Showcasing the Arts


2019 Governor’s Awards in the Arts Guidelines


Nomination Deadline: Jan. 11, 2019

The Kentucky Arts Council strongly encourages you to read and understand the Governor’s Awards in the Arts guidelines and instructions before accessing the online nomination.

Like all programs of the Kentucky Arts Council, the Governor’s Awards in the Arts Program is guided by the arts council’s core values. Successful nominations will embody these core values, and all nominators are strongly encouraged to read and reflect upon them before submitting a nomination.

Core Values of the Kentucky Arts Council

Program Purpose

The purpose of the Governor's Awards in the Arts is to recognize, with the Commonwealth's highest honors in the arts, the extraordinary and significant contributions of artists, arts organizations, volunteers, schools, educators, local governments, legislators, and corporate citizens, to the arts in Kentucky or the nation.

The goals of the Governor’s Awards in the Arts are:

Program Description

The 2019 awards will be presented by the Governor of Kentucky at a ceremony and celebration, coordinated by the Kentucky Arts Council. In addition, the arts council coordinates the nomination process by panel and submits the nomination to the Governor’s Office for the Governor’s consideration and approval.

There are nine award categories. Each award category has its own eligibility requirements. The performance expectations are the same for all award categories. However, each award category has specific performance descriptions.

Performance Expectations

Your nomination will be reviewed using the following performance expectations as applied to each award category description:

Milner Award

Artist Award

Business Award

Community Arts Award

Education Award

Folk Heritage Award

Government Award

Media Award

National Award

Who May Be Nominated

Eligible nominations must meet the following specific requirements in each of the award. categories:

Milner Award

Artist Award

Business Award

Community Arts Award

Education Award

Folk Heritage Award

Government Award

Media Award

National Award


Past Governor's Awards in the Arts recipients (see list below) are ineligible for nomination in any category.

Past Recipients

Milner - Governor Julian Carroll, Moritz Bomhard, Jon Jory, James Still, Wendell Cherry, Harriet Simpson-Arnow, Jean Ritchie, Anna L. Huddleston, Barry Bingham Sr., Wendell E. Berry, Robert Penn Warren, Jesse Stuart, Harlowe Dean, Rude Osolnik, Lucille Little, Sherry Jelsma, Homer Ledford, Marilyn Moosnick, Alun Jones, Robert Bruce French, Roy P. Peterson, Crit Luallen, Donna S. Hall, Bill & Josephine D'Amato Richardson, David A. Jones, Glema Mahr, J. Alexander Speer, Owsley Brown II, Jerry E. Baker, Al Shands, Adalin Wichman, William G. Francis, Oakley and Eva Farris, Judi Jennings, Al Smith, Chester and Msiba Ann Grundy, Ruthie Bale

Artist - Harlan Hubbard, Robert S. Whitney, Alma Lesch, Helen Starr, Barney Bright, Ray Fry, Adale O'Brien, Paul Owen, John Tuska, Warren Hammack, Ed Hamilton, Minnie Adkins, David Livingston, George Zack, Lee Sexton, Lee Luvisi, Melvin Dickinson, Moses Goldberg, Arturo Alonzo Sandoval, Elizabeth Hartwell, Jay Flippin, LaVon Van Williams Jr., Vince DiMartino, Chilton Price, Stephen Rolfe Powell, Kenneth von Roenn Jr., Gray Zeitz, Laura Ross, Larnelle Harris, Linda Pigman Fifield, Guy Gerard Kemper, Roger Wilford Cooper

