Skip to Content

Moca Local Genius Awards 2016

Also see Local Genius Award Interview with BradLocal Genius Award Interview with Brad Lancaster.

MOCA Local Genius Awards 2016 banner

Administrative office: 265 South Church Avenue Tucson, Arizona 85701 public information phone Media Contact: Randi Dorman cell 520-904-4242 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE MOCA AnnouncesMOCA Local Genius Awardees  celebrating Tucson’s contribution to global excellence

10 November (Tucson, Arizona) – The Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) is pleased to announce that the 2016 MOCA Local Genius Awards recipients will be Brad Lancaster, Rainwater Harvesting Expert; Mort Rosenblum, Journalist; Andrew Weil, M.D., Integrative Medicine Pioneer; and Ofelia Zepeda, Regents’ Professor, Department of Linguistics, University of Arizona.

The MOCA Local Genius Awards honor those visionary and innovative Tucsonans whose activities have a global impact, and whose talents have been internationally recognized. The Awards were founded by MOCA in 2009 and are a testament to the rich intellectual diversity of Tucson and a reflection of MOCA’s commitment to honoring cutting edge creativity in all disciplines and practices.

The Awards are inspired by the ancient Roman concept of genius loci, or “the spirit of place,” the unique sensibility that sets a place apart from others. What is Tucson’s genius loci?  A radical landscape that both challenges and awes, magical light that inspires, endless vistas that remind us of the grand passage of time and a complex history and heritage that provides a rich diversity of thought and sensibility.  Only in Tucson could such a diversity of genius flourish – genius characterized by innovation and creativity, a passionate commitment to one’s pursuits, and to pursuits beyond oneself. Each of the MOCA Local Geniuses are unique contributors to their respective fields and are both a product of and a contributor to Tucson’s unique genius loci.

The contributions of these visionaries to the economic, cultural, and social well-being of Tucson and the world will be celebrated throughout the Spring of 2016 with a series of Local Genius Awards events and lectures at MOCA in downtown Tucson, 265 South Church Avenue. The awards will be presented at the MOCA Local Genius Awards Gala on 16 April 2016. The Gala will be co-chaired by Kim Bourn and Randi Dorman; Local Genius Emeritus Janos Wilder, of Downtown Kitchen + Cocktails and The Carriage House, will provide catering.

MOCA Board President Courtney Johnson says, “It is such a thrill for the museum to announce these Geniuses. This year’s recipients are leaders and innovators in their fields and have influenced and changed the lives of countless people around the globe. It is the museum’s mission to inspire and champion innovation; we find ourselves humbled and in turn inspired by the far-reaching accomplishments of these brilliant members of our community.”

City of Tucson Mayor Jonathan Rothschild adds, “Congratulations to this year’s stellar group of Local Geniuses. You honor us with your unique versions of intellectual richness that helps educate many and make Tucson thrive. We all look forward to coming together as a community to honor and celebrate you in the months ahead.”

2016 MOCA Local Genius Awardees

Brad Lancaster – Leading expert in the field of rainwater harvesting and water management, and author of the book series Rainwater Harvesting for Drylands and Beyond. He is also a permaculture teacher, designer, consultant and co-founder of the Neighborhood Foresters and Desert Harvesters non-profit organizations.

Mort Rosenblum – Reporter, author, and educator, has covered stories on seven continents since the 1960s. Past editor of the International Herald Tribune; special correspondent for the Associated Press; AP bureau chief in Africa, Southeast Asia, Argentina, and France; and founding editor of the quarterly, dispatches.  He teaches international reporting at the University of Arizona and is a champion of journalistic integrity.

Andrew Weil, M.D. – Harvard-trained M.D. and world-renowned leader and pioneer in integrative medicine. Dr. Weil is the Founder and Director of the University of Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine, Clinical Professor of Medicine, and best-selling author of 13 books on health, wellness, and natural and preventive medicine.

Ofelia Zepeda – Regents’ Professor of Linguistics at the University of Arizona who champions the preservation of the Tohono O’odham language and promotes literacy in the language. She wrote the standard textbook used to teach the Tohono O’odham language and was the Poet Laureate of Tucson, Arizona.

Clockwise from top left: Brad Lancaster, Mort Rosenblum, Ofelia Zepeda, Andrew Weil, M.D.

About MOCA
Established by artists in 1999, the Museum of Contemporary Art Tucson (MOCA) produces contemporary and innovative exhibitions, education, and Artist in Residence programs. MOCA Tucson’s mission is to inspire new ways of thinking through the cultivation, exhibition, and interpretation of cutting-edge art of our time. MOCA Tucson is generously supported by The National Endowment for the Arts, the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, and through our members and donors.

Local Genius Award

A special performance during the 2013 MOCA Local Genius Awards.

Bird’s-eye view of the 2015 MOCA Gala.