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Local philanthropist and arts supporter Connie McMillin was recently honored as a Champion of the Arts at the West Valley Arts Council’s 2011 Diamond Ball in March for her support of arts and culture in the West Valley. 

The West Valley Arts Council’s Champion of the Arts award recognizes contributions by an individual or individuals to community enrichment through the arts and is awarded annually to an individual or organization.

This year’s nominees were narrowed down to three including the Wickenburg Children’s Cultural Organization and West Valley Youth Orchestra. Each nominee received one ticket to the council’s Diamond Ball and each was recognized during the event.

“McMillin’s influence is felt far and wide throughout the West Valley and beyond in a very real and substantive way,” said friend and arts supporter Wally Bock. “She impacts a myriad of arts and cultural organizations and gives tirelessly to support the mission and vision of each.”

“She is a shining example of the impact just one person can have on his or her community,” said Julie Richard, president & CEO of the West Valley Arts Council. “We are so thankful she is part of our community, and it is an honor to call her a friend.”

“Her dedication to the West Valley arts scene is contagious with the end result being a cultural experience shared by many,” added David Hunenberg of the city of Peoria.

Over the years, McMillin has supported the West Valley Art Museum, Sun Cities Historical Society, Theater Works, the West Valley Arts Council and other cultural endeavors.

She also collects the work of West Valley artists, directly impacting the careers of emerging artists.

Her dedication to the values and the goals of these organizations and artists provides the West Valley with a sense of history, an opportunity to enjoy original and live performances, and a place to commune with the visual arts. McMillin can always be found at concerts and performances throughout the year, lending her support for music and theater.

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