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City’s top arts award nominees set for 20th Tribute of the Muses
City’s top arts award nominees set for 20th Tribute of the Muses with theme Under the Big Top

The event called the biggest night of the year in the local arts community will look a little different this year as a diverse slate of nominees vies for the 2020 Tribute of the Muses Awards ceremony on Friday, Oct. 9.

This year’s Tribute of the Muses award ceremony will be a two-phase event. A drive-through red carpet offering “Gala-at-Home” kits – dinner, plus some Muses memorabilia – takes place 6 to 7 p.m. Oct. 9 in the parking lot behind the Yuma Art Center, 254 S. Main Street (enter from the Madison Avenue side).

The awards ceremony follows in an online webcast for at-home viewing beginning at 8 p.m. that evening on and on

Tribute of the Muses honors an outstanding member of Yuma’s arts community who has shown exemplary devotion and excellence in the arts over at least 5 years. Winners range among artists, performers, educators, advocates and patrons. Eleven entries have been nominated.

Seven additional nominees will vie for the Helios Award, presented to individuals recognized as up-and-coming voices within the Yuma arts community. Nominees may reflect acknowledged excellence in a chosen arts field, arts advocacy, arts philanthropy and/or arts education.

“The ceremony will be broadcast online for home viewing, but we're still inviting everyone to get dressed up for our drive-through red carpet,” said Arts and Culture Program Manager Lindsay Benacka. “We're decking out the parking lot and inviting you to drive up to the back of the Art Center, by our beloved MOMO mural, hop out and take a picture, pick up a Gala-At-Home kit and then head home for a watch party.”

Gala At Home kits for are $60 for two people or $100 for four people, with catering from River City Grill and treats from A Pop Above. Kits will include choice of entrée and beverage, Caesar salad, French baguette, assorted treats, circus-themed party supplies, and commemorative Tribute of the Muses memorabilia.

Purchase tickets online through the Art Center’s section of the City website, or, or by phone at 928-373-5202.

All proceeds from kit sales benefit programs at the Yuma Art Center.

Everyone is invited to view the online award ceremony, with its theme Under the Big Top.

The recipient of the Tribute of the Muses Award will be honored with a custom art award designed and created by a local artist. The 2020 award, titled “Universal Passage,” was designed and created by 2011 Tribute of the Muses recipient Judy Phillips.

Tribute of the Muses and Helios honorees are nominated by the public and are selected by the City of Yuma’s Parks, Arts and Recreation Commission.

Tribute of the Muses Award Nominees

Shanen Aranmor

Jose Arguelles

Bradley Bowen and Erika Farrar-Bowen

Michael Finch

Randy Hoeft

Tim O’Brien

Yvonne Peach

Lisa Rammelt

Shellie Springborn

George Tomkins

Ann Wilkinson


Helios Award Nominees

Maria Louisa Barajas “Gypsy Tuesday”

Geneah Berrian

Benjamin Clayton

Rose Ann Forte

Travis Krizay and Ashley Simms

Alex Lackey

Emilia Verdugo


The accompanying art auction is under way. Participants may visit the Art Center and bid on items of interest while there. A “buy it now” option is also available. Auction opens Sept. 8 and runs through mid-October, to add convenience for art patrons. Pieces up for bids can also be viewed on the Art Center Facebook page.

“This is our biggest auction to date, with nearly 100 works of art donated by local and regional artists up for grabs,” Benacka said.

Viewers are encouraged to take pictures of their watch party and tag @YumaArtCenter and #TributeoftheMuses2020.