Writing Sample - Special Event Script

Arts Council Silicon Valley - Arts and Business Awards Luncheon

11:30                             Reception in foyer - Angels circulate among guests in dining room

11:45 - 11:50            Doors open, seating for lunch, jazz band plays - guests begin pre-served salads                               

12:00                            Angels tap on glasses to quiet the room

                           Off-stage announcer introduces Bruce Davis:

"Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen, and welcome to the Arts Council Silicon Valley Arts and Business Awards Luncheon. At this time I would like to introduce the Executive Director of the Arts Council of Silicon Valley, Bruce Davis."                    

                                       Bruce Davis:         

• Welcome

• Acknowledgements:

~ jazz band

~ stilt walkers

~ elected officials

~ sponsors

"And finally, we have a special guest this afternoon - a former Board member of the Arts Council of Silicon Valley and an elected official who has demonstrated that he has a clear vision of the vital role the arts play in stimulating our local economy - please welcome San Jose's Mayor: His Honor Ron Gonzalez."     

12:05                            Mayor Gonzalez -


• the arts are critical to a flourishing downtown SJ                                        

• measure F - convention center expansion

12:10                             Bruce Davis:

"Thank you, Mr. Mayor. Now, please enjoy your lunch, and we'll resume our program in just a little while."

12:05 - 12:10                          Lunch is served (check w/Fairmont - how long does this take?)

12:30                                          Guests begin pre-served dessert             

Angels tap on glasses to quiet the room

12:30 - 12:35         Off-stage announcer introduces of Leigh Weimers:

"Ladies and gentleman, to begin the festivities today I would like to introduce our master of ceremonies - a man who is a familiar face in Silicon Valley not only because of his renowned lifestyle column in the San Jose Mercury News, but for his enthusiastic presence at almost every arts performance in town. Please join me in welcoming the dean of San Jose Mercury News columnists...Mr. Leigh Weimers."

12:36                                          Leigh Weimers:    

"Thank you for that warm welcome. (Pause.)

Before we begin, I want to say a few words about our host organization, the Arts Council of Silicon Valley. Not many people realize that the Arts Council is the only organization that is charged with funding the arts throughout our entire County from Gilroy to Palo Alto ...

...that its beneficiaries include not only arts organizations but community groups, individual artists, social service agencies and schools...

...that in the past 10 years the organization has granted nearly $6 million dollars to more than 125 small and mid-sized and multicultural arts groups ...

Truly, the Arts Council Silicon Valley is the primary steward of the entire panoply of arts in our community, and we are all indebted to it for that stewardship.

Will the Arts Council Board members who are here today please stand?"



"In 1942, at the height of the London blitz during the Second World War, Winston Churchill submitted an annual budget to the British Parliament that included substantial support for the arts. Not surprisingly, he was criticized for giving priority to the arts when his city lay in ruins and the people in London were struggling for the bare necessities.

Churchill's answer was, 'If we don't maintain the arts, then what are we fighting for?'               

I think Churchill got it right. I think he understood what we who have gathered here this afternoon instinctively believe—that the arts are not a frill, not an option, not a supplement to life that we can discard when times are tough.

On the contrary, it is when times get difficult that we need the arts even more, because probably more than any other human endeavor the arts help us to define what it means to be human.           

Just about a year ago, in the aftermath of the terrible events of September 11, it was the arts that enabled us to express the inexpressible. It was Verdi's "Requiem" and Bruce Springsteen and the plaintive strains of a bagpipe playing "Amazing Grace" again and again...it was the innocent crayon drawings of children and hundreds of stark photographs and a poem to a fallen comrade scribbled on a firehouse wall that gave a voice to our collective national grief. (Pause.)

Put aside for a moment that the arts are big business, generating $36.8 billion dollars in economic activity every year.

Put aside the irrefutable evidence that when the arts are included in the educational curriculum, our children's academic achievement soars.

Put aside the unthinkable vision of a world without the arts—without music, without paintings or sculpture, without poetry or theatre or song or dance. It would be a bleak world indeed.

But the real importance of the arts, I think, lies in the fact that they are so central to human existence that the very quality of our societies is measured by the extent to which they nurture artistic creation. I will go further and suggest that the arts are the primary means through which we civilize ourselves and the world in which we live.

