Governor’s Leadership in the Arts Award Presented to SUU
CEDAR CITY, Utah — Governor Gary Herbert and the Utah Division of Arts and Museums has
awarded Southern Utah University the Governor’s Leadership in the Arts Award for organization
of the year. This award recognizes an organization that has made significant contributions to
sustain and enhance the arts through education, leadership, creativity, and partnership building.
The arts, in all their forms, have always been a critical element in the academic and community
culture at Southern Utah University. SUU plays an important role in creating, nurturing, and
presenting high-caliber artistic expression in a rural part of Utah and, in doing so, influences
communities throughout the region and, indeed, the country. This recognition is Utah’s highest
honor in the arts.
“We are very honored to be received this prestigious award,” said Wyatt. “SUU works hard to
integrate the arts and sciences, and all disciplines in between. We see the arts as being critical to
the development of individuals and communities.”
In July 2016, under the leadership of Wyatt, SUU opened the Beverley Taylor Sorenson Center
for the Arts. The Beverley Center incorporates visual arts, live theatre, and dynamic arts
education on the campus of SUU. The Beverley Center is home to the Southern Utah Museum of
Art (SUMA) and new state-of- the-art facilities for the Utah Shakespeare Festival.
In addition to being home to the Tony Award-winning Utah Shakespeare Festival, the University
has a vibrant College of Performing and Visual Arts. Under the leadership of Dean Shauna
Mendini, CPVA is comprised of nationally accredited departments of Art and Design, Music,
and Dance. The College also offers programs in Theatre Arts, graduate programs in Arts
Administration and Music, as well as a Center for Shakespeare Studies.
More than 60 full- and part-time faculty and staff are engaged in teaching and mentoring nearly
600 students in CPVA. Students participate in over 195 arts-related classes and more than 100
performances, lectures, presentations, and exhibitions on campus each year.
Alumni of the various arts programs are employed as artists and administrators from art galleries
in Chicago to Broadway to Los Angeles.
This year’s recipients of the Governor’s Leadership in the Arts Awards are:
Organization: Southern Utah University
Education: Noemi Veronica Hernandez-Balcazar, District Arts Coordinator for Dance
and Visual Arts in Granite School District
Local Arts Agency: Murray City Cultural Arts, under the leadership of Mary Ann Kirk
Individual: Emma Dugal, Bountiful Davis Art Center Director
About Southern Utah University
Established in 1897, Southern Utah University evolved from a teacher training institution to
Utah's designated masters university, offering over 140 undergraduate and 19 graduate programs.
With world class project based learning, unique undergraduate research opportunities, and a
personalized learning environment (18:1) students lead projects mentored by professors. True to
the University's core vision, SUU faculty, staff and administrators enable students to honor
thought in all its finest forms, achieve excellence in their chosen field, and create positive change
in the world.