Governor's Awards in the Arts Recognizes Outstanding Achievements and Contributions
FRANKFORT, Ky. – The Kentucky Arts Council announces the 2007-2008 recipients of the Governor's Awards in the Arts, to be honored by Governor Steve Beshear at a public ceremony and celebration on Wednesday, October 1, 2008, at 10:00 a.m. in the Capitol Rotunda in Frankfort.
"The recipients of these awards are a testimony to the value of the arts in Kentucky," said Gov. Beshear. "They actively demonstrate how the arts are a tool for building vibrant communities, enhancing economic development, creating successful learning strategies and enriching individual's lives."
The Governor's Awards in the Arts recipients are selected in nine different categories, with the Milner Award being the most prestigious and the first, which was established by the Kentucky Arts Council in 1978, after the late B. Hudson Milner.
Owsley Brown II is the 2007-2008 recipient of the Milner Award, which recognizes outstanding individual commitment to the arts and their role in the economy, community and culture of Kentucky.
Suzan-Lori Parks, a playwright born in Ft. Knox, Kentucky will receive the National Award in recognition of her artistic achievement reaching national acclaim.
Vince DiMartino will receive the Artist Award for lifetime achievement in the arts.
John Timmons and ear X-tacy, will receive the Business Award for outstanding support of the arts and artists in Kentucky.
Kentucky Repertory Theatre will receive the Community Arts Award for significant contributions to Horse Cave and the surrounding region.
Julie Ann White will receive the Education Award to recognize her significant contributions to arts education in Owensboro and for the Kentucky Department of Education.
Cowan Community Action Group will receive the Folk Heritage Award for its role in promoting and conserving Kentucky's traditional arts.
City of Covington will receive the Government Award for its significant support of the arts through economic development and historic preservation programs.
Charlie Hughes, founder of Wind Publications and publisher of "Kentucky Literary Newsletter" will receive the Media Award for his commitment to bringing the arts to the attention of the public.
The Kentucky Arts Council administers the Governor's Awards in the Arts selection process. Nominations are solicited from the public, reviewed by a selection committee and presented to the Governor for final approval. Nominations for the 2009 awards will be accepted until March 1, 2009.
The Kentucky Arts Council is a state agency in the Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet that 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, which believes that a great nation deserves great art.
NOTE TO EDITORS: More detailed information about the recipients of the 2007-2008 Governor's Awards in the Arts is listed below.
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2007-2008 Governor Awards in the Arts Recipients
Owsley Brown II (Milner)
Recently retired chairman and chief executive officer of Brown-Forman Corporation, Owsley Brown has provided many years of charismatic leadership in corporate and personal support for a range of important Kentucky arts organizations, including Actors Theatre of Louisville, The Speed Art Museum, Kentucky Opera, Louisville Ballet and the Kentucky Center for the Arts. Brown has served on the boards of multiple arts organizations, led major capital campaigns in the arts, presided as chairman and president of the Greater Louisville Fund for the Arts, and is active in The Partnership for Creative Economies and the International Council of Trustees for the World Conference of Religions for Peace.
Suzan-Lori Parks (National)
The first African-American woman to win the Pulitzer Prize for Drama, Parks has published a novel, written numerous screenplays, garnered two Obie Awards, received grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Rockefeller and Ford Foundations, and is a 2001 recipient of a MacArthur Foundation “Genius” Award. Parks was born in Fort Knox, Kentucky, and her plays have been produced locally at the University of Louisville and the Humana Festival of Actors Theatre of Louisville.
Vince DiMartino (Artist)
One of the nation’s most sought-after trumpet performers and educators, DiMartino is a graduate of the Eastman School of Music, has taught at the University of Kentucky, been a Distinguished Artist in Residence at Centre College, served as Music Chair and is currently coordinator of the Centre College Instrumental Program, where he was recently named to the endowed chair of Matton Professor of Music. DiMartino has been the lead and solo trumpet in the bands of Lionel Hampton, Chuck Mangione and Clark Terry, has been a soloist with major national symphony orchestras, and is the co-founder of The Great American Band Festival in Danville, Kentucky.
John Timmons/ear X-tacy (Business)
Owner and founder of ear X-tacy retail store and records, John Timmons has produced numerous titles of over 30 Kentucky artists, performing a wide variety of musical styles. Timmons' efforts in providing an outlet for musicians to release original music are genuinely altruistic and a valuable professional-development service to the local arts community.
Kentucky Repertory Theatre (Community Arts)
Formerly Horse Cave Theatre, this nationally-recognized professional theatre is the only Equity, year-round, arts-producing organization in a large portion of south-central Kentucky. As Horse Cave’s largest employer, Kentucky Repertory Theatre develops and produces plays by Kentucky playwrights, provides theatre education for thousands of local students, and attracts significant tourist investment in a rural and underserved area of the state.
Julie Ann White (Education)
Thousands of students have benefited from the significant work Julie Ann White has done as the Owensboro Public School’s Fine and Performing Arts Specialist, including: assisting the state’s Department of Education revise Kentucky’s Basic Skills in the Arts Curriculum by coordinating the music, art, drama and dance K-12 programs; initiating an annual week-long Fine Arts Festival in cooperation with RiverPark Center; developing piano labs in all district schools; creating partnerships with local colleges and arts organizations to provide concerts and music education programs; managing a young-musicians summer institute, now in its 32nd year; and founding the Brescia Boys Choir and a number of other local choral groups. White is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Owensboro Public School Teacher of the Year, Kentucky Elementary Music Teacher of the Year and Owensboro Mayor’s Award for Excellence.
Cowan Community Action Group (Folk Heritage)
Through its annual summer Cowan Creek Mountain School, monthly square dances and an after-school program of mountain music and storytelling for children, this community-based organization has revitalized southeastern Kentucky’s folk traditions in one of the most remote and economically distressed communities in the state. The Cowan Community Action Group plays an important role in passing on Kentucky’s music to a new generation.
City of Covington (Government)
This northern Kentucky city has energetically implemented a series of economic development and historic preservation programs through the arts, including establishment of the Covington Arts District with an Artisan’s Enterprise Center, development of a Web site to link local artists and creative businesses, initiation of a national advertising campaign to market the Arts District and available properties, sponsorship of special low-interest homeowner and technology-zone loan programs, and management of the Arts and Cultural Strategic Plan to ensure effective coordination and support of cultural projects and programs.
Charlie Hughes (Media)
Charlie Hughes is founder of Wind Publications, which since 1993 has published books by award-winning Kentucky authors, including George Ella Lyons and Charles Semones. Hughes also publishes the Kentucky Literary Newsletter, which provides information about literary events such as readings, book signings, book fairs, festivals and conferences to nearly 2,000 online subscribers.