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Sorenson Legacy Awards

The Sorenson Legacy Awards for Excellence in Arts Education recognizes excellence in arts
education in Utah’s public schools. Children and teenage students need a well-rounded education that addresses the whole child. The study of drama, dance, music, and the visual arts helps students explore realities, relationships, and ideas that cannot be expressed simply in words or numbers. 

The arts integrate social-emotional learning through making cultural connections. Research supports the claim that learning in the arts increases learning in other academic areas. In the global economy, creativity is essential. Study of the arts provides a venue for creativity to flourish. As educators have felt pressure to give more and more attention to literacy and numeracy, the arts have been pushed to the background.

Beverley Taylor Sorenson worked tirelessly to promote the arts as an avenue for students to develop voice, sustain engagement in school, and evoke reflection and response.Through the Sorenson Legacy Foundation and the Utah State Office of Education, the Sorenson Legacy Awards for Excellence in Arts Education will recognize the essential nature of education in the arts for Utah’s students,distinguish those educators who embrace the arts with excellence in their practice, and ensure that Beverley's legacy will continue on.


Awards will be given in the categories of:

  • Elementary Visual Arts Instruction
  • Elementary Music Instruction
  • Elementary Dance Instruction
  • Elementary Drama Instruction
  • Elementary Arts Integration
  • Secondary Visual Arts Instruction
  • Secondary Music Instruction
  • Secondary Dance Instruction
  • Secondary Drama Instruction 

Each recipient will receive an artistic award for display, along with a cash award of $2,500, with an additional $2,500 awarded to the recipient’s school/district for the purpose of supporting the arts program.

In addition, a Lifetime Achievement Award in Arts Education will be given for exemplary service
over a career. The recipient of this award receives $5,000. Finally, $5,000 will be awarded for an Exemplary Arts Program or Initiative in a Public School or District.


Educators and/or public citizens are invited to submit nominations in the appropriate categories. Nominated educators must be licensed in Utah. The deadline for application is April 7, 2016.

2016 Nomination Form

2016 Award Winners