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Celebrating artists and dreamers

8:42 AM  May 18th, 2018
by Teri Rizvi

All the world’s a stage, William Shakespeare wrote, but for a moment this week Ohio artists stole the spotlight.

“In Ohio, we don’t have oceans. We don’t have mountains. But we have the greatest arts for our size of any state in the nation,” said local business executive Stuart Rose as he and wife Mimi accepted the 2018 Arts Patron Award at the Governor’s Awards for the Arts luncheon. The May 16 event drew a large, appreciative audience of 700 to the Columbus Athenaeum to celebrate the power of the arts to enrich communities.

University of Dayton President Eric F. Spina nominated two winners — the Roses for the top philanthropy award and the acclaimed Dayton Contemporary Dance Company for the Irma Lazarus Award.

In all, Daytonians garnered three of the nine awards presented by the Ohio Arts Council and the Ohio Citizens for the Arts Foundation. Dayton poet Sierra Leone, a leader in the urban arts movement, received a Community Development and Participation Award. On campus, she’s a member of the IACT Collective, a group of faculty, staff and community members committed to developing imaginative and creative skills in students.

In a video tribute, Spina called DCDC “world class,” a company “that brings Dayton out into the world” through performances before packed houses locally and in countries as diverse as Bermuda, Canada, Chile, China, France, Germany, Poland, Russia and South Korea. As

University of Dayton community artist-in-residence, DCDC traveled to Suzhou in 2012 to perform with UD students in a concert celebrating the grand opening of the China Institute. The troupe regularly performs in Boll Theater and at UD’s annual Celebration of the Arts.

DCDC Urban Impulse Shed. Photo by Jeff Sabo.

“What better way is it to be able to say, ‘We are connected. We are part of humanity. We are a part of each other and each other’s world’ than to be able to experience that through arts and culture?” asked Ro Nita Hawes-Saunders, DCDC chief executive director. “This award and recognition allow us to be able to do that and to be recognized for something that we believe from the depths of our hearts.”

Mimi Rose also spoke from her heart about why the couple is making a lasting impression on the local arts and cultural life through live performances, art exhibits — and ancient books.

“I’m so fortunate to be married to a man who wants to help make the world a better place. The road to philanthropy is all about friendships, relationships and love. We love and cherish Dayton,” she said.

The couple, members of UD’s John Stuart Society for their lifetime giving, helped fund the Stuart and Mimi Rose Music Center, a popular 4,200-seat amphitheater in Huber Heights and theaters at the Dayton Art Institute, Miami Valley School and the Cincinnati Country Day School. A rare book enthusiast, Stuart Rose has loaned some of the oldest and most important works in history for various public exhibits on campus.

The Roses “understand very well the power of community, and they unerringly know the ability of arts and culture to really build that community,” Spina said.

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