When the outlaw Taliban regime wanted to make a powerful and public statement against civilization in March 2001, they chose a perfect target --- the senseless demolition of two ancient Buddhist

statues, more than 150 feet high, carved into a mountainside in

central Afghanistan, that had been among the most stunning

aesthetic, historical, and archeological treasures of our world for the previous thousand years.

You—the people in this room—have done the opposite. You have said 'Yes' to the arts. In spite of a painful economic downturn in Silicon Valley, you have said, 'The arts matter. We will do what we can.'

Some of you make your livelihood supporting the production of the visual and performing arts. Others—those whom we come together today to honor—have given freely of your time, your energy, your commitment, and your personal and corporate financial resources to help keep the arts alive in Silicon Valley.

For your dedication and your generosity, you deserve the recognition and thanks of the community you benefit, and every member in it.

And so ... On with the show.

12:45                                        Leigh Weimers:

"The first award, for leadership by individuals from local businesses in their support of the arts, are presented to those remarkable and unsung members of our business community who work tirelessly behind the scenes and without compensation, often anonymously, to enable the arts to thrive.

And before we welcome the presenters of this award I want to emphasize that although only one of the nominees in each category can receive the award—certainly their dedication and generosity make all of the nominees champions in our community.

Presenters of the Individual Leadership in Business Awards are Rebecca Cohn, Democratic Assembly Member from the 24th Congressional District—who also chairs the Assembly Committee on Arts and Entertainment—and Jim Cuneen, former Republican Assembly Member of the 24th Congressional District, former Applied Materials executive, and currently President and CEO of Silicon Valley Chamber of Commerce. Talk about multi-tasking.

Please join me in welcoming the living proof that the arts are indeed bi-partisan— Rebecca Cohn and Jim Cuneen."


"Thank you - it's a pleasure to be here on the podium with my predecessor - and Jim, I'm going to deny the rumor that you've been looking over my shoulder and watching every move I make ever since the election. The nominees for the Individual Leadership in Business Awards are:

Andrea Cunningham, CEO of Citigate Cunningham High Tech PR, Palo Alto—

Nominated by ZeroOne, the Art and Technology Network, Palo Alto for her tireless service, business experience and leadership as Chair of the Board of Zero One, a nonprofit incubator which synthesizes art, technology and culture"


"The next nominee, Lynda Evjen (pronounced the way it's spelled: Ev-jen), CEO of the Buzbee Group PR and Marketing Firm of Los Gatos has been nominated twice, by two separate organizations ---

Peninsula Theatre Organization, San Mateo for being the driving force in maintaining the Peninsula Theatre Organization's financial and organizational health for the past 25 years and...

by the Renegade Theatre Experiment, San Jose for generously extending her network resources on behalf of Renegade Theatre Company which opened opportunities for the growing Company to find venues, gain publicity, and accomplish the organizational work of starting a new theatre group."


"Charlen Fong, Senior Target Marketing Manager, San Jose Mercury News ---

Nominated by Dimension Performing Arts, Incorporated, San Jose for approving generous in-kind advertising sponsorships which enabled Dimension Performing Arts to publicize its work of promoting Chinese arts and cultural activities"


"Charles Higgins, President and CEO, See's Candies, Incorporated, South San Francisco ---

Nominated by Stanford Jazz Workshop for bringing the support of See's Candies to the Stanford Jazz Workshop in sponsorships that total nearly $500,000 since 1994"


"Boris Lipkin, President, ASML Track Division, San Jose ---

Nominated by the Bay Shore Lyric Opera Company, Capitola for raising more than a quarter of a million dollars as President of the Opera to help the Company's artists and musicians present world-class opera at affordable prices"


"George Marcus, Marcus & Millchap Real Estate Development, Palo Alto ---

Nominated by Ballet San Jose Silicon Valley for his contribution of $100,000 which enabled Ballet San Jose Silicon Valley to stage the American premiere of "RED SHOES or Legs of Fire" by renowned Danish choreographer Flemming Flindt"


"Mark Ritchie, Principal, Ritchie Commercial Real Estate, San Jose ---

Nominated by History San Jose for his leadership as Chair of the Fundraising Committee and consistently committing 2.5% of his company's net profits and 10% of commissions to philanthropy in good economic times and bad."


