2019 Excellence in Arts Award Winners

The Brighton Excellence in Arts committee is pleased to announce the recipients of the 2019 awards.  These cultural arts champions were honored at a reception on October 21, 2019. The Excellence in Arts Awards are funded by the Brighton Cultural Arts Commission, Lodging Tax, and SCFD.  The awards reception is open to the public, and we encourage you to come and honor our recipients:

When Helen Rodriguez was the Special Events Coordinator for the City of Brighton, she had a vision of special events for all ages, and as a result of Helen’s foresight and hard work many of our yearly activities were begun.  The Festival of Lights, Summerfest, Eggstravaganza, and the Concerts in the Park were all a part of Helen’s vision.  She was also instrumental in the restoration of the award winning Brighton Armory Performing Arts Center where she became the Operations Manager responsible for managing staff, booking, promotions, marketing, logistics, and every day duties.  In 2011 Helen was appointed manager of the newly created Office of Arts and Culture where she worked with  community members to develop the Cultural Strategic Plan and an amazing Arts and Culture website.  Helen Rodriguez left a legacy of on-going accomplishments in the Brighton cultural arts community.

Judee is an incredible artist recognized nationally for her distinctive style of painting whether it be a portrait of a beloved pet, a proud Native American chief, or a child in Uganda, she depicts the beauty of our world. When one walks into the Adams County Government Center, the Brighton Kaiser Permanente Office Building, or the Colorado State Capital, Judee’s works are on prominent display.  When the City of Brighton moved out of the building at 36 S. Main St, Judee had a vision of creating a “cultural incubator” for a collection of Colorado artists, and that vision became Main Street Creatives. Main Street Creatives has ten studios where artists of various mediums work in view of the public.  Judee also owns and operates the Art Academy of Colorado out of this building and offers classes in various forms of paintings and sculpting.  Art salons and artist receptions are also a part of the activities at Main Street. In addition to her work locally, Judee and her husband have a non-profit formed to help orphans and widows in Uganda and Rwanda.  Even though Judee paints in galleries throughout the West, we are proud that she calls Brighton home. 

As the owner of Dancer’s Edge Dance Studio in downtown Brighton, Nichole’s heart lies with teaching dance to the young and the young at heart. As one of the parents of a young dancer said, “Ms. Moots and her staff inspire our youth, push them to try, fail and get back up and try again. It gives them a place to express themselves. The pride you see on these children’s faces is exceptional.” At Dancer’s Edge Nichole and her staff teach ballet, jazz, hip hop, tap, lyrical, poms,  dance team, yoga and hula. She might not stand in front of a traditional classroom with chalk in hand, but Nichole Moots teaches our youth to enjoy dance and thus to enjoy life.

After graduating from Brighton High School, Jerry went on to study fine arts at the University of Colorado in Boulder. He now lives outside our community; however, his work is seen not only in Brighton but across the United States and in Mexico. He is a fine artist, sculptor, and jeweler, but Jerry is probably most known for his murals.  In 1973 he painted his first mural at Montoya Park and has since created the largest indoor mural in Colorado: La Familia Cosmica is 17’ x 75’. His work can be seen at the Adams County Assessor’s Office, U. S. West, United Steelworkers Union, the University of Colorado and at Benedict Park where one will find Aquarius, a monumental sculpture. In the seventies Jerry knew first hand that it was very hard for Latino artists to find a place to show their artwork so he co-founded the Chicano Humanities & Arts Council from which he was honored with a Life Work Achievement Award. It is now time for Jerry to receive this honor from his home town.

Sandie is the epitome of one who has the spirit of giving.  In addition to being a very talented artist herself with her feather pieces on display throughout the community, she donates many hours each month volunteering for Brighton’s arts community.  Since the inception of the Eye for Art Program, Sandie has helped in many capacities.  She has checked in new pieces, placed the artwork, helped at the reception by setting out food and checking in guests, and then taking down and tagging the artwork so that it goes back to its owner at the end of the show. Sandie has also been instrumental in the success of Main Street Creatives. She has helped to get the gallery ready for shows and receptions.  She also helps with Artfest at the Armory, Art in the Park, and serves on the Brighton Cultural Arts Commission and the Excellence in Arts Committee.  Sandie loves being a volunteer, and Brighton has benefitted from her time and talents.

Kelly is a tireless champion of theater arts in Brighton. She has been the Artistic Director of Platte Valley Players since 2008. Her devotion to quality entertainment has earned her a Henry Award in 2011 for “The Music Man” and a nomination for “A Little Night Music.”  “The Nina Variations” which she directed was selected to represent the region at the National Theatre Festival in Minnesota. Kelly seeks plays that enrich the public’s interest in the classics such as “To Kill a Mockingbird,” “Driving Miss Daisy,” and “The Diary of Ann Frank.”  Her most recent production “Best of Enemies” was a coup for a local theater company.  One of her nominators stated that “while she is demanding and has high standards of performance, one of Kelly’s greatest gifts is giving people the confidence to shine on without feeling intimidated.  She takes time with cast and crew, remembering that they are human beings first and performers second.”  We can look forward to this year’s season including “Alice in Wonderland,” “South Pacific,” “Wedding Singer,” “ A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum,” and “Ring of Fire.” Thank you, Kelly, for bringing Broadway to Brighton.

We don’t often see Andy Bergey in front of the camera since he is busy preparing video coverage, designing, and coordinating the production of all filming for the City of Brighton and Brighton’s Channel 8. In addition to filming City Council meetings and other public forums, Andy is instrumental in giving our residents, as well as those who watch You Tube, a visual picture of our cultural arts scene.  His videos which include interviews with artists and shots of their art pieces are used for promotional purposes showcasing all that the Brighton cultural arts community has to offer. Whenever one turns on Channel 8, there is always programming that appeals to a wide audience.  But Andy does so much more than his work in Brighton.  He has written scrips for a number of films and is currently finishing up his first feature-length script. Andy is a singer/songwriter who has recorded 13 CD’s and a soon to be released Christmas CD as well as creating and curating the Classic Bubblegum Music Home Page from 1999-2015. And this is not all.  Andy Bergey is a master of many performing arts.