Champion of the Arts Award Winner Announced

The Grand Junction Commission on Arts and Culture is proud to announce that Dr. Michael Neste and Family Health West is the recipient of the 2016 Champion of the Arts Award.

Dr. Neste moved to Grand Junction in 2007 drawn by the variety of outdoor opportunities and the arts and culture community found here. He says, “We are so fortunate to have such a high quality of arts and theater that is usually only available in larger cities.  For this reason, I find it not only imperative, but a pleasure to support the artistic community both financially and by attending as many events as possible.”

As a physician at Family Health West, the administration at Family Health West and Dr. Neste share a similar appreciation for the arts and together, they take a portion of his salary and donate it to various artistic endeavors each year.  They have supported High Desert Opera, Grand Junction Youth Theatre Project, Grand Junction Symphony, First Fridays at the Art Center, Western Colorado Chorale and Museum of Western Colorado.   In addition, Family Health West is always active in sponsoring and participating in the many fund raising galas, as well as the Banff Film Festival at the Avalon this spring.

As the award, the Arts Commission has purchased Ascension, by Mary Mansfield, a talented Grand Junction artist. The artwork was presented to Dr. Neste and Family Health West at the Grand Junction Centennial Band’s Holiday Extravaganza at the Avalon Theatre on Sunday, December 11. Dr. Neste will be introduced to City Council at the regular meeting on January 18. The Arts Commission wishes to congratulate Dr. Michael Neste and Family Health West for this honor and thanks Marnie Warner from High Desert Opera for the nomination.

The Arts Commission is an eleven-member board appointed by City Council to create a climate where arts and culture can thrive and grow in the Grand Valley. Annually in October, the Arts Commission seeks nominations from the community for this special recognition.

For more information, contact Lorie Gregor at 970-254-3876 or visit 

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