Governor's Awards in the Arts recognize outstanding achievements and contributions
FRANKFORT, Ky. — The Kentucky Arts Council announces the 2011 recipients of the Governor’s Awards in the Arts, the Commonwealth’s highest honor in the arts. The recipients will be recognized by Gov. Steve Beshear at a public ceremony and celebration on October 20, 2011, in the Capitol Rotunda, Frankfort.
“These people have done so much to advance the arts in Kentucky and bring attention to Kentucky as a great place to live, work and play,” said Gov. Beshear. “Their contributions have been generous and their achievements extraordinary.”
The Governor’s Awards in the Arts are presented in nine different categories. The Milner Award is the most prestigious. It was established by the Kentucky Arts Council in 1978 and named in honor of the late B. Hudson Milner. Adalin Wichman of Lexington is the 2011 recipient of this award. An internationally recognized artist who designed the coveted Eclipse Award trophy presented annually by the National Thoroughbred Racing Association, Wichman has made numerous artistic and philanthropic contributions to the arts in Kentucky.
Perhaps the single most recognizable performer of contemporary gospel music, Steven Curtis Chapman receives the National Award. Chapman has produced 20 albums of contemporary Christian rock and pop music, won five Grammy Awards and 56 Gospel Music Association (GMA) Dove Awards and been named GMA artist of the year seven times. A native of Paducah, Ky., Chapman and his wife have been recognized nationally for their charity efforts, especially in the areas of adoption and Hurricane Katrina recovery.
Kenneth F. vonRoenn Jr. of Louisville is the recipient of the Artist Award, which recognizes a lifetime of achievement by an artist who works in any discipline and resides in Kentucky. One of America’s most celebrated glass artists, vonRoenn has created significant public art works in Louisville and around the nation. He is also one of the founding artists in creating Louisville’s glass arts center, Glassworks.
The Business Award honors a Kentucky business for outstanding support of the arts. Alltech®, with world headquarters in Lexington, Ky., is this year’s business award recipient. Beginning in 2009 Alltech provided key sponsorship and stimulus for a wide range of arts and cultural events in connection with the 2010 FEI World Equestrian Games™. Significant among these was the Alltech Fortnight Festival, which featured performances by a number of high-profile artists in communities across the Commonwealth.
The Community Arts Award honors a Kentucky individual or organization that has made a positive impact on the community through the arts. The National Quilt Museum in Paducah is the 2011 recipient. Celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, The National Quilt Museum is the largest quilt museum in the world and an anchor organization in the cultural life of Paducah.
The Education Award, for significant contributions to the arts in education, is awarded to a Kentucky individual, school, school district or organization. The School for the Creative and Performing Arts (SCAPA) in Lexington receives the award for 2011. As part of the Fayette County Public School District, SCAPA has provided students who are especially talented and/or interested in the arts the opportunity to develop and enhance their abilities since 1987.
Helen LaFrance Orr of Mayfield receives the Folk Heritage Award for 2011. In spite of having various full-time non-arts occupations, 90-year old LaFrance Orr has always found time to paint and has gained recognition as one of the foremost folk artists in America.
The Government Award for significant support for the arts through government action is awarded to a government entity or leader. This year’s recipient is Louise Slaughter, a native of Harlan County. Congresswoman Slaughter, representing New York’s 28th Congressional District, has achieved a significant level of leadership as the chair of the influential House Committee on Rules. Among her committee responsibilities is membership in the Congressional Arts Caucus, for which she has been longtime co-chair.
Erika Brady of Bowling Green receives the Media Award, which honors a Kentucky journalist or media organization with an outstanding commitment to bringing the arts to the attention of the public. Brady, a professor of folk studies at Western Kentucky University, is the co-host of Barren River Breakdown, a public radio program presenting traditional music.
Nominations for the Governor’s Awards in the Arts are accepted annually from the public. The Kentucky Arts Council coordinates the nomination and selection process for recommendation to the governor.
The Kentucky Arts Council, the state arts agency, creates opportunities for Kentuckians to value, participate in and benefit from the arts. Kentucky Arts Council funding is provided by the Kentucky General Assembly and the National Endowment for the Arts.
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