"Keith Watt, President/Owner of Le (luh, not lay) Petit Trianon Theatre, San Jose ---

Nominated by Santa Clara Valley Performing Arts Association, San Jose for making a monetary               contribution that nearly doubled the Association's budget, and for informing the organization of grant opportunities through the City of San Jose which enabled significant organizational growth"


"Rodalie Wilson, Owner, Wilson's Jewel Bakery, Santa Clara—

Nominated by Triton Museum of Art, Santa Clara for serving as president of the Board of Trustees, spearheading the Museum's capital campaign, and making generous contributions of funds and in-kind gifts since 1979"


"The envelope, please."

(Stilt walkers give envelope and award to Cuneen.)

"The Individual Leadership in Business Award goes to..."

Recipient: thank you

12:53                            Leigh Weimers -

"Our next category is leadership in the arts by individuals from the volunteer and civic community —and I don't want to make the men here feel bad, but I can't help noticing that there is something striking about the list of nominees ...

Maybe there's more than we thought to that old saying about the hand that rocks the cradle...

The presenters of the Individual Leadership from the Community are Connie Martinez, Executive Director of the Children's Discovery Museum of San Jose and Gilbert Sangari, publisher of San Jose Magazine.

Please welcome Connie Martinez and Gilbert Sangari."


"The nominees for Individual Leadership in support of the arts from the Community are:

                                         Cindy Beytin (Bay-tin) Almaden Chiropractic, San Jose ---

Nominated by Children's Musical Theatre San Jose for her ongoing dedication to Children's Musical Theatre from financial donations to serving as President of the Parents' Auxiliary to painting flats in the set shop"            


                                         "Carol Brink, Librarian, Schola Cantorium, Mountain View ---

Nominated by Schola Cantorium for her efficient handling of 30

years' worth of music for 130 choir members, enabling the chorus

to focus on its mission of bringing choral music to the




                                         "Sylvia Carroll, volunteer ---

Nominated by San Jose Museum of Quilts and Textiles for preparing and presenting no less than 413 educational outreach programs in local schools during the 2001-2002 school year"


                                         "Marian Gault, President, Alliance of Visual Artists, Monte Sereno ---

Nominated by Alliance of Visual Artists for putting her own art career on hold while she has guided the Alliance as President, re-organized its structure and committees, and spent hundreds of hours as Chair of its annual Arts Festival."



                                         "Judy Gittelsohn, Artist ---

Nominated by Community Association for Rehabilitation, Palo Alto for initiating, supervising and implementing a project that enabled adults with disabilities to create visual art that was exhibited in public venues and ultimately compiled into a book which was printed and distributed throughout the Bay Area"


"Mary Gundelach, President, Board of Directors, Peninsula Symphony Orchestra ---

Nominated by Peninsula Symphony Orchestra, Los Altos for her service as Board President for two years during which she helped the organization overcome a major financial shortfall, implemented a Planned Giving Program, recruited new Board members and brought the orchestra to a new level of professional growth"


                                         "Pauline Lowe, President, Institute of Sino-American Studies

Nominated by Chinese Moon Festival, San Jose for her long-time support of the Chinese Cultural Garden and annual Chinese Moon Festival in Overfelt Gardens and for consistently conducting tours and arts workshops in Overfelt Gardens"


"Monica Remes (RRay-muss), President, Board of Trustees, Raices de Mexico (RRah-ee-sess day May-he-ko) ---

Nominated by Raices de Mexico for her superior leadership, business skills, monetary contributions, service as Board President and commitment as a participating dancer to Raices de Mexico"


"Carolyn Tucher (Too-ker), President, Palo Alto Art Center Foundation ---

Nominated by Palo Alto Art Center for her 14-year tenure as a Board member of the organization during which time she spearheaded program growth from a $30,000 to a $500,000 increase"


                                         "Diane Way, Ableza (Ah-blay-za) Institute, San Jose

Nominated by Ableza Institute for her largely pro-bono commitment as Art Director of Ableza, during which time she has forged numerous new regional and national partnerships for the Institute"


"Gilbert and I served on the Awards Selection Committee for this event, and in that capacity we reached an unprecedented conclusion in selecting not one but two recipients for this award. I want to emphasize that this was not a tie, not a question of being unable to make up our minds - but based on our feeling that two of the candidates were so strong that they both deserved recognition. The envelope, please."

