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Arts advocate

Published May 29, 2013 5:35 pm

Thanks to Beverley Taylor Sorenson
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

In one corner, science, technology, engineering and mathematics, the so-called STEM subjects that increasingly command the public education landscape. In the other, Beverley Taylor Sorenson, patron extaordinaire and champion for teaching Utah's young people about the arts and their capacity not only to enrich their own and others' lives, but to enhance the pursuit of knowledge in any subject.

Central to Sorenson's philanthropic genius was the notion that the teaching of arts and sciences need not be a boxing match at all, but a congenial integration of the two to the advantage of both. For example, using the arts to more easily explain difficult-to-understand mathematical concepts. Her Beverley Taylor Sorenson Arts Learning Program combines arts and core subjects in grade schools under teachers specially trained at Utah colleges and universities. With help from the Legislature, the program will reach 130 schools next year.

At her death Monday at 87, Sorenson left a legacy that will, with continued state and private support, reverberate for generations in the curriculum of Utah public schools.