Governor’s Arts Awards

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.

Nomination form for 2016 Governor's Arts Awards



Governor & Mrs. Bryant with the 2015 recipients of the Governor's Arts Awards



The 2015 Governor's Arts Awards was held on Thursday, February 19, 2015 in the Concert Hall of Belhaven University Center for the Arts


The 2015 Promotional Materials

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.


2015 Governor's Awards Sponsors

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.

Premier Partners                                

Mississippi Public Broadcasting

Peavey Electronics


Principal Partner                                            


Ergon, Inc.

Grace & Shinn Lee

John N. Palmer


Grand Patrons                                      

Gail & Larry A. Albert


Donna & Jim Barksdale

David & Shawn Brevard

Chevron Products Company

Myrna Colley-Lee

Community Foundation of Greater Jackson

EastGroup Properties

Jan & Lawrence Farrington

Lesly Murray & Steve Edds

Nan & Mike Sanders

Sanderson Farms

Peggy & Don Sprabery

Trustmark National Bank

Nancy & Bill Yates


Canizaro Cawthon Davis Architects

The Citizens Bank  

Mississippi Arts & Entertainment Center                                          

Dr. & Mrs. Ronald Schwartz



Nancy & Roy Campbell 

Fred & Margaret Carl

Holly & Alan Lange

Lisa & Bill Percy

Carol Puckett                                          

Marie & Brian Sanderson

Jay Weiner

Williams, Pitts & Beard, PLLC


Complete listing of previous Governor's Arts Award recipients