Gov. Steve Beshear today honored nine Kentuckians with the prestigious Governor’s Awards in the Arts.
“These awardees represent such a rich diversity of background and experience, but they have in common that they have risen above and beyond in their commitment to hone and refine their respective talents. In the case of the organizations we’re also honoring, they have demonstrated a remarkable and fervent commitment to creating an art-friendly community where they live,” said Gov. Beshear, who was presiding over the final Governor’s Award ceremony of his second term. “It has been my privilege as governor to see so many Governor’s Awardees pass through the Rotunda and to honor their contributions to our Commonwealth.”
Lt. Gov. Crit Luallen, a former Commissioner of the Kentucky Department of the Arts, also participated in the awards ceremony.
“The Governor’s Awards in the Arts creates a higher profile for Kentucky’s arts and artists, helping to raise awareness of the Commonwealth’s rich heritage and artistic traditions,” Lt. Gov. Luallen said. “As someone who was involved with the establishment of the Governor’s Awards for the Arts, it has been rewarding to see the vast array of talent and rich contributions that scores of individuals and businesses have made to Kentucky.”
Among the honorees was noted Kentucky journalist and arts advocate Al Smith, the former host of KET’s “Comment on Kentucky” and a former chairman of the Kentucky Arts Council. Gov. Beshear awarded Smith the Milner Award, named in honor of B. Hudson Milner, a Louisville utility executive and civic leader, whose contributions to the arts in Kentucky remain important to this day. The Milner Award is presented to Kentucky residents or organizations located in Kentucky for outstanding philanthropic, artistic or other contributions to the arts.
“The arts council is to be commended not only for investments in programs and arts institutions, but, in recent years, for grants to individual artists that highlight their talents and contribute to our citizens’ appreciation of artists as they raise our vision and nourish our souls,” Smith said.
The other eight Governor’s Awardees, listed by hometown and specific award, were:
The 2015 Governor’s Award was designed by renowned folk artist Minnie Adkins, of Isonville. Artists chosen to design the Governor’s Award each year are selected from among past Governor’s Award recipients. Adkins earned the Governor’s Award in 1998.
For more information on the Governor’s Awards in the arts, including recipient bios and past recipients and descriptions of each award, visit the arts council’sGovernor’s Awards in the Arts web page.
The Kentucky Arts Council, the state arts agency, fosters environments 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. The arts council, along with the NEA, is celebrating 50 years of service in 2015, which the arts council is recognizing as the Year of the Arts in Kentucky.