Governor's Arts Awards

 
woman speaking at podium

Established in 1991, the annual Governor's Arts Awards program recognizes Arkansas artists, arts patrons, arts educators, arts organizations and businesses for their outstanding contributions to the arts community. Recipients are nominated by the public, then selected by an independent panel of arts professionals from around the state. Each recipient receives an original work of art created by an Arkansas artist. The deadline to nominate for the 2022 Governor's Arts Awards is Friday, Sept. 3, 2021. Awardees are honored during a special luncheon and ceremony in March. 

Award Categories

Arts Community Development Award

A civic leader who has taken a leadership role in creating an environment for artists and the arts to flourish in his/her local community. Potential nominees include arts administrators, elected public officials, and community volunteers.

Arts in Education Award

An individual or organization that has made significant contributions in integrating the arts into the educational curriculum within the school system or through creating educational opportunities in the arts outside the school setting

Corporate Sponsorship of the Arts Award

An Arkansas for-profit business that has made a significant contribution in support of the arts in this state. This does not include foundations associated with for-profit businesses, stand-alone foundations or 501 ( c )(3) nonprofits.

Folklife Award

An individual or group that has made outstanding contributions in the performance or creation of traditional arts and/or folkways in Arkansas and has contributed to the perpetuation of these traditions.

Individual Artist Award

An artist active in the field of architecture, contemporary crafts, design, film, literature, performing arts or visual arts who has made significant contributions to his/her art form.

Patron Award

An individual or family who has made significant philanthropic contributions to the development of the arts.

Lifetime Achievement Award

An artist or group whose contributions to the arts over a lifetime has fostered significant recognition, or an art patron whose lifetime of dedication to the development and support of the arts will sustain the arts beyond his/her lifetime.

 

The Selection Process

Every year, the Arkansas Arts Council seeks nominations of potential Governor's Arts Award recipients from the community. An independent panel of arts professionals from around the state select the recipients, which are honored at a luncheon and ceremony.

Nominees must be current Arkansas residents or Arkansas-based corporations or organizations. Outstanding artists, arts patrons, corporate sponsors, arts education coordinators and local leaders in arts development are all eligible.

Current Arkansas Arts Council members, staff of the Department of Arkansas Heritage or their immediate families and selection committee members are not eligible to nominate or be nominated. Posthumous nominations will not be accepted. Past recipients are not eligible in the category for which they have received a previous Governor’s Arts Award.

Nominees are judged on the following criteria:

  • The significance of the contributions and achievements of the nominee, as related to the arts.
  • The range of individuals and groups served by the nominee’s contributions.
  • The length of time and the degree of the nominee’s dedication to the arts.

 

