

In the coming months, we will showcase the insights and wisdom of these arts leaders. What has inspired them to choose a life in the arts? This month we are proud to share quotes from two of these leaders.

Viera Whye, Artistic Director
San Jose Multicultural Artists Guild, Inc.
Tenure in the Arts: 35 years
My inspiration and journey in theatre began as a teen after attending a Summer Acting Intensive. This lifelong experience as a performing artist continues because I feel deeply, about life, peace, struggle, equality, tolerance, and people; about joy, love, despair, hopelessness, happiness, and unity; and I need to express it creatively — to educate, entertain, and affect lives; to challenge and embrace beliefs. Theatre touches and stirs the soul…and “My soul runs deep like the rivers.” Being an Arts Leader is frustrating yet rewarding, competitive yet supportive, tiring yet energizing, discouraging yet inspiring! “Take Time and Give Time to Others.”

Steven Aldrich, Board President
Bay Area Glass Institute (BAGI)
Tenure in the Arts: 20 years
The arts add passion and diversity to my daily experiences and being in a leadership role in the arts is both challenging and rewarding … everyone, from children to adults, should experience the enjoyment associated with creating and consuming art. I spend time with BAGI to help the organization deliver a unique experience in Silicon Valley – to watch, to learn and to create a beautiful and multi-faceted art-form that has been around for millennia.

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