Nominations for the 2020 Arts Awards are open now! Recognize the amazing accomplishments of creatives, arts and cultural organizations, and local individuals committed to enriching our community through the arts by submitting your nominations for each of the four awards categories: Leadership, Collaboration, Imagination and Inclusion. Submit your nominations here and save the date the 2020 Spokane Arts Awards on Saturday, September 26!

Grantee: Patrick F. McManus, Tim Behrens, & Olivia Brownlee

Project Title: My Favorite Toy Was Dirt! An American Story in Concert
Year awarded: 2017, Round 3

This project is a special collaboration among three artists who have each resided in Spokane for more than 30 years and each of whom has attained a national reputation: humor writer (and retired EWU professor) Patrick F. McManus, composer/arranger and musician Olivia Brownlee, and touring professional actor Tim Behrens. Their goal is to create an original and humorous musical program, that would be presented, initially, to four Spokane area audiences. Then presented regional and eventually, national, concert venues, educational settings and special performance opportunities. The event is a roughly one hour concert performance featuring nine professional musicians and one actor (Tim) performing a complete story by Patrick McManus and original music by Olivia Brownlee.


SAGA funding was used to pay, in part, for the composition itself, and the arranging, scoring, and printing of the piece for all performers. Additionally, SAGA funding served as a catalyst to promote the performances through the various resources from Spokane Arts. Tim Behrens wrote in his proposal, “For us, the most telling signs of success will be laughter, hopefully hard, loud, and delighted laughter. Success will also be measured by tickets sales, reviews from various media, social media response and increased interest in the next performance. We also hope people will leave the theater commenting on the originality, humor and depth of Olivia’s musical composition.”