High above Turtle Creek in the Mayfair’s Sky Room, the Obelisk Award Luncheon sponsors, honorees, nominators and Business Council for the Arts board members had a spectacular view of the rain clouds creeping into the area as they gathered on the evening of Wednesday, September 27. While the rest of the world slammed on the brakes and waited for the green light, these art-loving types sipped beverages and sampled pass-arounds.
Thanks to Neiman’s Director of Charitable Giving Kevin Hurst, the event was to thank a covey of sponsors, honoree and those who had nominated the candidates like Lee and Sarah Papert, Dotti Reeder, Jennifer and Keith Cerny, Mark Solomon, Lynne and Eddie Reyes, Diana Pollak and Mark Solomon.
Looking like he had just returned from a weekend yacht stay in the Mediterranean, Jeff Byron arrived midway into the room. He admitted that since his retirement from NM, he hadn’t worn a tie. In fact, he had discovered that the family Scottish terrier, Hayden, was a snoozer during the day instead of anxiously awaiting his return.
Nasher Sculpture Center Jeremy Strick was smiling over the announcement of the Nasher Prize Laureate the week before at The Warehouse. But he added, “Now the real work is ahead.”
As the rain clouds delivered their wet stuff on the glistening streets below, sculptor Jim Bowman‘s newest version of the Obelisk Award was revealed that will be presented to the following:
- The Arts Partnership Award recognizes businesses that have provided sustained support to an arts/cultural organization for three or more years.
- Large Business (more than 500 employees locally) — Target
- Medium Business (between 50 and 500 employees locally) — Alamo Drafthouse Cinema, Richardson
- Small Business (fewer than 50 employees locally) — Angelika Film Center – Dallas
- The New Initiatives Award recognizes businesses for supporting an innovative arts/cultural program created within the past three years.
- Large Business (more than 500 employees locally) — Corgan
- Medium Business (between 50-500 employees locally) — West Village
- Small Business (fewer than 50 employees locally) — C.C. Communications, LLC
- The Distinguished Cultural Organization Award is given to recognize one outstanding nonprofit organization for a project or program that has enhanced the community through partnership with a business. — The Cliburn
- The Business Champion for the Arts Award recognizes long-term leadership and commitment to arts/culture by a business executive (president, CEO, partner). — Nancy Carlson
- The Visionary Nonprofit Arts Leader Award recognizes an arts leader who has consistently demonstrated vision, impact, innovation, and successful alignment with business and community partners throughout their tenure. — Keith Cerny nominated by Deutsche Bank Trust Co., NA/ Deutsche Bank Wealth Management.
- The Arts Education Award recognizes one outstanding business for its support of arts education programs. — Neiman Marcus Group
- The Lifetime Achievement Award recognizing lifetime advancement of the arts. — Ask Me About Art/Gail Sachson
- The Community Champion Award recognizing community arts advancement — Kathy Litinas.
Minutes after BCA Founder’s Chair Nancy Nasher arrived, Business Council for the Arts CEO Katherine Wagner and Obelisk Luncheon Co-Chair Steve Roth announced that plans were heading forward for the fundraising event at the Belo with Dallas Symphony Orchestra principle trumpet Ryan Anthony.
Looking at the crowd of art lovers and supporters, Nancy, who admits to being basically shy, said with a smile that she felt right at home. After all, these were people like Gail Sachson, and they were like family.