Tucson, Arizona (April 14, 2023) – The Tucson Museum of Art (TMA) is honored to commemorate Alice and Paul Baker and Beth and I. Michael Kasser as the 2023 TMA Lifetime Achievement Award recipients. Launched in 2017, the TMA Lifetime Achievement Award celebrates the career of an artist, patron, or community member who has demonstrated a passion for and commitment to the advancement of the arts in southern Arizona and the Tucson Museum of Art and Historic Block.
Previous recipients include Joyce Broan (2022), Drs. Mark and Kathleen Sublette (2021), James and Louise Glasser (2020), Andy Anderson (2019), Thomas Philabaum (2018), and Jim Waid (2017). Each year nominations for the award are reviewed, and the recipient is selected by a panel that includes members of TMA's Leadership Circle—the museum's foremost philanthropic membership group.
“We are extremely fortunate to have generous arts philanthropists such as the Bakers and Kassers here in Tucson. They have enthusiastically supported the Tucson Museum of Art over the years and ensure we can continue to bring art to life, which is our mission,” remarked Norah Diedrich, Jon and Linda Ender Director and CEO.
Alice and Paul Baker share a passion for the arts that set them on their course to make a difference, dream big, and inspire others to do the same. Over decades, the Bakers have developed significant art collections that reflect their interest in art of the Ancient Americas, Western art, Indigenous art, and photography. In their service to the community, they have embraced the Jewish teaching in the spirit of ‘Tikkun Olam,’ or repairing the world. They have set their hearts and minds not only toward philanthropy in our beloved community of Tucson, but also nationally and internationally.
For the past 37 years, the Bakers have supported TMA’s art education programs and in 2019 funded the renovated Alice Chaiten Baker Center for Art Education. The building completed includes four classrooms, a state-of-the-art auditorium, a research library, conference rooms, new exterior finishes, and renovated administrative offices. The joyful leadership of the Bakers can be experienced throughout the arts community in Tucson, from the Arizona Theatre Company (ATC) to the Center for Creative Photography (CCP), Tucson Jazz Festival, and the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum.
Beth and Mike Kasser are devoted patrons of the arts in Southern Arizona. The Kassers have donated to numerous charities and arts organizations including the Arizona Theatre Company, Arizona Opera, Reid Park Zoo, The Drawing Studio, Tucson Festival of Books, Tucson Girls Chorus, Tucson Jazz Festival, Tucson Symphony Orchestra, YMCA of Southern Arizona, and several projects for the University of Arizona.
In 2020 the museum unveiled the new Kasser Family Wing of Latin American Art. The 6,000 square-foot wing opened to the public and the space was the first expansion of the museum since the building was built in 1975. The family chose to share their collection with the community by donating to the expansion of the Tucson Museum of Art, and contributing to the museum’s collection of Art of the Ancient Americas and Latin American Art. Both Beth and Mike are avid athletes and have completed dozens of marathons, ultra-marathons and triathlons. They continue to sponsor several sporting events such as the Tucson Marathon, El Tour de Mesa, and Everyone Runs.
The Bakers and the Kassers received the TMA Lifetime Achievement Award at an event recently held in their honor. The annual TMA Lifetime Achievement Award Dinner is hosted by the TMA Leadership Circle Committee and includes the Ambassador Level of the Leadership Circle and major museum donors.
About TMA Leadership Circle
The Leadership Circle, the museum’s foremost philanthropic membership group makes an incredible difference to supporting and sustaining Tucson Museum of Art’s permanent collection, exhibitions, and programs.
About TMA Lifetime Achievement Award
The TMA Lifetime Achievement Award, first presented in 2017, celebrates the career of an artist, patron, or community member, who, among other distinctions, has demonstrated a particular commitment to the advancement of the Tucson Museum of Art and Historic Block and Southern Arizona Arts community. The TMA Lifetime Achievement Awardees exemplify a long and impactful career in artistic excellence, exemplary philanthropic leadership, dedication to arts education, and support for and promotion of TMA.
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About Tucson Museum of Art and Historic Block
As an institution built upon the original territories of the O’odham, the Tucson Museum of Art and Historic Block (TMA) acknowledges the Indigenous Sonoran Desert communities, past and present, who have stewarded this region throughout generations.
TMA connects art to life through meaningful and engaging experiences that inspire discovery, spark creativity and promote cultural understanding. Founded in 1924, TMA encompasses an entire city block in historic downtown Tucson and is committed to developing quality exhibitions, expanding and diversifying its collection and presenting relevant and innovative programs while broadening public access to the arts.
The museum features exhibitions of Modern and Contemporary art, Latin American art from ancient to today, Indigenous arts and Art of the American West. A permanent collection of over 10,000 works of art spans continents, centuries and media. TMA’s campus includes five properties listed on the National Register of Historic Places, an art education center and research library, the Museum Store and the highly acclaimed museum restaurant Café a la C’Art. TMA is a private 501(c)(3) charitable arts and education organization. For additional information visit TucsonMuseumofArt.org or call (520) 624-2333