FRANKFORT, Ky. — Continuing the tradition of recognizing Kentuckians, businesses and arts organizations for outstanding contributions, achievement in and support of the arts, the Kentucky Arts Council today announced the 2013 Governor’s Awards in the Arts.
“I am honored to acknowledge and celebrate the artistic excellence of these Kentucky artists and arts organizations that have influenced culture in the Commonwealth and beyond our borders,” said Gov. Steve Beshear. “I congratulate the 2013 recipients who represent the best of our state’s artistic community.”
The recipients will be recognized at a public ceremony and celebration at 10 a.m. Tuesday, Oct. 29, in the Capitol Rotunda in Frankfort.
The Governor’s Awards in the Arts are presented in nine categories. Award recipients and descriptions of each follow.
Milner Award – Oakley and Eva Farris, of Covington, Ky., have had a major philanthropic impact on northern Kentucky and the arts for many years. The Farrises have given to schools, libraries, museums, civic organizations and arts organizations. Their gifts include a statue of President Abraham Lincoln to Northern Kentucky University, an amphitheater routinely used by acting classes at the school and a reading room in the campus library.
Artist Award – Laura Ross, of Prospect, Ky., has shared her work as a potter for nearly 30 years with the American public through exhibits and shows, as an educator and successful professional artist. Ross’ sense of design, composition, use of color and pattern has influenced many of her contemporaries throughout the southeastern U.S. and beyond. She has received numerous awards and accolades for her work. Ross has exhibited in dozens of galleries and juried exhibits throughout the country.
Business Award – The 21c Museum Hotel in Louisville, Ky., greatly improved the quality of the arts and was significant to the revitalization of Louisville’s downtown. The hotel’s presence became both an economic driver for the community and an oasis where art challenges and amuses patrons, stimulates conversation and provokes new ideas. Much more than a place to spend the night, 21c is an innovative union of genuine Southern hospitality, thoughtful design and culinary creativity — all anchored by world-class contemporary art by today’s emerging and internationally acclaimed artists.
Community Arts Award – In 1985, the International Bluegrass Music Museum in Owensboro, Ky., began to develop — and has since maintained — an environment in which people of all ages can discover the richness of bluegrass music. The museum is the world’s only facility dedicated to the history and preservation of bluegrass music, an important chapter in Kentucky’s musical songbook. Through its exhibits and displays, special events including a video oral history project and the overwhelmingly popular ROMP Festival that attracts thousands of visitors from across the globe, the museum ensures the living legacy of bluegrass music continues.
Education Award – Founded in 1938, Lexington Children’s Theatre (LCT) is a professional, nonprofit organization dedicated to the intellectual and cultural enrichment of young people. LCT creates imaginative, compelling, professional theater experiences and arts education for children and families. One of the oldest continuously operating theaters for youths in the country, LCT is the State Children’s Theatre of Kentucky. Annually, the theater provides theater arts education for as many as 150,000 children throughout the state.
Folk Heritage Award – Edward White, founder and director of the River City Drum Corps in Louisville, Ky., has influenced thousands of children, helping them to become recognized artists carrying on musical traditions in the community that date back to marching bands of Louisville’s segregated schools. While honoring these traditions, he has developed a proven pathway for kids in the West End of Louisville to earn college scholarships through drumming. For more than 30 years, White has dedicated himself to celebrating the musical traditions of the West End and making sure the youths of his area have a strong sense of pride in their unique Kentucky culture.
Government Award – The Kentucky Artisan Center at Berea opened in 2003 to market Kentucky artists, artist products and Kentucky’s rich cultural life. The Center introduces visitors from around the world to works by more than 650 artists from more than 100 Kentucky counties. Artworks include craft, visual art, music, literary works, film and specialty food products — all Kentucky-made. The Kentucky Artisan Center at Berea plays a critical role in representing the state’s arts and artists, providing important economic and technical support, and introducing them to new audiences.
Media Award – Tom Eblen has brought attention to the arts across the state through his work as the Lexington Herald-Leader’s metro columnist. Eblen frequently writes about how the arts intersect with life, culture and community. Through his column and blog, he frequently turns his eye to the arts — their significance in Kentucky’s towns and cities, their importance in education and the schools, and the richness they bring to Kentuckians’ lives, workplaces and neighborhoods.
National Award – Actors Theatre of Louisville has endeavored to be a center for community conversation since its incorporation in 1964. Actors Theatre was named the State Theatre of Kentucky in 1974 and strives to tell the stories that reflect the diversity of the Commonwealth and the human experience. Actors Theatre’s achievements and dedication to the production of new plays have resulted in the theatre receiving many prestigious awards, including being the second theatre to receive the Special Tony Award as an outstanding nonprofit resident theatre. The theater is preparing for its 50th anniversary season.
Nominations for the Governor’s Awards in the Arts are accepted annually from the public. The deadline to make a nomination for the 2014 awards is Nov. 1, 2013. 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.