Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Utah Philanthropist and Arts Education Advocate Beverley Sorenson Dies at 89

Utah philanthropist and arts education advocate Beverley Taylor Sorenson has died at the age of 89. Beverley and her late husband James LeVoy Sorenson devoted millions of dollars to cultural, educational, and scientific projects in the state.

In recent years, Beverley Sorenson is best known for her efforts to expand arts education in Utah. In 2011, she was awarded the Salt Lake Chamber’s Athena award for her efforts to integrate arts curriculum into elementary schools across the state. Chamber President Lane Beattie says her work has benefitted thousands of children, and will have an impact for generations to come.

“What she has done to take arts into schools, and help children with not just art - meaning drawing - but theater and music, and every aspect and culture… she really believes that opportunities people have in their lives are enhanced by arts,”  Beattie says.

Sorenson had 8 children and 49 grandchildren. Her son Jim Sorenson - also a major philanthropist - says his mother will be remembered in the family for her love for others, her empathy, and her service.

“You know, my mother really loved the underdog, the disadvantaged, the misunderstood,” Sorenson says. “Her time, her efforts, and devotion really was in making this world a better place for everybody.”

Jim Sorenson says the family will carry on with his mother’s goal to bring the arts to every child in Utah schools. He says, with the support of the community and the state legislature, Beverly Sorenson’s dream could be fulfilled within 5 years.

Andrea Smardon is new at KUER, but she has worked in public broadcasting for more than a decade. Most recently, she worked as a reporter and news announcer for WGBH radio. While in Boston, she produced stories for Morning Edition, Marketplace Money, and The World. Her print work was published in The Boston Globe and Prior to that, she worked at Seattleââ
KUER is listener-supported public radio. Support this work by making a donation today.