Press Release

February 28, 2020


MEDIA CONTACT: Brian Passey | [email protected] | 480-874-4626

Scottsdale Arts is a Finalist for Governor’s Arts Award

Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts is one of four branches in the Scottsdale Arts umbrella. Photo: Scottsdale Arts

SCOTTSDALE, Arizona — Scottsdale Arts is honored to be named as a finalist in the 39th Annual Governor’s Arts Awards.

Presented by Arizona Citizens for the Arts in partnership with the Arizona Governor’s Office, more than 200 Arizona artists, arts organizations, businesses, educators and individuals have been recognized for their passion, creativity and devotion to the excellence and diversity of Arizona’s arts and cultural community since 1981. Scottsdale Arts is a finalist in the Administrators and Organizations category this year.

“We are thrilled to be a finalist for the prestigious Governor’s Arts Award,” said Dr. Gerd Wuestemann, president and CEO of Scottsdale Arts. “It is a testament to the fine work our staff has done for four decades and the deep roots art and culture have in our community. But it is just as much a reflection of the changes we have made, evolving into a community-centric organization with a mission to engage and involve every citizen in arts experiences. Scottsdale Arts is quickly becoming a prototype of a 21st century arts organization, and this recognition celebrates our dedication to this mission.”

Scottsdale Arts is one of Arizona’s largest arts umbrellas with four branch organizations — Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts, Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Arts (SMoCA), Scottdale Public Art, and Scottsdale Arts Learning & Innovation — as well as two signature events, Canal Convergence and the Scottsdale Arts Festival, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary March 13–15.

Also named as finalists this year are two individuals with close ties to Scottsdale Arts: Dr. Dorothy Lincoln-Smith and Tania Katan, who were nominated the Philanthropy and Artists categories, respectively.

Lincoln-Smith has been a member of the Advisory Council for SMoCA since 2005 and has long been an ardent and dedicated supporter of and advocate for Scottsdale Arts and SMoCA. She is a renowned performer and arts educator with master’s and doctorate degrees in music from Arizona State University and many years of teaching music at the elementary, high school and college levels.

She has performed with Arizona Opera, Bach & Madrigal Society of Phoenix (now Phoenix Chorale), Roger Wagner Chorale and Los Angeles Master Chorale and as a voice soloist in concerts around the world. For 30 years, she partnered with her late husband, Dr. Harvey K. Smith, to lead the Grammy Award-winning Phoenix Boys Choir, serving as the group’s tour organizer. From 2014–2016, Lincoln-Smith served as national president for the National Society of Arts and Letters, which directs and finances the Dorothy Lincoln-Smith Voice Competition, supporting opportunities for young singers.

Katan is the former curator of performing arts at SMoCA. The launch of her book “Creative Trespassing: How to Put the Spark and Joy Back Into Your Work and Life,” published by Penguin Random House, was hosted by SMoCA at Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts in February 2019.

A “creative disruptor,” inspirational speaker, and co-creator of the internationally viral #ItWasNeverADress campaign, Katan has been a featured speaker at CiscoLive!, Expedia, Humana, Etsy, S.H.E. Summit, Social Innovation Summit, TEDx, Comedy Central Stage and more. She has been featured in The New York Times, Amy Poehler’s Smart Girls, Huffington Post, Glamour, TIME, BuzzFeed, Mashable, USA Today, CNN and other media outlets.

The 39th Annual Governor’s Arts Awards will be held on Thursday, March 26, at Mesa Arts Center. For more information, visit Arizona Citizens for the Arts’ website at For information on Scottsdale Arts and its various branches and events, visit



Through its dynamic partnership with the city of Scottsdale, the nonprofit Scottsdale Arts (formerly known as Scottsdale Cultural Council) creates diverse, inspired arts experiences and educational and outreach opportunities for the community, while fostering active engagement of individuals, businesses, education and government with the arts. Since its founding in 1987, Scottsdale Arts has grown into a regionally and nationally significant, multi-disciplinary arts organization offering an exceptional variety of programs through four acclaimed branches — Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts, Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art (SMoCA), Scottsdale Public Art and Scottsdale Arts Learning & Innovation — serving more than 600,000 participants annually. In conjunction with the city of Scottsdale, we also host more than 200,000 people annually on our campus through a robust rentals program.

MEDIA: For interviews, digital photographs or additional information please contact:

Brian Passey
Senior Communications Specialist
Scottsdale Arts
Email: [email protected]
Phone: 480-874-4626