This year’s LUMIES: Noche de las Artes, A Celebration of Arts Heroes will took place on Thursday, September 28th, at the Reid Park DeMeester Outdoor Performance Center.

LUMIES: Noche de las Artes, A Celebration of Arts Heroes

For more than a decade, the Lumies Arts & Business Awards celebrated individuals, organizations, and businesses that make Tucson and Southern Arizona a wellspring of creative vitality.

This year, we partnered with ON Media Publications as the 2017-2018 Arts Hero Sponsor and we worked together to create a beautiful event: LUMIES: Noche de las Artes, A Celebration of Arts Heroes. We had incredible performers, food trucks, drinks and presentations, highlighting the 2016-2017 Arts Heroes and the Southwest Folklife Alliance on getting this year’s Arts and Culture Community Impact Award!

This year’s LUMIES: Noche de las Artes, A Celebration of Arts Heroes was hosted by Cathy Rivers, Executive Director of KXCI Community Radio and featured performances by:

  • TC Tolbert, Tucson Poet Laureate
  • Dancing In The Streets AZ
  • Odaiko Sonora
  • Axe Capoeira
  • Lenguas Largas
  • Flam Chen
  • House DJs Solar Stephen and Miranda Luna
  • and a special closing performance by Santa Pachita!

The Arts Heroes represent people in our community who champion, support, and take part in the arts – whether it be on the stage, behind the scenes on the gallery floor, or in the seats. At The Arts Foundation, our mission is to advance artistic expression, civic participation, and equitable economic growth of our diverse community by supporting, promoting, and advocating for arts and culture in our region. The Arts Hero is one way we can call attention to and highlight those throughout Southern Arizona who are also working toward this goal.


ON Media Publications is currently accepting nominations for Arts Heroes. Every month, one Arts Hero will be selected and featured in the ON Media program book seen by over 400,000 art lovers and consumers throughout Southern Arizona.

This sponsorship is giving us, The Arts Foundation, an opportunity to elevate the arts in Southern Arizona and elevate the conversation around the importance or arts and culture in our region.


Last year’s LUMIES: Noche de las Artes

Click below to watch our feature video made especially for Lumies: Noche de las Artes, by The Arts Foundation’s own videographer, Cait Ni Siomon:


A big thank you to Laura K. Moore Photography (LKM Studios) for photographing Lumies: Noche de las Artes! Here is a preview of what the night looked like:


Copyright LKM Studios


Copyright LKM Studios


Copyright LKM Studios

Copyright LKM Studios

Copyright LKM Studios


Copyright LKM Studios


Copyright LKM Studios


Copyright LKM Studios

Click here to view the full gallery.


Featured artists

Mele Martinez

Mele Martinez

Mele Martinez’s natural movement style, even in childhood, made for a perfect fit with the raw spirit of flamenco. Raised in Tucson, Arizona she began studying dance at age three. In 1999, Mele began her training at the National Conservatory of Flamenco, under the direction of Joaquin Encinias and Omayra Amaya. She also studied with some of the world’s most important choreographers, including Israel Galvan, La Tati, and other commissioned artists from Spain.

In 2014, Mele was the recipient of the Arts Foundation for Tucson and Southern Arizona’s New Works Grant. Despite humble beginnings in Tucson, Mele Martinez is now considered one of the most authentic flamenco performers in America and The Arts Foundation was honored to have had her perform at this year’s Lumies: Noche de las Artes.


Jim Colby

Jim Colby

Jim Colby has been playing and composing music in wide variety of contexts and locations for many years. Upon moving to Tucson four years ago, James joined the group Vox Urbana. In 2014, James and Enrique Castellanos of Vox Urbana were awarded a P.L.A.C.E. grant by The Arts Foundation for their project, “Cumbia Corridos.”

In 2015, Jim was awarded a New Works grant by The Arts Foundation for his project “Sonoura: Cuts on Tucson”, that he performed live at this year’s Lumies: Noche de las Artes. The project consists of collected field recordings from specific sites within the city of Tucson, and manipulating and arranging the samples to create musical compositions resulting in a “remixed” version of the city. Jim currently plays in Vox Urbana and the punk rock group New Doubt.


Tom Kiefer moved to a small southern Arizona town near the border in 2001. His first series was shot on film in black and white, titled “Journey West Exhibit” chronicling the landscape and structures connecting the cities of Phoenix, Tucson and Ajo. Fine-art prints from this project were exhibited in all three cities between January 2007 and 2010.

From July 2003 until August 2014, Kiefer was employed part-time as a janitor/landscaper at the U.S. Border Patrol facility in Why, Arizona and resigned last year to focus on producing the “El Sueno Americano” project. Last year Kiefer was included in LensCulture’s top 50 emerging photographers and PhotoLucida’s top 50 Critical Mass.

“The Lumies is the premiere ceremony that honors and celebrates the individuals and organizations that create and support the arts in Southern Arizona.”

– Debi Chess Mabie, Executive Director, The Arts Foundation for Tucson and Southern Arizona

Recognized artists, businesses, and arts organizations

Along with the artists featured above, The Arts Foundation also recognized some of the other people and places in our community who exemplify what it means to be a champion of the arts arts in Tucson and Southern Arizona. We want to thank each and every one of them, and we encourage our community to support their work in the coming year!


Thank you to our sponsors!

A big thank you to the historic Rialto Theatre and R Bar for providing us their venues to host this year’s event and to all of our other gracious sponsors who helped make the night such a success:

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