Southern Arizona Arts and Cultural Alliance (SACCA) Adds New Board Members.by Charles Spillar on Mar. 08, 2010, under arts, Tucson Art
The Southern Arizona Arts and Cultural Alliance (SACCA) has chosen four new board members to help further the reach of the growing nonprofit. Each new director brings extensive community experience to the table, honed from years of success in the business world and in leadership roles with a variety of arts and community associations.
The new board members – Beth Bank, Ben Hawkins, Don Luria and Kimberly Schmitz hail from different backgrounds but now they pursue together a common goal of strengthening the role of the arts in their community. The organization’s Director Kate Marquez stated: ”Their experience and expertise should enhance SACCA’s reputation in the community and aid the organization in its effort to expand its programs and offerings throughout Southern Arizona.”
These new board members are extremely active in the community on many levels, from the culinary arts to building construction. In the past, the nonprofit arts group focused its efforts mainly in the greater Oro Valley region, but last summer the group changed its name to the Southern Arizona Arts and Cultural Alliance, in part to signal a change in direction.
In the months since, SAACA has added events to its schedule and forged new partnerships with outside groups to expand its reach. Later this month (March 27 and 28), SAACA will team with the Arizona State Museum to produce the Southwest Indian Art Fair Benefit at Desert Diamond Casino. Budget cuts at the museum previously threatened to cancel the long-running art fair but with a joint effort of the museum, its board and SAACA They have saved it.
In addition to SAACA’s many longstanding Oro Valley events and programs, the organization this year will produce a concert series in Marana likely the first of many SAACA events to be held in that community.
“The four newest members of its board of directors should provide immeasurable assistance to SAACA in its ongoing bid to become a regional source of high-quality, relevant arts and cultural programming,” Marquez said.
Beth Bank, Ben Hawkins, Don Luria and Kimberly Schmitz join seven others on the SAACA board of directors, including: President Melanie Larson, Treasurer Maya Dillard-Liddell, Secretary Gregg Forszt, Past President Satish Hiremath, Al Cook, Dale Henson and Gail Munden.
Background of the new board members:
Beth Bank, a financial advisor with Merrill Lynch, assists individuals, businesses and not for-profit organizations in creating strategies and achieving their wealth management goals. Bank serves as a trustee for the Arizona Theatre Company, a role that has led her to spearhead for the past two years the company’s annual fundraising gala. She also serves on the theatre group’s development committee. Additionally, Bank is a trustee for Arizona Citizens for the Arts and the Planned Giving Roundtable for Southern Arizona.
Ben Hawkins, a native Tucsonan, first became involved in the community through the construction business he founded and owned. As a 14-year member of the advisory and state boards for the Arizona Builders Alliance, his community work includes repairing run-down facilities devoted to disadvantaged women and children – a program generating hundreds of thousands of dollars in contributions for local charities. Hawkins has traveled to Washington, D.C., twice, as part of a coalition to participate in face-to-face discussions between federal, business and public officials, to determine what could be done to enhance federal support for Southern Arizona.
Don Luria holds a bachelor’s degree in fine arts and master’s in business economics. Now retired, Luria has served as a president on several boards, including the Tucson Museum of Art, Arizona Citizens for the Arts and the Advisory Board of UApresents. Luria also founded Tucson Originals and the Tucson Culinary Foundation. His other associations include the Tucson Symphony, Native Seeds/SEARCH and the Diamond Children’s Medical Center.
Kimberly Schmitz, director of communications and public relations at the Metropolitan Tucson Convention and Visitors Bureau, has served on several boards and organizing committees, including the Tucson Children’s Museum and the Wingspan Classic Golf Tournament. Schmitz’s experience as an event coordinator, network administrator and technical editor/writer has spanned a number of industries, from banking to large-scale mining operations. She has dedicated her professional life to promoting the arts, attractions and events in Southern Arizona.
To learn more about SAACA and its programs, or to become a member or volunteer, go to< http://www.saaca.org> or call (520) 797-3959.