Friday, February 18, 2011

“VocalEssence presents fifth annual 'Reatha Clark King Award' to Sharon Sayles Belton” March 4, 2011

[Sharon Sayles Belton]

Press Release
“MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. (February 2, 2011) – The Reatha Clark King Award for Excellence and Youth Motivation through the Cultural Arts was developed by VocalEssence to celebrate and recognize those who provide the resources to help organizations come closer to their vision, and those who are in the field empowering youth through direct contact, making a way for them to be as successful as they can be. On Friday, March 4, 2011, Sharon Sayles Belton will be presented with the Reatha Clark King Award for Excellence and Youth Motivation through the Cultural Arts on stage at the VocalEssence WITNESS concert at Orchestra Hall. Artist Ta-Coumba Aiken creates a one-of-a-kind framed art glass tile which is presented to the winners as a memento of the award.

“Sharon Sayles Belton is currently vice president of Community Relations and Government Affairs for Thomson Reuters. Sayles Belton’s career has been forged on a lifetime dedicated to public service and creating public-private opportunities. She is a senior fellow at the Hubert Humphrey Institute at the University of Minnesota and is a nationally recognized expert on public safety, neighborhood livability and economic development. In 1993, Sayles Belton was the first African American and the first woman to be elected mayor of Minneapolis, Minnesota in the city’s 140-year history. During her tenure as mayor from 1994 to 2001, she facilitated the creation of the nationally recognized Phillips Partnership to address public safety, job creation and quality housing in one of the highest-crime, poorest neighborhoods in Minneapolis.

“'We recognize Sharon Sayles Belton for her work with neighborhood revitalization. Her work as co-founder of the Harriet Tubman Shelter for Battered Women and the National Coalition Against Sexual Assault is invaluable. In addition, she was instrumental in getting the City of Minneapolis to support the World Choral Symposium held here in 2002. We were especially grateful to have had her serve on the board of VocalEssence from 2002 to 2008,' said VocalEssence Artistic Director Philip Brunelle.

“In her role, Sayles Belton directs government affairs activities, focusing on key issues that impact the legal businesses of Thomson Reuters as well as its customers and employees. In addition, she leads the company’s community outreach efforts through community relations and sponsorships to ensure greater connectivity between individual programs/activities and the company’s mission, values and goals.

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