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A local high school choir teacher and a 14-year-old student dancer were honored at the 16th annual Tribute of the Muses award ceremony Friday night at the Yuma Historic Theatre. Brandon Stroup, Director of Choirs at Cibola High School, was presented with the Tribute of the Muses Award and young performer Angelyna Reichman received the Helios Award. The award ceremony was presented by the City of Yuma Parks, Arts and Recreation Commission and the City of Yuma. “We are extremely thankful to serve such a vibrant arts community,” said City of Yuma arts and culture program manager Lindsay Benacka at the ceremony. Various performances were presented at the award ceremony by Jazz of Yuma (J.O.Y.) and Ericka Nelson. Reichman herself danced that night as she is a student of J.O.Y. The downtown theatre was also doused in red, gold and black Friday night as per the "Moulin Rouge" theme. According to the City of Yuma news release, the Tribute of the Muses award is given to an individual or group who has shown exemplary devotion and excellence in their field. “What an honor it is to receive this award,” Stroup said at the ceremony. “I was thinking about awards that are given to people for the arts, and I was thinking about the fact that these wouldn’t be possible if it wasn’t for a community that really supported the arts.” “In Seattle this morning I was talking to some random lady and talking about the arts community in north college at Fresno, and even though we are a small community, there is so much going on here,” Stroup added. “I am really blessed and thankful to be a part of this community and thankful to all of you who help keep the arts alive and continue to support all there is whether it’s visual or performance.” The Helios Award itself is given to an outstanding newcomer in the arts as an artist, advocate, or person who supports the arts, the City’s release states. “I dance to express my emotions, to entertain people, to give back and make others happy,” Reichman said at the VIP reception which took place at the Yuma Art Center following the award ceremony. “I am very excited. I was not expecting the award.” Reichman says she plans to continue to dance well into the future. “After high school I am hoping to get into UCLA to pursue dance and I am hoping to make it in the dance industry,” Reichman said. The nominees were nominated by the public and the selection of the Tribute of the Muses awards is made by the Parks, Arts and Recreation Commission and Public Art Committee. The biography of Reichman is provided by the City of Yuma: Angelyna Reichman Reichman is a featured dancer and student of Jazz of Yuma where she has been dancing since she was two years old. Now at just 14 years old, she is an accomplished performer and most recently was the youngest company member of LA Dance Magic with whom she toured as a commercial dancer. She is also the Freshmen Student Council President at Gila Ridge High School and represented by The Movement Talent Agency in Hollywood, California.

2016 Helios Winner!!!!!

Members of Dawn’s Dance Studio and Jazz of Yuma, volunteered their time and efforts for Bridget’s Gift on 10/22/2016. Bridget's Gift, established in April of 2011, is a special fund honoring Yuma Native and inspiration Bridget Orta Martinez. Bridget was diagnosed with inflammatory breast cancer, the most aggressive form of breast cancer, in 2009. She faced breast cancer the same way she f aced any obstacle, with determination, a positive attitude, and laughter. Throughout her journey, she touched countless lives and was a friend to everyone she met. Bridget's wish was to give the gift of breast cancer education and resource awareness to her community. She wanted to develop funds for breast exams and resource programs and to lend financial support to patients and families affected by breast cancer. Bridget's fight will continue through Bridget's Gift and will help members of the community  affected by this horrific disease. Her incredible spirit will live on through Bridget's Gift and through friends and family who will carry out her dream. Funds are raised by Bridget's Gift Fund of the Foundation of Yuma Regional Medical Center, a certified 501 (c) (3) charitable organization serving Yuma County since 1976.
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