1997 - Benini - Hot Springs

1998 - Charlotte Rierson - Fairfield Bay

1999 - Ken Bailey & Jim Gresham - Harrison 

2000 - Nancy Hendricks - Fayetteville

2001 - Carlos Price - Hope

2002 - Ray Baker - Fort Smith

2003 - Betty Jo Hays - Hope

2004 - Steve Arrison - Hot Springs

2005 - Dwight Hobbs Curry - Fort Smith 

2006 - Mayor Jim Dailey - Little Rock

2007 - Dick Trammel - Rogers

2008 - Paul Leopoulos - North Little Rock

2009 - Beth James Burns - El Dorado

2010 - Robert Ginsburg - Fayetteville

2011 - John Gaudin - North Little Rock

2012 - Jeff Baskin - North Little Rock

2013 - Bob Ford and Amy Herzberg - Fayetteville

2015 - Remica Gray - Texarkana

2016 - Dr. Dean Kumpuris - Little Rock

2017 - Sam and Barbara Tobias - Mena

2018 - Peggy Kjelgaard - Eureka Springs 

2019 - Steve Clark - Fort Smith

2020 - Gretchen Hall - Little Rock

2021 - Pat Qualls-Taylor - Jonesboro

1991 - Dorisenne Hill - Little Rock

1992 - Donna Wallace - Batesville

1993 - Winston Taylor - Russellville

1994 - Dr. Mary Hamilton - Magnolia

1995 - Glynn Calahan - El Dorado

1996 - Andee Evers - Pocahontas

1997 - Lynda Lyon - Hot Springs

1998 - Susan Turner Purvis - Little Rock

1999 - Frankie Goza - Arkadelphia

2000 - Dianna Denton - Morrilton

2001 - Cross County Arts Council - Wynne

2002 - Crittenden Arts Council - West Memphis

2003 - Fred Boosey - Little Rock

2004 - Linda McLeod - Springdale

2005 - Fort Smith Symphony (Organization) - Fort Smith

2005 - Patricia Relph (Individual) - Fayetteville

2006 - Brenda Turner - Little Rock

2007 - Walton Arts Center - Fayetteville

2008 - Zinse Agginie - Little Rock/Hope

2009 - Arkansas Symphony Orchestra Guild - Little Rock

2010 - Dr. Neale and Elaine Bartee - Jonesboro

2011 - Nicole Capri - Little Rock

2012 - Christen Burke Pitts and Clayton Scott - North Little Rock, Fayetteville

2013 - Paul Leopoulos - North Little Rock

2015 - DeltaARTS - West Memphis

2016 - The Arts & Science Center for Southeast Arkansas - Pine Bluff

2017 - Art Porter Music Education - Little Rock

2018 - David Woolly - Alma

2019 - The Center for Children and Youth - Fayetteville

2020 - Jeannie Hulen - West Fork

2021 - Kai Coggin of Hot Springs

1991 - Worthen Bank - Pine Bluff

1992 - St. Joseph's Regional Medical Center - Hot Springs

1993 - American Cablevision - West Memphis

1994 - J M Products - Little Rock

1995 - International Paper Company Foundation - Pine Bluff

1996 - Murphy Oil Corporation - El Dorado

1997 - Stone & Ward, Inc. - Little Rock

1998 - Arkansas Blue Cross & Blue Shield - Little Rock

2000 - Southwestern Bell Wireless - Fort Smith - Fort Smith

2001 - The Bank of Fayetteville - Fayetteville

2002 - Zero Mountain, Inc. of Fort Smith - Fort Smith

2003 - Simmons First National Bank, Corp. Headquarters - Pine Bluff

2004 - Tyson Foods, Inc. - Springdale

2005 - The Sentinel Record - Hot Springs

2006 - Lennox Industries,Inc. - Stuttgart

2007 - Greenwood and Associates Inc. - Fayetteville

2008 - Brackett - Krennerich & Associates Architects - Jonesboro

2009 - Land O'Frost - Searcy

2010 - 1886 Crescent Hotel & Spa - Eureka Springs

2011 - Thoma Thoma - Little Rock

2012 - TRUE Marketing - Jonesboro

2013 - Mitchell, Williams, Selig, Gates & Woodyard, PLLC - Little Rock

2015 - Entergy Arkansas - Little Rock

2016 - Deltic Timber Corporation - El Dorado

2017 - Wright, Lindsey & Jennings LLP - Little Rock

2018 - Highlands Oncology Group - Fayetteville

2019 - Murphy USA - El Dorado 

2020 - Arkansas Health and Wellness - Little Rock

2021 - Bylites, Inc. - Little Rock

1997 - Kerri Jucas - El Dorado

1998 - Kelly Grooms - Pocahontas

2000 - M.G. Miller - Fayetteville 

1997 - Jerry Fisk - Washington

1998 - Sondra Torchia - Eureka Springs

2007 - Rex Harral - Wilburn

2008 - Ruby Sales Rayder - Lake Village

2009 - Frank Jones - Conway

2010 - Still on the Hill - Fayetteville

2011 - Mike Shirkey - Fayetteville

2012 - Marty Phillips - Crossett

2013 - Paula Martin Morell - North Little Rock

2015 - Margaret Bolsterli - Fayetteville

2016 - Sonny Burgess and The Legendary Pacers - Newport

2017 - Freda Cruse Hardison - Mountain View

2018 - Brockwell Gospel Music School - Brockwell

2019 - Oxford American - Little Rock 

2020 - Marty Scarbrough - Jonesboro 

2021 - Joe Doster - Huntsville

1991 - Cliff Baker - Little Rock

1992 - Jorges Villegas - El Dorado

1993 - Rebecca Whitfield - Little Rock

1994 - Carl Scott - West Memphis

1995 - Brad Mooy - Little Rock

1996 - Sheila B. Parsons - Conway

1997 - E. Fay Jones - Fayetteville

1998 - C. Michael Tidwell - Little Rock

1999 - Mike Nichols - Little Rock

2000 - Repha Buckman - Hope

2001 - Gary Simmons - Hot Springs

2002 - George Price - El Dorado

2003 - Dale Carpenter - Fayetteville

2004 - Betty Dortch Russell McMath - Little Rock

2005 - Anita Huffington - Winslow

2006 - Bryan W. Massey, Sr. - