The Mizel Museum is honored to announce Anna and John J. Sie as the recipients of the 2010 Community Cultural Enrichment Award. The award will be presented to this outstanding couple at the 20th gala dinner on May 27, 2010 at Wings Over the Rockies, 7711 E. Academy Blvd. in Denver.
Since 1990, the Mizel Museum acknowledges outstanding contributions to the arts with the Community Cultural Enrichment Award at an annual dinner gala. Among past prestigious recipients are Dean Singleton, Norman Brownstein, and 2007 honoree Mayor John Hickenlooper. The 2010 award is a dual presentation honoring the Sies for giving back to the community in Colorado through philanthropic support of education, arts and culture, and health services.
In 2005, John and his wife Anna established the Anna and John J. Sie Foundation. The Foundation is a supporter of The Children Hospital; the University of Colorado system; the University of Denver’s “SIÉ CHÉOU-KANG Center for International Security and Diplomacy”; the Denver School of Science and Technology (DSST); the Denver Art Museum; and numerous other civic, cultural and educational institutions.
The Anna and John J. Sie Foundation is a catalyst for improving the lives of people with Down syndrome. In September of 2008, the Foundation became the founding donor of the Linda Crnic Institute for Down Syndrome, the first global institute to encompass basic research, clinical research and clinical care specifically for people with Down syndrome. The bold mission of the institute is to eradicate the medical and cognitive ill effects associated with the condition. The institute partners are The Children’s Hospital, the University of Colorado Denver School of Medicine, and the University of Colorado Boulder.
Anna Sie, a native of Italy, immigrated to the US in 1955 and grew up in New Jersey. Only a pre-teen, Anna was thrown into the difficult role of caring for her father and brothers and became the woman of the house. Her passion for the welfare of children was forged through her own experience in coming to America. Anna Sie spends most of her free time with her four grandchildren, while staying actively involved in many Italian-related endeavors in Colorado, including endowing the Anna Maglione-Sie Chair in Italian Language and Culture-the first endowment in languages at the University of Denver and establishing the Maria and Tommaso Maglione Italian Filmmaker Award at the Denver Starz Film Festival.
John J. Sie, a native of China, came to the U.S. in 1950 at the age of 14. Sie is founder, former Chairman and CEO of Starz Entertainment Group LLC (SEG) and is recognized as a leading figure in television media. In 1989, against all media wonks, Sie submitted the only white paper urging Congress and the FCC to adopt an all digital HDTV standard, a move that dramatically changed the landscape of television in the US and the world. Many people consider John Sie as the father of digital television. Sie is committed to bridging the US-China relationship through mutual understanding, dialog and respect. He is a board member of the Denver Art Museum, the University of Denver and the Linda Crnic Institute for Down Syndrome.
In 2007, Anna and John received the “Torch of Liberty Award” from the ADL Mountain States Region. Motivated by a personal commitment to philanthropy Sie remarked, “Anna and I lived the American Dream as immigrants to this country. All my life, my modus operandi is to see what is possible, regardless of conventional wisdom, and doing the seemingly improbable.”
As the largest annual Colorado fundraiser, the Annual Gala Dinner is instrumental in sustaining the programs offered by the Mizel Museum. Proceeds from the dinner go toward operational support and projects of the Mizel Museum which now encompass three locations. Babi Yar Park, located at Havana and Yale in southeast Denver is an open air memorial to those lost in the Holocaust in the Ukraine will become a memorial to victims of world terror. The CELL, or Center for Empowering Living and Learning, is a 6000 square-foot center of learning and awareness tracking terrorism around the world through an experimental and interactive exhibit “Anyone, Anytime, Anywhere: Understanding the Threat of Terrorism.”