There is good in this world.
And last night, in our own Tiny Town.. the best of the best showed up to support the arts in Southern Arizona.. and to root for Bisbee's rock star artist, Gretchen Baer with her Paint Your Town project as she competed with the likes of The Tucson Symphony Orchestra, Tucson Eat Yourself, Borderlands Theater,and the Arizona Desert Museum for grant funding. The awards were from $5,000 to $10,000 and all of the finalists were worthy.
AND GRETCHEN WON THE BIG PRIZE!!!!!!!!
My heart burst with joy, I wanted to cry, I screamed (and am a little sore-throated this a.m.) and it just felt so right to see someone who has put so much time and energy into sharing her art with so many people (especially with kids) finally get real recognition for what she's creating and what more she can do! The possibilities
It's beyond inspiring to be honest.
The fact that the Arizona Arts Commission Art Tank 2015 hosted this event down in Bisbee was a big win for the town in itself. And I gotta say, the folks I talked to from the commission were some damn smart, good people. The vibe was great for the standing room only affair. And in the end, the little guy (or gal in this case) got the judging panels attention over big, WAAAAAAY more funded, and big city arts organizations. It just felt right. Yes, I'm biased.
And there was an "Audience Choice Award" too... which was a thousand bucks to be given out last night too. We all knew THAT one was in the bag. Duh! But the Big Kahuna Prize was anyone's guess.
I'm not saying that the folks from the Arizona Arts Commission might not have had a hard time leaving the building if they hadn't awarded Gretchen a little something or anything for that matter. There surely would have been disappointment hurled at them. But when they announced she had taken the big prize... I tell ya.. it's a sweet moment I will hold in my heart forever. And the best part?
She earned it. By having an open heart, supplying art supplies to kids out of her own pocket, making herself available for community projects in AZ and in Mexico, and by being her fabulous Gretchen self! She has totally earned the right to stand proud and compete for this grant money with some really big organizations.
I am humbled to know such a talented human being. So excited to watch her take Paint Your Town to rural AZ!!
slapped up in a caffeinated frenzy by the Tour Wonk at 8:37:00 AM