Business - Brown-Forman Corporation, South Central Bell, Ashland Oil, Inc., Philip Morris USA, Humana, Inc., Texas Gas Transmission, Martin Coal Company, Liberty National Bank, Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Trans Financial, Inc., Charlie Johnson/Active Transportation, The Commercial Bank of Grayson, William & Meredith Schroeder, Bank of Louisville, Peoples Bank of Madison County, J. W. Kinzer Drilling Company, Fifth Third Bank, Community Trust Bank, Julius Friedman, Artique, Jewish Hospital & St. Mary's HealthCare, John Timmons/ear X-tacy, Liquor Barn, Hilliard Lyons, Alltech, UK HealthCare Arts in HealthCare Program, 21c Museum Hotel, Lexington Center Corporation Technical Services Department, Big Ass Solutions, Owensboro Health, The Kroger Company

Community Arts - Elmer Lucille Allen, Wayne Smith, Mary Yeiser, Bowling Green-Warren County Arts Commission, G. Caliman Coxe, Emily Wolfson, Ft. Knox Alumni Performing Arts Center, Donna Bradley-Morton, Rowan County Arts Council, Elizabeth Paxton, Fohs Hall Community Arts Foundation, Dorothy Brockman, John Edmonds, Tom Sternal, Appalshop, Jenny Wiley Theatre, Ashland Area Art Gallery, Princeton Art Guild, Cumberland County Arts Council, The Living Arts & Science Center, Roots & Heritage Festival, Billie Jean Osborne, Kenneth H. Clay, Paramount Arts Center, Saundra Kilijian, Master Musicians Festival, Covington Community Center, Jarrett Boyd, Louisville Central Community Centers, Montgomery County Council for the Arts, Nana Yaa Asantewaa, Singletary Center for the Arts, The Baker-Hunt Foundation, Kentucky Book Fair, Kentucky Repertory Theatre, Janice Mason Art Museum, Mayfield/Graves County Art Guild, The National Quilt Museum, Latitude Artist Community, International Bluegrass Music Museum, Market House Theatre, Creative Diversity Studio, Centre College’s Norton Center for the Arts

Education - Henrietta Roush Scott, Hindman Settlement School, Lila Davis Bellando, Kentucky Educational Television, Norma E. Brown, Christian County Schools, Mildred Berkey, Hancock County Schools, Westport Middle School, Jean Green, Bige Towery Jr., Ballard High School, Judy Sizemore, VSA arts of Kentucky, Dr. Diane Roketenetz/James E. Biggs Early Childhood Education Center, Daviess County Public Schools, Nancy Carpenter, Collaborative for Teaching & Learning, Diane Downs, Deborah M. Shannon, Vernell Bennett, Kentucky Shakespeare Festival, The Carnegie Visual and Performing Arts Center, Hazel Carver, The Russell Orchestra, Julie Ann White, Harry Pickens, Melanie Wood, School of Creative and Performing Arts, Christina Hartke Towell, Lexington Children’s Theatre, Carnegie Center for Literacy and Learning, Nathan Link, Miles Osland, RiverPark Center Inc.

Folk Heritage - Eddie Pennington, J. D. Crowe, Lynwood Montell, Lestel Childress, John Harrod, Marvin Finn, Lewis Lamb & Donna Lamb, Cowan Community Action Group, Kentucky Folk Art Center, Loyal Jones, Helen LaFrance Orr, Leona Waddell, Edward White, Bob Gates, Willie D. Rascoe, Hindman Dulcimer Project, Jennifer Zurick

Government - Senator David Karem, Mayor Scotty Baesler, Representative Jody Richards, Congressman Ron Mazzoli, Representative Harry Moberly, Sue Larison, Louisville Regional Airport Authority, Senator Wendell Ford, Mammoth Cave National Park, Mayor Pam Miller, Secretary Ann R. Latta, Center for Economic Development, Entrepreneurship & Technology, City of Paducah Artist Relocation Program, City of Berea, Hindman/Knott County Community Development Initiative, Governor's School for the Arts, Pike County Extension for Fine Arts, City of Covington, City of Maysville, Mountain Arts Center, Congresswoman Louise Slaughter, Congressman John Yarmuth, Kentucky Artisan Center at Berea, City of Danville, Paducah Convention and Visitors Bureau, Kentucky Commission on the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, Lexington Parks & Recreation

