Earlier this month, the Business Council for the Arts (BCA) celebrated the annual Obelisk Awards at Belo Mansion. The 2018 Obelisk awards marked the 30th anniversary of the Business Council for the Arts, an organization that aims to unite commerce and culture.
Every year, the BCA gathers at a luncheon to celebrate excellence in the realm of business and art. Awards are given for arts education, arts partnership, business championship, distinguished cultural organization, visionary nonprofit arts leadership, outstanding leadership in arts, new initiatives, and a special category award. This year’s special category was the Juror’s Award.
Opening remarks for the Obelisk Awards were given by Rick Del Monte, the BCA’s Chairman of the Board and Obelisk Award Co-Chairs Victoria & Hunter McGrath provided welcome remarks.
Mary Ann Alhadeff was the Master of Ceremonies for this year’s Obelisk Awards. Alhadeff currently sits as the President and CEO of North Texas Public Broadcasting and her programs have aired on PBS, Showtime, HBO, BBC London, and CBC Canada. She has previously earned awards from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, the New York Film Festival and more.
The presentation of the awards was preceded by a performance by the Plus String Quartet, which is comprised of violinists Aleksandr Snytkin and Filip Fenrych, cellist Jeffrey Hood, and violist Ann Marie Brink. The quartet formed in 2016 and specialize in both well-known or obscure music. Each of them is a member of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra.
Craig Hall, founder of HALL Group was honored as this year’s Business Champion of the Arts. Hall is a New York Times bestselling author, philanthropist, and art collector. Since the conception of HALL Group, Hall has greatly invested in the Dallas Arts District, having funded world-class office space, restaurants, and public art.
The Arts Education award went to Cigna, a company that believes in providing opportunities for children to develop their talents and express their creativity. Cigna is partnered with Chamberlain Performing Arts and has helped provide dance classes for 70 to 200 students weekly. Accepting the award was President of Cigna, LaMonte Thomas.
Deloitte, one of the world’s biggest accounting organizations, was honored for large arts partnerships. Deloitte has been partnered with the Children’s Chorus of Greater Dallas since 2010.
Selig Polyscope Company was honored for small arts partnership. Since its relaunch in 2007, Selig Polyscope Company has provided over $300,000 in film, photography, and production services to the non-profit community. Selig Polyscope Company has made contributions to the Dallas International Film Festival, Dallas VideoFest, and the Asian Film Festival of Dallas.
The Thanks-Giving Foundation received the honor for distinguished cultural organization. The Thanks-Giving Foundation aims to help religious and cultural groups establish common ground and promote understanding from a place of gratitude.
Teresa Coleman Wash was honored as a visionary nonprofit arts leader. Wash is a playwright, producer, and founding Artistic Director of the Bishop Arts Theatre Center. The Bishop Arts Theatre arts center has received acclaim for its innovative plays, world-class jazz series, and socially conscious performances.
Taking home the Outstanding Leadership Arts Alumnus award was Angie Parra, a devoted board member of Junior Players. Junior Players is an organization devoted to transforming children’s lives through performing arts.
The Shops at Willow Bend received the honor for new initiatives. Last year, The Shops at Willow Bend provided North Texas Performing Arts with a new housing and performance complex. The new spaces include two mainstage theatres, two black box theatres, rehearsal and practice studios, and a set-build and costume space.
Anne and Steve Stodghill took home the juror’s award. The Stodghills have been vital forces in local and national industries and have been known to open their home to filmmakers and attendees of the Dallas International Film Festival.
Each of the recipients was presented with a trophy designed by artist Polly Gessell.
The 2018 Obelisk Awards concluded with another performance by The PLUS String Quartet.
Overall, the Obelisk Awards ceremony made for a great day of corporate and art worlds coming together to show their love of art and culture. By supporting the arts, businesses and corporations help children and young artists by encouraging them to develop their skills and pursue their passions.