PHOENIX -- The Westin Kierland Resort & Spa is accepting nominations for its statewide historical preservation program entitled Culturekeepers. The program, launched in 2002, highlights Arizonans who are committed to upholding the traditions, rituals and cultures of the state.
The Arizona Historical Foundation and The Westin Kierland Resort & Spa have collaborated on this statewide cultural recognition project, now in its third year. The program annually celebrates 10 Arizonans selected throughout the state who have been instrumental in preserving the state's culture, legacy, traditions and history.
Every Culturekeeper is honored with a photo and plaque that describes the individual's contributions to the state. These plaques will be displayed along the walls of Culturekeepers Hall, a special area of the hotel adjacent to the Kierland Grand Ballroom.
Since its inception, 10 additional Arizona residents are added annually, to culminate with a grand event in 2012 in conjunction with the state's 100th birthday.
Marshall Trimble, Arizona's official state historian, is chairman of the Culturekeepers program. Trimble is the author of 19 books about Arizona and the West.
"The Culturekeepers program was developed to recognize and pay tribute to some of the unsung heroes of this state. There are many longtime Arizona residents who spend their days working to better their communities, but rarely are recognized for their contributions," Trimble said. The following lists the criteria for a Culturekeeper nominee:
¥ A Culturekeeper must have worked to preserve the image of Arizona.
¥ This individual must maintain the traditions, rituals and cultures that have made Arizona a home and preferred travel destination for decades. These could be artistic, ethnic or historic traditions or activities. These could be actions taken to preserve Arizona's natural environment or animal habitat.
¥ A Culturekeeper must have a long-time commitment to services as a keeper or influencer of Arizona culture and have served the state through paid or volunteer efforts.
¥ The recognition will honor the individual who has demonstrated a passionate dedication to the issue, hobby or endeavor that keeps Arizona's culture alive.
¥ This individual must have lived within Arizona's borders during the time for which he/she is being recognized, and he/she must be living.
The inaugural year of the Arizona Culturekeepers program was 2003, beginning with the resort's grand opening festivities in December 2002. The Westin Kierland honored the first 10 inductees at the Culturekeepers awards ceremony in April 2003: The Arizona Archaeological Society, The Arizona State Cowbelles, Vivian Burdette, Angel Delgadillo, Dolan Ellis, Janice Griffith, Don Larry, Jerry and Florence Nelson, Marguerite Noble, and Elisabeth Ruffner.
Last year's honorees were: Dana Burden, Anna Mae Deming, Betty Fairfax, Fayrene Martin Hume, Dee Strickland Johnson, Jonathan and Maxine Marshall, Ted Ramirez, Al Richmond, Melissa Ruffner, and the Yellow Bird Indian Dancers. In addition, Polly Rosenbaum was honored posthumously with a special Lifetime Achievement Award.
This year's honorees were: Jim and Dean Cook, Travis Edmonson, Garnette Franklin, Calvin C. Goode, Mona Lange McCroskey, Paul Messinger, Jayne Peace and Jinx Pyle, Jeri Robson, The White Mountain Apache Tribe and Susie Yazzie.
A panel of qualified judges will review candidate applications. Nominations must include the nominee's name, address and reason for nomination. Self-nominations will be accepted.
All nominations are due by Feb. 28.
Nomination forms can be found in the News Room on the resort's website at www.kierlandresort.com. Anyone wishing to submit a nomination can mail, fax or e-mail information to:
Arizona State Historian
9000 E. Chaparral Road
Scottsdale, AZ 85265