Haven J. Barlow receives Madeleine Festival Award
Friday, Jun. 06, 2014
Haven J. Barlow is presented with the 2014 Madeleine Award by Father Martin Diaz, pastor of the Cathedral of the Madeleine, and Paula Peterson, a member of the Madeleine Arts and Humanities Council awards committee. IC photo/Marie Mischel
SALT LAKE CITY — As the 2014 Madeleine Award Dinner got underway June 1 at the Alta Club, Master of Ceremonies Mike Stransky outlined the criteria for the recipient of the annual Madeleine Award for Distinguished Service to the Arts and Humanities award: The person in Utah must have made a distinguished contribution to the arts and humanities, and whose recognition is perhaps overdue; their involvement must be marked not only by comprehensive contributions but also long-term dedication and integrity.
“In the committee’s eyes, this year Senator Haven J. Barlow clearly deserves this recognition,” Stransky said.
Barlow, a Utah native, was elected to the Utah State Legislature in 1952, where he served 42 consecutive years, including three terms as Senate President.
During those years, Gov. J. Braken Lee, “who did not believe in public funding to support the arts, had threatened to terminate the annual funding of $40,000 to the Utah Arts Council … which would have killed the council,” but Barlow convinced Lee to retain the funding “through the sheer force of his personal persuasion,” said Ray Kingston in his remarks prior to the presentation of the award.
Kingston, a personal friend of Barlow, made the nomination for the award; he said that in 1969, Maurice Abravanel, then director of the Utah Symphony, asked Barlow to support legislative funding for the orchestra to perform twice each year at every high school in the state. The legislation passed, and “this watershed event is considered by Senator Barlow … as a highlight and the most significant of his continuous and unflagging support – both publicly and behind the scenes – of state funding for Utah’s artistic and cultural institutions,” Kingston said.
By 1995, the Legislature had designated $1.7 million for public school performances by organizations such as the symphony and the Ririe-Woodbury Dance Company, among others, Kingston added. “Sen. Barlow was the leading political figure in all of these increased appropriations, lending his political support as well as often advocacy and advice to artists and cultural institutions seeking funding for their educational outreach activities and often offering his own personal funds in support.”
Among Barlow’s many other efforts in support of the arts and humanities, he was an advocate for the Hill Aerospace Museum, which was founded in 1981; he also proposed legislation that created the Utah Botanical Center, according to a tribute to him presented in the Utah Legislature in 2012, on the occasion of his 90th birthday.
At the dinner, Kingston, the recipient of the first Madeleine Award for Distinguished Service to the Arts and Humanities award, said this year’s award acknowledges Barlow’s lifelong enrichment of Utah’s culture and education values, particularly “through creating and defending the public policy necessary to make these values available to all Utah citizens of present and future generations. Your leadership in these efforts is unmatched.”
The Madeleine Award recognizes that the Cathedral of the Madeleine is more than a church, said Father Martin Diaz, pastor. Although it is a place where Catholics gather for liturgical celebrations, it also is a place where the community can celebrate the arts, music and dance, as well as offer outreach such as the Good Samaritan program, which serves the homeless. “All people are welcome” at the Cathedral, Fr. Diaz said.
In accepting the award, Barlow said, “I don’t think I’ve really done that much; I just think I’ve been there; I’ve been the right person at the right time.” Others would have done the same in his place, he said, adding that he appreciates the many people in the arts community he has met over the years. “I hope my name will always be worthy of this award. ... In my 92 years I think this is one of the highlights of my life.”