By Alexandria Autrey
SALT LAKE CITY – Beverley Taylor Sorenson, an advocate for arts and education as well as a highly influential philanthropist, peacefully passed away Monday while being surrounded by loved ones and died of natural causes that were age related.
Beverley was born on April 23, 1924 and grew up in the Great Depression. Growing up she learned a great appreciation for the arts. She married a naval officer, James Levoy Sorenson, and together they created the Sorenson Legacy Foundation, which supports cultural, educational, scientific and community-focused projects that improve the lives of people around the world.
In addition, Sorenson brought together a small group of professional artists and educators to develop a teaching model that integrates high-quality arts instruction into the core curriculum of math, language arts, social studies and science. She also established Art Works for Kids, an innovative philanthropic foundation with the mission of supporting fine arts education in dance, drama, music and visual arts for elementary students in Utah, through partnerships with universities, school districts and community arts organizations.
In 2008, the Utah State Legislature endorsed Sorenson’s efforts and implemented her teaching models in 57 elementary schools across the state, which later grew to 131 Utah elementary schools.
Sorenson’s multifaceted professional and humanitarian efforts have been recognized with six honorary doctorate degrees and a host of other community awards, including, among many others: the Athena Award from the Salt Lake Chamber of Commerce, the Patron of the Arts Award from the Utah Art Education Association, the Living Legacy Award from the Boys and Girls Club and the Eli and Edythe Broad Award for Philanthropy in the Arts from Americans for the Arts.
Funeral services for Mrs. Sorenson will be held on Friday, May 31, 2013, with additional details to follow. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to the Art Works for Kids Foundation.