The 2015 Poster for the Governor's Arts Awards feature's Marty Stuart performing at Festival South in Hattiesburg. Stuart received a Governor's Arts Award in 1999. Photo by James Patterson, designed by Creative Distillery.
The Governor’s Arts Awards are presented annually to outstanding writers, artists, performers, craftsmen and educators who have made significant and lasting contributions through their work as well as to corporations or organizations on the basis of their dedication to arts advancement. Previous winners include B.B. King, James “Super Chikan” Johnson, Mary Katharine Loyacono McCravey, the late Little Milton (Campbell), Dr. David Blackburn, the Mississippi Alliance for Arts Education, USA International Ballet Competition, William Eggleston, Bo Diddley and Charles Burnett.
The 2015 Governor's Arts Awards will be held on Thursday, February 19, 2015 at 6:00pm in the Concert Hall of Belhaven University Center for the Arts at 805 Riverside Drive in Jackson. A public reception will be held at 4:30pm at the Junior League of Jackson (next door to the Belhaven University Center for the Arts). This event is the perfect opportunity to talk with the 2015 recipients before their big moment in the spotlight!
The 6:00pm ceremony is filled with live entertainment by the "Awards Orchestra" conducted by Joseph Briton, and some surprise guests will be a real treat! The ceremony will air live on Mississippi Public Broadcasting's Think Radio and will air that evening at 9:00pm on MPB Television.
Both events are FREE and open to the public!
Throughout history, Mississippi performers have rocked juke joints and raised the roof on sacred spaces. From the hills to the coast, our state is filled with country greats and blues legends. A young Elvis Presley performed Red Foley's country song "Old Shep" in 1941 at the Mississippi Alabama Fair and Dairy Show in Tupelo. Those watching had no idea they experienced the birth of the "King of Rock & Roll." Our orchestras are second to none, and they have accompanied some of the greatest voices of all time. A young Leontyne Price shared her amazing gift with the members of St. Paul's Methodist Church in Laurel, and she went on to become the first African-American singer to earn international acclaim in opera.
This year, the Mississippi Arts Commission salutes the festivals, concert halls, sacred spaces and all the places that support the creative spirit by opening doors and gates to live performances, providing a platform for the artists who have made Mississippi "The Birthplace of America's Music."
The promotional pieces for this year's event feature former recipients who have exhibited, over their long careers, why Misissippi has that special distinction.
All photos by James Patterson and designed by Creative Distillery.
Bobby Rush, recipient in 2013, performs at the Jackson Rhythm & Blues Festival.
James Cotton rocked the house at the 2014 awards ceremony when he was honored for Lifetime Achievement.
MAC would like to thank our 2015 Governor's Awards sponsors for their support of this year's event. Without their generous contributions, the event would not be possible.
Grace & Shinn Lee
John N. Palmer
Gail & Larry A. Albert
Donna & Jim Barksdale
David & Shawn Brevard
Jan & Lawrence Farrington
Lesly Murray & Steve Edds
Nan & Mike Sanders
Peggy & Don Sprabery
Nancy & Bill Yates
Dr. & Mrs. Ronald Schwartz
Nancy & Roy Campbell
Fred & Margaret Carl
Holly & Alan Lange
Lisa & Bill Percy
Marie & Brian Sanderson
Copyright 2006–2014 Mississippi Arts Commission