05-04-17 CO-OEDIT: Colorado Creative Industries announces 2017 Governor’s Creative Leadership award winners

CO-OEDIT: Colorado Creative Industries announces 2017 Governor’s Creative Leadership award winners

DENVER – Weds. May 4, 2017 – Colorado Creative Industries (CCI) today announced that Aaron Abeyta of Antonito, Maryo Gard Ewell of Gunnison, and Damon McLeese of Denver were selected to receive the 2017  Governor’s Creative Leadership Awards.
The Governor’s Creative Leadership Awards honor Coloradans who have demonstrated a significant commitment to the state’s creative landscape through civic leadership and volunteerism including advocacy, vision, collaboration and innovation. Winners will receive an original work of art created by Breckenridge artist Martin Deegan.
“This award seeks out those that are providing selfless service within the creative sector in Colorado, and inspires others by honoring their process and celebrating achievements,” said CCI director Margaret Hunt.
The winners will be honored at an awards luncheon on May 5, at the Riverwalk Center in Breckenridge in conjunction with the 6th Annual Creative Industries Summit. Tickets for the full Summit are $165 and tickets for the luncheon are $40. For more information visit  coloradocreativeindustries.org/summit.
About the award winners:
Aaron Abeyta, Mayor of Antonito (Antonito) – Abeyta was selected in the arts and community action category for his leadership and commitment to improving Antonito and the San Luis Valley through written word, public service and community involvement.
Maryo Gard Ewell, Gunnison Community Foundation (Gunnison) – Gard Ewell was selected in the arts and community action category for her lifelong commitment locally and nationally to arts and community building, particularly in small and rural communities.
Damon McLeese, Director of VSA Arts (Denver) – McLeese was selected in the arts and social change category for his 20 year commitment to increasing access to the arts for people with disabilities.
About the artist:
Summit county artist Martin Deegan was selected through a call for proposals to commission original works of art that will serve as awards for the three winners. Deegan is inspired by everything from nature to film to music, his work is filled with vivid color, incorporating various media of paint, wax, glass, stone, tile, plants and more. His paintings, originals and commissions, have sold for over twenty years in New York and Los Angeles.


Colorado Creative Industries, Colorado’s state arts agency, is a division of the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade. Established to capitalize on the immense potential for our creative sector to enhance economic growth in Colorado, the mission of Colorado Creative Industries is to promote, support and expand the creative industries to drive Colorado’s economy, grow jobs and enhance our quality of life.