(Stilt Walker gives award and envelope to Martinez.)

"The awards for Individual Leadership from within the Community go to..."

                                         Recipients: Thank you

1:03                               Leigh Weimers:

"This seems like a good time to acknowledge a corporate legend in our community. In a time when a well-publicized lack of corporate responsibility has dominated recent headlines, we are privileged indeed to live in the presence of a corporate giant that has not only exemplified the highest standards of corporate ethics but whose commitment toward the community is virtually unparalleled. I am speaking of Applied Materials.

Just last week in New York, Applied Materials received a Business in the Arts Award for overall corporate philanthropy from the Business Committee for the Arts founded in 1967 by David Rockefeller. Its commitment to individual arts groups here in Silicon Valley has been unflagging and consistent.

And not only has Applied Materials generously helped to sponsor this event this afternoon, but—the frosting on the cake—for the second year in a row, Applied Materials has supported the creation and funding of the Applied Materials Excellence in the Arts grant program in partnership with and managed by the Arts Council. This year's gift for that program, which supports funding to the region's small, midsize and multicultural arts groups, was $120,000.

Will any representatives from Applied Materials in the audience please stand? Management, employees, anybody.

From all of us to all of you—thank you.        (Pause.)

Now it gives me great pleasure to introduce the honorary co-chairs of this event:

Mike Hackworth, co-founder and current Chairman of the Board of Cirrus Logic, is something of a local legend himself for his extraordinary generosity to the arts, most notably San Jose Symphony...

And Lucia Cha, Principal of Lumiere Investments, San Jose,

Director, Heartland land advisory and development company, Seattle, and Trustee of the Arts Council of Silicon Valley

whose example and whose leadership in giving back to her community help to make the arts in Silicon Valley truly multicultural.

Please welcome Mike Hackworth and Lucia Cha."

1:05                             Mike Hackworth:

"I agreed to co-chair this event because it is my belief that corporate philanthropy is part of corporate responsibility, and personal philanthropy is just part of the dues we pay for living in this community.

My hope is that other Silicon Valley corporations will join the ones who are represented here today, large and small, in maintaining that commitment. And my hope is that we --- all of us—are sowing the seeds that will enable our children's and their children's lives to be enriched by a thriving arts community in San Jose.

Congratulations to all of today's nominees for being champions of the arts in Silicon Valley."

Lucia Cha: (pending discussion w/Cha and her partner)

"I am proud to be a first-generation Chinese American in this community. I encourage my colleagues from all diverse backgrounds to join me in sharing the prosperity of this Valley with our local arts groups. And I'd like to offer a special thank-you to the Arts Council Silicon Valley for hosting this important event."

1:07                            Leigh Weimers:

Our next category is First Time Business Awards. I love this category because it means that a local business or corporation is extending its reach to include in its generosity an arts organization that is receiving its support for the first time.

                                         Presenters of the First Time Business Awards are current Board President of the Arts Council Silicon Valley Teresa Guerrero-Daley (Tare-ay-seh Gare-air-o) and immediate Past President of the Arts Council of Silicon Valley, Papken Der Torossian (Pop-kin Dare Tor-o-ssian). Please welcome Teresa Guerrero-Daley and Papken Der Torissian."



"The nominees for First Time Business Awards are:          

"Applied Materials, Santa Clara ---

Nominated by Ableza (ab-lay-za) Native American Institute, San Jose for creating and awarding the Applied Materials Excellence in the Arts Award to Native American multidisciplinary artist and playwright Diane Way and enabling her to attend the National Native American Literature Symposium in Minnesota last April"


"Garden Court Hotel, Palo Alto ---

Nominated by El Camino Youth Symphony, Palo Alto for elegantly hosting and underwriting the Youth Symphony's annual Benefactor's Gala"


"Pinnacle Publishing Company, Gilroy ---

Nominated by the South Valley Symphony, Gilroy, for in-kind publication of news articles, advertisements and editorial support of the South Valley Symphony"


