Denver School of the Arts announces Randy Weeks Award

Photos from the Denver School of the Arts’ Friends Foundation gala on Sept. 12, 2015. All photos by John Moore for the DCPA NewsCenter.

Denver School of the Arts’ annual arts leadership award has been renamed the Randy Weeks Community Arts Leadership Award after the late president of the Denver Center for the Performing Arts.

Principal William Kohut made the announcement at the school’s annual fall gala held on Friday (Sept. 12). The inaugural Randy Weeks Community Arts Leadership Award was presented to the namesake’s brother, Joel.

Joel Weeks accepts the gift of art from Denver School of the Arts students in honor of the memory of his brother, Randy. Photo by John Moore. Weeks, who helped build Denver into a preferred stop among national touring productions of Broadway musicals, was a longtime supporter of Denver School of the Arts and a member of the school’s Friends Foundation board of directors. Three years ago, Weeks founded the DCPA’s Bobby G Awards, which celebrate achievements in Colorado high-school musical theatre.

(Photo: Joel Weeks accepts the gift of art from Denver School of the Arts students in honor of the memory of his brother, Randy. Photo by John Moore.)

“Randy had a great love for Denver School of the Arts, and he is greatly missed on our board,” Kohut said. “It means a lot for us to be able to bestow this award every year in his name knowing what he did in terms of leadership for arts education in our community.”

Kohut then introduced a video tribute to Weeks produced by the school’s film students.

CEO and President Scott Shiller led a large DCPA contingent at the ceremony, which was held in the school’s mainstage theatre just before a sold-out student performance of Oliver!

Shiller was joined by his predecessor – and continuing DCPA Chairman of the Board – Daniel L. Ritchie, who received the school’s arts leadership award last September. Weeks, who helped present that award to Ritchie, died just two weeks later at a conference in London.

John Ekeberg, Weeks’ successor as Executive Director of the DCPA’s Broadway division, praised Weeks as his mentor for nearly 18 years. He cited the qualities that he said made Weeks an effective arts leader: His intelligence, positive energy, passion for theatre and his generosity.

“He was a very generous person with his time, whether you were the CFO, or an actor on one of our stages, or a ticketing agent in our box office,” Ekeberg said. “If you walked by Randy’s door and it was open, you were always welcome to come in and pull up a chair.”

He remembers Weeks as a boss who was not about winning every argument. “He was certainly about consensus and sometimes compromise, and looking at the big picture,” Ekeberg said.

Joel Weeks traveled to Colorado to accept the award on behalf of his larger family.

“This award embodies everything that Randy was,” said Weeks, “a leader in the arts community, and a passionate mentor of youth.”

Weeks told the story of running into a Colorado couple at an out-of-state fundraiser who were awestruck when they realized that Joel was Randy Weeks’ brother. They had never met Randy, but they had often attended theatre at the Dnver Performing Arts Complex. They thought of him as a rock star for bringing Broadway programming to Denver.

The husband told Joel Weeks: “It almost sounds trite to say this, but I hope he died knowing he did something great for the people of the Front Range.”

“My brother cared about Denver School of the Arts, and he cared about the Bobby G Awards,” Joel Weeks said. “Not only was he a caring human being, but he changed our lives for the better. By counseling, by fundraising, by mentoring. By just being a friend. He is sorely missed, and I am sure he always will be. But we are all better off that he existed in this world.”

Photo by John Moore.

Our previous coverage of the death of Randy Weeks:
DCPA president Randy Weeks dies at London conference
Video: Highlights, interviews from Randy Weeks celebration
Celebration draws 1,500 to recall a singular friend in story and song
Video: Randy Weeks honored with dimmed lights, moments of silence
Randy Weeks photo gallery
DCPA to celebrate Randy Weeks’ life on Nov. 3
A look back at Randy Weeks’ ‘It Gets Better’ video
‘Pippin’ dedicates entire tour to Randy Weeks
<a target=”_blank” href=”http://$45000″>Video, photos: Randy Weeks Memorial Golf Tournament raises $45,000
Annaleigh Ashford raises $735 for new Bobby G Awards memorial fund

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