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Arts Commission News

Mississippi Arts Commission to Host 2017 Governor’s Arts Awards


Jackson, Miss.—Feb. 10, 2017—The Mississippi Arts Commission (MAC) will honor six outstanding contributors to the Mississippi arts at the 29th annual Governor’s Arts Awards on Thursday, Feb. 16. This event spotlights the state's rich cultural resources and honors those who make a lasting impact on the state through their vision and creativity. The 2017 recipients will be honored at an awards ceremony at 6 p.m., preceded by a reception at 4:30 p.m., both at the Old Capitol Museum in Jackson. These events are free of charge and open to the public. Doors will open at 5 p.m. for public seating, which is limited.

The recipients to be honored are:

Sammy Britt - Excellence in Visual Art

 

William R. Ferris - Lifetime Achievement

 

Vasti Jackson - Arts Ambassador

 

Lucy Richardson Janoush - Arts Patron

 

Jaimoe Johnie Johnson - Excellence in Music

 

Mississippi Opera - Artistic Excellence


The awards are presented to individuals and organizations for outstanding work in visual, literary, and performing arts, community development through the arts and arts patronage. Recipients do not have to currently reside in Mississippi, but they must have significant ties to the state through some years of residency.

“Because these six recipients have made a significant and lasting impact on our state’s arts culture, it is fitting to recognize them during Mississippi’s Bicentennial celebration,” said Malcolm White, executive director of MAC. “During this milestone year, the Governor’s Arts Awards will return to the Old Capitol Museum. This beautiful public building hosted the inaugural awards in 1988 and represents the founding and history of our state.” The Governor’s Arts Awards were held at the Old Capitol Museum until the building was damaged by Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

The awards ceremony is presented each year by the Mississippi Arts Commission in partnership with the Governor’s Office. Schools, businesses, organizations, arts initiatives and events are eligible to receive Governor’s Arts Awards, in addition to individual artists and supporters of the arts. Notable past recipients include B.B. King, Eudora Welty, the Center for the Study of Southern Culture and the USA International Ballet Competition.

Award winners are nominated by members of the public and selected by a jury of community arts leaders and industry peers. This year’s jury included George Bassi of the Lauren Rogers Museum; Derek Finley of the Mississippi Developmental Authority; Rolando Herts of the Delta Center for Culture and Learning/Mississippi Delta National Heritage Area at Delta State University; and Mary Margaret Miller of Visit Mississippi.

Each year’s poster for the Governor’s Arts Awards celebrates the artistic heritage of Mississippi. This year’s poster features a black-and-white photograph by acclaimed writer and 1990 Governor’s Arts Award winner Eudora Welty. Taken circa 1935, it pictures the famed ruins of Windsor Mansion near Port Gibson, Miss., and includes the shadow of Ms. Welty herself. Lucy Hetrick of Jackson designed this year’s poster and event materials. William Dunlap designed the award, a winged figure cast in bronze by Larry Lugar of Lugar Foundry.

Read more about the 2017 recipients


About the Governor’s Arts Awards

Schools, businesses, organizations, arts initiatives, and events are eligible to receive Governor’s Arts Awards, in addition to individual artists and supporters of the arts. Notable past recipients include B.B. King, Eudora Welty, the Center for the Study of Southern Culture, and the USA International Ballet Competition.

Recipients do not have to reside in Mississippi, but they must have significant ties to the state through some years of residency. After the general public submits nominations, a group of industry peers review the submitted information and select the recipients.

Donor contributions help MAC make Governor’s Arts Awards a special occasion for those honored. If you are interested in sponsoring February’s event, please contact Communications Director Melia Dicker at mdicker@arts.ms.gov or 601-359-6546.

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