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City seeks nominees for 2020 arts awards

With details as to the actual awards ceremony still in flux, the City seeks the community’s input on recognition for the Yuma arts community.

Nominations are now open and online forms are available for the 2020 Tribute of the Muses and Helios awards, the top arts awards in the area for art, art education, art advocacy, or arts philanthropy.Presented by the City of Yuma’s Division of Arts and Culture, the Tribute of the Muses and Helios awards acknowledge the exemplary contributions of individuals and organizations to the arts in the Yuma community.

Nominations can be made by downloading and completing a PDF file found at Completed nomination forms – incomplete applications will not be considered – will be accepted at the Yuma Art Center, 254 S. Main St., or can be emailed to through 5 p.m. Sept. 4.

The individual or couple honored by Tribute of the Muses reflects devotion and excellence in the arts. Nominees may reflect acknowledged excellence in a chosen arts field, arts advocacy, arts philanthropy and/or arts education. Candidates for nomination may be full- or part-time artists, art teachers, leaders, supporters or volunteers in the arts community. They should have a recognized track record of at least 5 years in Yuma as a champion of the arts through creative contribution, gifts of time and support.

“While so much is up in the air, this is exactly when artists, arts organizations, and creative minds of all sorts buckle down and go to work to capture stories, process emotions and most importantly: heal,” said Lindsay Benacka, Arts and Culture Program Manager for the City of Yuma. “This year marks the 20th anniversary for the Tribute of the Muses and while we had some big event plans in the works, we really do not know what the event will look like come October. In one way or another, we do know that we are going to be celebrating the arts and honoring members of Yuma’s outstanding arts community.”

Previous winners have been chosen from a broad spectrum of the arts including dance, music, art education and the visual arts. While nominations are generated from members of the public, the selection of the Muse and Helios winners is made by the Yuma Parks, Arts and Recreation Commission.

The name Tribute of the Muses originates from Greek Mythology, where the nine daughters of Zeus called Muses were considered the inspiration for the arts and sciences. Each Muse possessed a distinct gift among the disciplines of poetry, art, dance and music.

The Helios Award is presented by the City of Yuma to an individual who is a recognized up-and-coming voice within the Yuma arts community. Students and new residents to the area are encouraged to be nominated. Whether an artist, advocate or supporter of the arts, nominees can represent the visual arts, music, dance, theatre, and/or arts philanthropy.

Both winners will be named Oct. 9. The Tribute of the Muses ceremony, typically held at the Yuma Art Center and Historic Yuma Theatre, has not been confirmed at this time.

All nominees will be contacted to confirm their willingness to be recognized for their contributions.

City of Yuma Parks and Recreation employees are not eligible to be nominated.