Art Works for Kids took root in 1995, when Beverley Taylor Sorenson established the foundation alongside her integrated arts teaching model that emphasizes collaborative teaching and planning between classroom teachers and arts teachers. In the years since, thousands of classroom and arts teachers have received professional development in arts integration through the workshops sponsored by Art Works for Kids.
Grants typically range between $5,000 and $25,000, and the Foundation has given millions of dollars over nearly two decades to schools, districts, arts organizations and universities for professional development and specialists.
Beverley Taylor Sorenson (1924-2013), Founder
Throughout her life, Beverley Taylor Sorenson was a tireless champion for the arts. She began developing an integrated arts teaching model in 1995 by collaborating with arts education professionals, state organizations, and higher education institutions throughout Utah. In 2008, the Utah State Legislature adopted the model, named it the Beverley Taylor Sorenson Arts Learning Program in Beverley’s honor, and has since provided the funding needed to place the program in a portion of elementary schools across the state. Right up until her passing at the age of 89, Beverley was a fixture at Capitol Hill, and she committed her time and efforts to lobbying the legislature for more funding to ensure that every elementary child in Utah receives the benefits of an arts-rich education through this program.
James Lee Sorenson
A world-renowned entrepreneur, leader and innovator, James Lee Sorenson has built successful companies in industries ranging from technology and life sciences to real estate and investment. Jim enjoys combining innovative ideas with talented management teams to produce new enterprises. Jim has helped establish impactful programs that improve lives, build regional communities and train future leaders. Jim also works with charitable enterprises that lift and empower people to become self-sufficient.
Jim has served on community service boards including Mission Markets, University Venture Fund, Art Works for Kids, Gallaudet University, the University of Utah’s David Eccles School of Business, and the Utah Governor's Office of Economic Development.
Joan Sorenson Fenton is a philanthropist and humanitarian who serves as President and Chairperson the Sorenson Legacy Foundation. She has spent over 10 years as a director of the Foundation, which provides support for childhood education enhancement in schools, arts education training programs, STEM education initiatives in public schools and universities, funding for disadvantaged or abused children and women, funding for major artistic non profit institutions such as the Utah Symphony and Opera and the Utah Shakespeare Festival, and more. Joan is passionate about nurturing children—a vision she inherited from her mother, the late Foundation co-founder Beverley Taylor Sorenson.
Joseph Taylor Sorenson is the founder and CEO of Endeavor Capital Group. He has served as a board member of the Sorenson Legacy Foundation for more than 15 years, where he has helped support a wide range of philanthropic and humanitarian endeavors at the local, national and international level.
Joe has played a vital leadership role in other companies, including serving as president of the healthcare research company Sorex Medical and leading the development of cosmetic and nutritional products for Sorenco Laboratories.
Lisa Cluff has been part of Art Works for Kids since its inception in 1995, and became executive director of the organization in 2008. In this position, Lisa works closely with educational institutions and arts organizations across the state to advance arts in Utah. Art Works for Kids is a 501c(3), and Lisa also manages the grant process for the organization to ensure the continuation of professional development and growth of both classroom and arts teachers.
Lisa is passionate about the arts and education, and has seen firsthand the positive influence the arts have had on her own daughter, who has flourished in school and has a passion for dancing. Together with Beverley, Lisa works tirelessly toward the vision of ensuring every child in Utah receives an arts-rich and well-rounded education, and has become a respected leader in arts education in Utah.