The Obelisk Awards honors businesses, nonprofits, and individuals, for their extraordinary support of arts and culture in North Texas. Philip and Rebecca Silvestri, Local Profile’s publishers, are serving as co-chairs of BCA’s 33rd annual Obelisk Awards this year!

Business Council for the Arts will proudly represent the New Initiatives – Large Award to Atmos Energy at this year’s Obelisk Awards. Atmos Energy was nominated by ArtCentre of Plano.

This award recognizes businesses for significant engagement with the arts/culture within the past three years, and Atmos Energy regularly partners with North Texas arts organizations to support the educational development of school age children through its Fueling Safe and Thriving Communities program, which focuses on three primary areas: students, community heros, and vulnerable neighbors. Through this partnership, Atmos Energy provides community access to free summer art camps, theatrical performances, museum exhibits, fine arts education, and more.

“We believe in making a difference in the lives of children and partnering with organizations like the ArtCentre of Plano to fuel bright minds and healthy futures,” said Jan Rugg, Atmos Energy manager of public affairs. “We are honored to be recognized by Business Council for the Arts for our efforts to offer students educational, creative, and culturally rich activities year-round.”

One notable partnership is with ArtCentre of Plano. In 2020, Atmos Energy provided financial support for exhibitions and take-home activities. From 2019-2021, Atmos Energy gave financial and volunteer support for the ArtCentre’s summer arts camp, Jump Start for Arts. This program (in-person prior to COVID, and “on-the-go” during the pandemic) provides a variety of art experiences for economically disadvantaged students. Atmos Energy’s own mascot, Rosie the Skunk, joined to teach about gas safety. In 2018, Atmos Energy committed financial support for field trips for Plano ISD students to attend the 2018 Kinsey Collection’s outstanding Harlem Renaissance Exhibition (over 7,000 middle school students participated).

The impact of this partnership on students was tremendous; many of the students said it was their first visit to an art gallery or museum. Furthermore, the content of the exhibition was powerful. It presented the history of African American culture through art in many mediums, including paintings, sculpture and ephemera. The exhibition opened the eyes of students, parents, and teachers to an important aspect of American history.

Courtesy of BCA.

Their strong business/arts partnership continues to evolve to meet the needs of the Plano community where thousands of students have been able to enjoy the opportunities provided by the ArtCentre because of these sponsorships.

Ms. Suzy Jones, Executive Director of ArtCentre of Plano shares, “As you can readily see, Atmos has a deep and sincere recognition of the importance of the arts not only to children, but to communities as a whole. Atmos understands that the arts contribute to a community’s well-being.”

Rebecca Silvestri of Local Profile and this year’s Obelisk Awards co-chair says, “Atmos Energy makes a real difference in our community through their partnership with ArtCentre of Plano. Together, you ensure the bright future for the families of North Texas. Thank you, thank you!”

Jordan Jarrett

Jordan is the digital manager at Local Profile. She creates digital, print and social content. Her passion is profiling people and their experiences, connecting community through authentic narrative.