Sonia Young Is Recipient Of Ruth Holmberg Arts Leadership Award

"The Purple Lady" To Be Recognized March 7

Friday, January 6, 2017
Sonia Young
Sonia Young

Sonia Young, locally known as “The Purple Lady,” will be honored during the 2017 Ruth Holmberg Arts Leadership Award presentation on Tuesday, March 7. ArtsBuild will host the event at the Hunter Museum of American Art from 6-8 p.m. 

A Chattanooga native, Ms. Young cultivated a life-long love of the arts at a young age. After graduating from Chattanooga High School, she received a B.A. from Tulane University and a Masters degree in Psychology from UTC. 

A true arts advocate, Mrs. Young currently serves on the boards of Chattanooga Theatre Centre and Chattanooga Ballet. In the early 1980s, Mrs. Young wrote and directed the youth theatre production, Purple Princess, for the Chattanooga Theatre Centre. This show, along with her leadership, became the impetus to establish the CTC’s Youth Theatre, which she considers her most meaningful accomplishment. 

Mrs. Young has also served on the boards of Chattanooga Symphony and Opera, Allied Arts (ArtsBuild), Chattanooga Opera Association, Tennessee River Gorge Trust, Chattanooga Zoo, McKamey Animal Care Trust, Girls Inc., Children’s Hospital Foundation, and Kids on the Block. She has led numerous fundraising campaigns for these organizations and more. She was named a Tennessee Women of Distinction by the American Lung Association in 2007. 

Mrs. Young continues to teach public speaking at UTC, a position she has held for 29 years. As a journalist, she has written for the Chattanooga Times, Chattanooga Life and Leisure Magazine and, for the past 23 years, for the Lookout and Signal Mountain Mirrors. 

Bob Willie, executive director of Chattanooga Ballet, nominated Mrs. Young for the award. “There are very few arts organizations that have not been enhanced in some way by Sonia Young's passion and dedication to the arts in our community,” said Mr. Willie.  “She has been a consummate arts advocate and fundraiser for the arts throughout her life. Sonia's passion for the arts has been dedicated to providing quality professional arts education and performance opportunities for the children of Chattanooga. Through her efforts, tens of thousands of children have been able to experience and appreciate the beauty and inspiration that are provided through arts. Sonia is an incredible role model for the next generation of arts leaders who follow in her footsteps.” 

“Sonia’s extraordinary volunteer efforts on behalf of the Chattanooga arts community is almost beyond compare,” said ArtsBuild President Dan Bowers. “She continues to be a tireless advocate for the arts and is passionate in her advocacy for many other nonprofit organizations. ArtsBuild is thrilled to be able to honor Sonia with this award.” 

ArtsBuild established this annual award in 2014 to recognize an individual who has made significant contributions to the arts in Chattanooga and is actively engaged in the cultural life of the community. The first award recognized Ruth Holmberg for her extraordinary support of the arts and cultural community in Chattanooga over the past 70 years. 

The 2017 Ruth Holmberg Arts Leadership Award is sponsored by First Tennessee Bank and EMJ Corporation. For more information visit www.artsbuild.com or call 756-2787. Tickets for the event will be available beginning in mid-January.
 


Priceless Pets Continues Saturday at the Walker County Animal Shelter

The Walker County Animal Shelter had 124 people visit the shelter and adopt 12 dogs and 14 cats on their first day of the free adoption promotion "Priceless Pets." "Among those adopted was the longest resident in the shelter, a dog that had been with us since December.  We still have plenty of dogs for the second day of our event, but will only have a few kittens," ... (click for more)

Gatlinburg Wildfires: The TDOT Story

With the six month anniversary of the Gatlinburg Wildfires on Sunday, the Tennessee Department of Transportation  would like to share its story about the heroes who worked tirelessly to save the lives of others on Nov. 28, 2016, in Sevier County. "TDOT’s official role during the crisis was to clear the roadways. This was critical for emergency crews to get to the impacted ... (click for more)

Bradley Detectives Investigating Death Of 18-Month-Old Child; Foul Play Not Suspected At This Time

Detectives in the Bradley County Sheriff's Criminal Investigations Division are investigating the death of an 18-month old child that occurred Saturday evening.   Multiple phone calls into the 911 Communications Center led to patrol deputies responding to a residence on Lowery Street, N.E. Upon arrival deputies discovered a deceased child inside the residence, which ... (click for more)

Corker Says President Trump's 1st International Trip "Executed To Near Perfection"

Senator Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, on Sunday praised President Donald Trump for his first international trip.   He said, “I spoke with President Trump at length this morning and told him that I could not be more pleased with his first international trip. The trip was executed to near perfection and it appears the president ... (click for more)

Silence Ain’t Golden Anymore

There are times – moments – in life that you never forget. That night in 1972, sleeping over at my buddy Bart’s house, was one of them. We had been to a middle school concert and his big brother was in the band (very cool stuff for a 14-year-old!) and as we lay on the floor in our sleeping bags in Bart’s room he said he wanted to play a record that his brother listened to. And, ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Prove No Improvement

The startling news that this year’s standardized testing was wasted on graduating seniors across Tennessee is most unsettling. This week it was learned the test results, which were to represent 10 percent of our seniors’ final grades, was a total bust. Coupled with last year’s gargantuan testing failure – the whole effort had to be scrapped -- it is now becoming realized that for ... (click for more)