Arts Advocates: Dr. Steven M. Sorenson
Q&A with Dr. Steven M. Sorenson
Dr. Steven M. Sorenson is a radiologist and arts advocate. He serves on the board of directors for the Philharmonic Society of Orange County and the Segerstrom Center for the Arts. Dr. Sorenson is also the president of the Ibex Foundation, which strives to elevate LGBTQ+ youth, and has supported the Irvine Barclay, San Francisco Opera, LA Opera and other organizations. A longtime fan of UCI’s New Swan Shakespeare Festival, he is also a member of both the Claire Trevor Society and the Medici Circle.
Q. What role have the arts played in your life personally?
SMS: My background and profession are science-focused and based in identifiable facts and systems. The arts help me appreciate the humanistic side of life, such as the joy of personal expression, reveling in an artist’s talent, being in awe of movement and voice. Most of all, art brings me sheer joy.
Q. The theme of this issue of CONNECT is “healing communities through the arts.” As a doctor and as someone who supports many arts organizations, what does that theme mean for you?
SMS: We all lost time during the COVID crisis, which forced many people to be alone for long stretches of time. We lost a sense of being part of a community. Now, as that dark cloud passes, art holds the potential to bring people back together, giving us places where we are with each other by sharing incredible experiences. I believe as human beings we are stronger together and sharing in the beauty of all forms of artistic expression truly heals our souls. I hope that through art, people will embrace the healing power of community.
Q. Why is diversity so important to you as a patron of the arts?
SMS: A diverse society and artistic expressions enrich the human experience. In all forms, diversity provides perspectives that broaden our scope of understanding one another. Varied offerings from diverse populations and experiences promote a greater sense of inclusion and build a well-rounded and represented community.
Q. What motivates you to provide philanthropic support to CTSA?
SMS: I’m a better person, friend, professional and family member because of the arts; the arts make me whole. Therefore, supporting CTSA was an easy decision. I want CTSA to succeed and thrive. I also feel it is important that we temper the tone and trajectory of the modern age through the benefits of art. By providing philanthropic support, I can be a small part in ensuring that the arts remain vital and, hopefully, make the world a little bit happier.
Q. You’ve had the opportunity to sit down with CTSA’s new dean, Tiffany Ana López. What are you most looking forward to about her leadership?
SMS: Dean López is an engaging and powerful individual who leads with a heart for advocacy in change. I know students and staff will positively respond to her and her generous approach to teaching, the community and the important roles students have at CTSA. I see her drive and eagerness to help students to succeed, not only in the arts, but in life.
Q. As the new school year kicks off, what are you looking forward to enjoying with CTSA in the coming months?
SMS: I am especially looking forward to attending the Medici Circle Scholarship luncheon in October, where I will get to hear from the scholar I supported about their engagement and development over the summertime. I am equally looking forward to seeing the innovative power of creative expression with regards to the dance, theater and opera productions.
To learn more about ways to support CTSA, contact Sarah Strozza, Director of Development, at 949-824-0629 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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