Globe-Miami — Representative David Cook of Arizona State District 8 was recognized at the Cobre Valley Center for the Arts, as an “Arts Champion” for his efforts supporting arts and culture funding to nonprofit organizations across the state.
The awards was bestowed Rep. Cook at a ceremony just prior to a Summer Youth Musical Theatre Program performance of “Into the Woods Jr.” The President of the Arizona Citizens for the Arts, Tom Wilson, was in attendance to present the award and speak on the representative’s service to the arts.
Rep. Cook is a freshman representative, but has made rural arts programs a top priority. In March of this year, Rep. Cook held a special gala at the Cobre Valley Center for the Arts to showcase the success of one of his district’s arts success stories, the locally funded Summer Youth Musical Theatre Program is a flourishing youth theatre arts program, which has just entered its 20th year. The gala event was followed by a youth production of “Disney’s Beauty and the Beast.” Rep. Cook’s invitation brought many state, county and local legislators to the performance and showcased the transformative power that arts education can have in the lives of young people in rural areas.
The representative has also met with and lobbied for more state arts funding to be available for rural communities. His efforts were a contributing factor to the creation and implementation of the inaugural year of the Arizona Creative Communities Institute.
The AZCCI is a collaboration between the Arizona Commission on the Arts, ASU’s Herberger Institute for the Arts, and the Southwest Folklife Alliance. This is an experimental new funding model that invests in communities who have formed teams which will develop new ways to use the arts to address or draw attention to challenges faced by their communities. Globe’s was one of nine to participate in this new program and has already attended training and information sessions to help identify arts assets in the Globe-Miami area.
Additional organizations in Rep. Cook’s district to receive grants from the Arizona Commission on the Arts are the Casa Grande Art Museum and Corazon De Latinos Unidos.
Rep. Cook is one of 11 lawmakers selected as 2017 Arts Champion by the Arizona Citizens for the Arts.