Maggie and Dale Warren, longtime local art supporters, chosen for 2017 Liz Stratton Arts Patron Award

Maggie and Dale Warren’s home and garden are a testament to the award they’re being honored for next month. Selected to receive the 2017 Liz Stratton Arts Patron Award, the two are enthusiastic arts supporters.


Throughout their home, paintings of all sizes adorn the walls, by local artists such as Cally Krallman, Stan Herd, Brian Slawson and dozens of others. In the backyard, about five different sculptures are nestled into the foliage and small Koi pond.

A favorite of Maggie’s, titled “Endangered Species,” is a work by Jim Brothers, which the couple purchased for their home a few years ago. The piece depicts a farmer, which Maggie said reminded her of her father.

The Warrens will be recognized for their patronage to the arts on Saturday, Nov. 4 at the annual Arty Awards in the Topeka Capital-Journal warehouse.

The Arty Awards are an annual community gathering recognizing the best and the brightest of the arts in Topeka.

“The Arty Awards is more than just another party,” said ARTSConnect executive director Sarah Fizell. “There are people who work every day to make the arts come to life, and every single person in this community benefits from that work and dedication. We are incredibly lucky to live in a city which places such strong emphasis on the arts, and this is our way of giving back and shining a light on all of that hard work.”

This event raises funds for ARTSConnect, explained Fizell, which means the organization is able to continue working to support and strengthen the arts across Topeka.

The Liz Stratton Arts Patron Award recognizes those offering broad and generous support. The Warrens have been critical supporters of the arts, involved with the Topeka Symphony Society, the Mulvane Art Museum and Topeka Civic Theatre.

Maggie explained that the symphony has always been close to her heart, while Dale Warren spent years as president of SAMCO, a heating, ventilating and air conditioning service that donated labor and parts to maintaining the civic theater.

She said together they enjoy the Mulvane Art Museum, having both graduated from Washburn University, and that it’s one of the many galleries they visit downtown.

“On First Friday I would say one of our favorite spots is the Westboro Mart area,” Maggie said. “Over the years it’s changed somewhat, but there used to be two or three galleries in the area.”

The Glass Expressions shop was a particular favorite of the Warren’s before it closed, as well as Beauchamp’s Art Gallery, where Maggie said they purchase a lot of their pieces.

”In general I think the arts community is great in Topeka,” Maggie said. “We travel to various other places in the country and visit exhibits and see artists and go to shows, and they’re different, but we still think that the Topeka arts community is quite wonderful.”

Other awards at the Nov. 4 fundraiser include community arts, visual arts, performing arts and literary arts, among others. The categories highlight the importance of the arts in Topeka, and voting is currently underway to determine the winner of the People’s Choice Award, the favorite business to visit during First Friday Art Walks, which will be announced at the Arty Awards.

Tickets to the event are $55 until Oct. 7, when prices go up to $65. Attendees can expect to receive complimentary beverages, dessert and more. Following the awards, DJ Johnny Quest will be on the turntables; dancing shoes are encouraged.

“If you’ve ever attended an ARTSConnect party, you’ll know that it’s an experience like no other,” Fizell said.

Tickets can be purchased at For information, call (785) 380-7890.

Contact reporter Savanna Maue at (785) 295-5621 or @CJFoodFun or @SavannaMaue on Twitter.