"Shoreline Amphitheatre/Clear Channel Entertainment,

              Mountain View and San Francisco—

Nominated by the Community School of Music and Arts,

Mountain View for co-sponsoring a free community Choral Fest at Shoreline Amphitheatre which featured 500 children performing to an audience of 2,000 people"


"Silicon Valley Bank, Santa Clara ---

Nominated by Theatreworks, Palo Alto for underwriting the world premiere production of 'KEPT,' a new musical work which appeared at the Mountain View Center for Performing Arts"


"Sing Tao Chinese Radio Broadcasting, San Francisco ---

Nominated by Cantonese Opera Association, Silicon Valley, for becoming a media sponsor of the Opera's first fundraising event in San Jose which featured a professional Cantonese Opera company from China


"The envelope, please."

(Stilt walkers give envelope and award to Guerrero-Daley )


"The First Time Business Award goes to..."

Recipient: thank-you                                  

1:11                                Leigh Weimers:

"Sustained Business Support Award nominations are made to corporations which have given their support over an extended period of time to an arts organization and which truly become arts partners, sharing in that organization's mission and helping it to realize its vision.

Presenters of the Sustained Business Support Award are Nancy Glaze, Director of Arts Programs for the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, and Ken Azebu (A-zee-bu), President of Communicart Graphics and Printing, whose company was the 2001 recipient of the Sustained Business Support Award.

Please welcome Nancy Glaze and Ken Azebu."


"The nominees for Sustained Business Support are:

A-Plus Flash Technology, San Jose ---

Nominated by Kun (rhymes with spoon) Shin Dancers, Saratoga for helping to preserve and transmit Chinese heritage through dance and music with annual donations to the Kun Shin Dancers since the Company's inception.


"Applied Materials, Santa Clara ---

Nominated by Opera San Jose for being the Company's most generous donor throughout its history and for having the most longevity as a major corporate donor to Opera San Jose"


"Bank of Los Altos ---

Nominated by the Community School of Music and Arts, Mountain View for providing the Community School of Music and Arts with generous sustained support for the past five years and for helping to build Silicon Valley's first Center for Music and Arts Education in Mountain View"


"Joe Miller's Company, San Jose ---

Nominated by WORKS/San Jose for providing WORKS/San Jose with graphic design services for 13 years with designs that have been called an art form in themselves


                                         "KLA-Tencor Semiconductor Equipment, San Jose ---

Nominated by CADartists, Incorporated, Sunnyvale, for two years of continuous generosity including opening KLA-Tencor's corporate learning center for disabled children and adults and welcoming disabled students to use and enjoy their training facility and support systems"


"Northern California Graphics, Sunnyvale ---

Nominated by Shady Shakespeare Theatre Company, San Jose for donating extensive print services which enabled the Shady Shakespeare Theatre Company to meet its marketing communications needs without taxing a limited organizational budget"


                                         "The envelope, please."

                                         (Stilt walkers give envelope and award to Glaze)


                                         "The Sustained Business Support Award goes to..."

                                         Recipient: Thank-you


1:15                               Leigh Weimers: "Is anybody else here getting the impression that there is a real renaissance of the arts going on in Silicon Valley? Think about it. Not only a first class art museum and top-notch opera and ballet and theatre companies, but a groundswell of small and incubator arts organizations dedicated to ethnic dance and opera and festivals...

...emerging individual artists...

...arts education...

...youth orchestras...

...arts as rehabilitation...

...Shakespeare in the park...

...art and technology...

...the creation of new works...

...renegade theatre...

...American quilt and history museums...

...visual arts centers...

...a Native American cultural institute...

...terrific new arts facilities in Mountain View and Campbell and

Morgan Hill and plans for a beautiful new opera house in downtown San Jose.

WOW. There's no doubt in my mind that the arts are alive and well in Silicon Valley.

In that spirit, we come to the Lifetime Achievement Award which is presented to a person or persons who have dedicated their efforts over a lifetime to ensuring that the arts are indeed alive and well in this Valley.

Past recipients of the Lifetime Achievement Award include Peter Hero, the late David Packard, and Bill and Hillary Clinton.

The presenter of this year's Lifetime Achievement Award from the Arts Council of Silicon Valley is Professor Emeritus in History and Humanities at San Jose State University, President of the Beethoven Society, and author Tom Wendel.