Media - Barry Bernson, Cass Irvin, William Mootz, Jane S. Blake, WYMT-TV (Hazard), WKMS Radio (Murray), WEKU/WEKH Radio (Richmond), Lexington Herald-Leader, Kentucky Educational Television, Public Radio Service of Western Kentucky University, WHAS-TV (Louisville), Byron Crawford, Nick Lawrence, Arts Across Kentucky, The Lane Report, Business First of Louisville, WTCR Radio (Ashland), Kentucky Monthly, Morehead State Public Radio, Charlie Hughes, Judith Egerton, Rich Copley, Erika Brady, Jeffrey Lee Puckett, Tom Eblen, Constance Alexander, Dave Shuffett, Paducah Life Magazine, Mountain Workshops

National - George Wolfe, Marsha Norman, Marvin & Morgan Smith, Rosemary Clooney, Christine Johnson Smith, Joe Downing, Sam Gilliam, Barbara Kingsolver, John Henry, The Judd Family - Naomi, Wynonna & Ashley, Ricky Skaggs, The Everly Brothers, Patricia Neal, Suzan-Lori Parks, George Clooney, Annie Potts, Steven Curtis Chapman, Bobbie Ann Mason, Actors Theatre of Louisville, My Morning Jacket, Sam Bush, Wendy Whelan, jahi chikwendiu

Organization - Louisville Visual Art Association

Pioneer - Eben Henson, Arthur Harvey, D.M.A., Phyllis George, Fund for the Arts

Special Recognition - Harry Caudill

Emerging Artist – Jordan Smith

Youth Artist – Adrian Partridge

Who May Nominate

Organizations, businesses or individuals from within or outside of Kentucky may make nominations.

Nominators play a very important role in bringing nominations to the attention of the Governor.

Program Support

The Kentucky Arts Council will offer the following support to ensure that program standards and goals are met:

How to Make a Nomination

See the Governor's Awards for the Arts Nomination Form for details.

Detailed support materials are a valuable component of nominations, but will not be returned. In addition to letters of recommendation, news clippings and published articles are an extremely important part of the nomination process.

It is recommended that supporting materials be limited to 15 pages/pieces of any combination of the above. Letters of support, reviews, and other photocopied materials must be on standard-size (8 ½ x 11 inches), single-sided white paper only. Nominators should carefully prioritize and select support materials. Excessive supporting materials will not be forwarded for committee review. Please do not submit audio or video recordings.

Nominators are welcome to submit nominations in more than one category. A separate nomination form is required for each category.

Nominations will be kept active for three award cycles. Multiple nominations for the same nominee in the same year do not increase the nominee's competitiveness for an award.

Nomination Deadline

Nominations must be postmarked by 4:30 p.m. Eastern time Jan. 11, 2019, or delivered to the Kentucky Arts Council office no later than 4:30 p.m. on that date. The nomination and supporting materials must be: 1) officially postmarked by the U.S. Postal Service, or 2) delivered by a shipping service (e.g., UPS, Federal Express, etc.) with a paid receipt on or before the deadline date, or 3) hand delivered to the arts council office no later than 4:30 p.m. on the deadline date. If the arts council does not receive the nomination by the deadline date via one of the three delivery options, your nomination will be considered ineligible. Packages dated with internal postage meters and nominations sent by FAX or email will not be accepted. Please be aware that your post office may not automatically use a dated postmark. It is highly recommended that you request hand cancellation with the date indicated.

Note: Due to postal regulations, all packages weighing more than 13 ounces must be given directly to a postal clerk at a post office, not dropped in a postal box.

For More Information

The Kentucky Arts Council welcomes all questions regarding this program and nomination form. For more information on this program, contact:

Tom Musgrave
Communications Director
888-833-278 (toll free)


Page last updated: August 15, 2018
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