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Utah woman honored for lifetime of service

By Nadine Wimmer | Posted - Oct. 13, 2011 at 7:45 p.m.

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SALT LAKE CITY -- One of Utah's leading philanthropists has been recognized by the nation's largest non-profit arts organization for her lifetime of service and her crusade to keep the arts in the schools.

It's always been about the music for 87-year-old Beverley Taylor Sorenson.

"It's always been a big part of my life," Sorenson said.

So when music programs in Utah's public schools started getting cut, Sorenson jumped into action. In 2008, she began working with the Utah Legislature and developed a teaching model to bring the arts back to the classroom.

Well, it's not something that I sought after. I just wanted to get the job done.

–Beverley Sorenson

"We're singing and dancing and drawing all the arts," Sorenson described. "And they have these specialists that work side-by-side with the teachers in the classroom. These children are learning faster; they're learning better."

It is Sorenson's teaching model and her lifelong support of the arts that earned her a national award from Americans for the Arts. The "Eli and Edythe Broad Award" for philanthropy honors one person each year for their contributions in advancing the arts in education.

"Well, it's not something that I sought after," Sorenson said. "I just wanted to get the job done."

Beverley will accept her award on Monday in New York City. When she returns to Utah, she said she has a lot to look forward to.

Construction is currently underway on the Beverley Taylor Sorenson Arts and Education Complex at the University of Utah, which will serve as a hub for arts education research.


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Nadine Wimmer


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