Formed in 1998, Arts Express was the collaborative dream of Lonnie Henning, Winston Maddox, Dave Defer, Joan and David Ashcraft. Within two years, the Fine Arts Youth Academy (FAYA) was born and the organization expanded to include various arts education opportunities for Tucson youth. Throughout the years additional productions have been created. Lonnie Henning served as the first executive director of Arts Express assisting in its initial incorporation. Succeeding executive directors have included Jack Stiles and Karen Wiese.
ARTS EXPRESS MISSION
The mission of Arts Express is to build character, strengthen community and celebrate culture through the power of the arts.
ARTS EXPRESS VISION
To be the Southern Arizona leader in arts education thru the provision of excellent programs and events that provide opportunities for its students and audiences to learn and experience the power of the arts.
ARTS EXPRESS VALUES
THE 3 E’S
· EDUCATE: We believe in the value of life-long learning through the arts and our responsibility to preserve and pass on the fundamental skills involved in individual artistic expression to future generations.
· EMPOWER: Based on empirical data, we believe that arts education enhances student achievement, increases self-esteem and actively empowers students; connecting them with school, their community and life.
· ENTERTAIN: We believe that quality entertainment plays a vital role in arts education since performance is the goal for mastery of artistic skill and provides a framework for developing mentors and role models.
THE 3 C’S
· CHARACTER: We believe in the transformational power of the arts to build character through healthy lifestyle choices, critical thinking and understanding and, with this in mind, will develop and maintain programs and events with high standards of excellence.
· COMMUNITY: We believe that the arts are central to the sustained vitality of our community and therefore explore new ideas and invest in new collaborations and partnerships with artists, businesses, government, educational institutions, churches and other arts organizations.
· CULTURE: We believe that the arts are a valuable catalyst for learning about one’s own culture and that of others, thus encouraging civic engagement and bridging racial, cultural, social, economic, religious and generational divides.
ARTS EXPRESS BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Gail Kolenda, President
Lendre Kearns, Vice President
Warren Hatcher, Treasurer
Joyce Dillon, Secretary