Please join me in welcoming Dr. Tom Wendel."


1:18                               Tom Wendel:

"Thank you, Leigh.

Jim Compton is one of those rare individuals who are born into a comfortable life of privilege, and decide early on that a comfortable life isn't enough. From his service as a Marine platoon leader on Iwo Jima during the Second World War to his avid outdoor pursuits of skiing, kayaking, windsurfing, tennis and camping, Jim has been an active participant in the world around him and a hard-working, hands-on philanthropist most of his adult life.

His vision has been an ambitious one: to make the world a better place for all of us.

His wife Pat is a perfect complement to that vision. An award-winning author, artist, lecturer and educator in her own right, Pat proves the truth in the saying that if you want something done, ask the person who's already really busy. The word 'impossible' is simply not in Pat's vocabulary.

The story of the Comptons' life together is a story of dedication, service, a home filled with art and hospitality, extraordinarily generous philanthropy and the kind of optimism and engagement in life that is only possible for people who take great joy in life.

That undaunted optimism for which the Comptons are renowned among their friends is perhaps best exemplified by the gopher problem at their home in Saratoga. As many of us have learned to our sorrow, gophers can be the kiss of death to any gardener's efforts. But that doesn't deter Jim and Pat. They keep planting, and the gophers keep destroying what they plant, and they just keep right on planting...

The faith and determination with which Jim and Pat keep re-planting their home garden is symbolic, I think, of the seeds of philanthropy that they sow with faith in the outcome for our society's future.

The Compton Foundation, in which both Jim and Pat are deeply involved, has given up to $10 million annually over the decades to support the arts, the environment, world peace initiatives, cross-cultural understanding, and promising young scholars. The Foundation's arts commitments are made through discretionary jurisdiction - so in a very real sense we have Jim and Pat to thank personally for the support that many of the arts organizations here have received from the Compton Foundation.

The Comptons' activities, achievements, awards and many layers of service in Silicon Valley are too numerous to itemize. When I look at their involvement in the arts, the environment, the community, and the highest aspirations of our society I am reminded of the ideal that Aristotle advocated more than 2,000 years ago: "a life of virtuous activity."

In addition to his professional vocation as a land developer, highlights of Jim's community involvement include his service as past President of the San Jose Museum of Art, Board member of Villa Montalvo and San Jose Symphony, Board member of the Beethoven Society (or, Ira F. Brilliant Center for Beethoven Studies in San Jose, if Tom prefers), and service on the boards of the Santa Clara County National Conference on Christians and Jews, the Fund for Peace, the California League of Conservation Voters, the San Jose Conservation Corps, and the American Forum for Global Education.

And that's only about half the resume.

And for Pat... Executive Director of Villa Montalvo (where she had the inspiration for San Jose Rep's New America Playwright Festival), Executive Director of the Silicon Valley Forum of the Commonwealth Club, member of the Hidden Villa Sustainable Building Committee, Board member of the Peninsula Open Space Trust, and service on dozens of other art and music organization boards.

Clichˇs tend to come easily at ceremonies like this one. In searching for a way to convey the unique distinction of the Comptons I noticed a common thread that emerged in a comment that their friends and colleagues repeated again and again: "They are so unpretentious - they are so down-to-earth."

And I was reminded, too, by the Comptons' life, of a line by John D. Rockefeller, Jr.—who also was born to a life of privilege and also decided to serve the greater good. He said, "Our responsibility? In every opportunity, an obligation; in every possession, a duty." (Pause.)

Helping the arts to flourish and grow in our communities ... Finding solutions to effect world peace...Preserving the environment for future generations...Nurturing multicultural understanding ...Fostering equal opportunity in education... Overcoming the root causes of war and poverty...

Aren't we fortunate that there are a few individuals among us who are audacious enough to believe that they can change the world?

Jim and Pat, you grace our community. I am proud to consider you my colleagues and friends, and I am proud to present you with this Lifetime Achievement Award from the Arts Council of Silicon Valley.

1:25                               Jim and Pat Compton: Thank you.

1:30                               Leigh Weimers:

                                         "Congratulations to all our award recipients. Thank you for

being here today and thank you for keeping the arts alive in our community—good afternoon to everyone!"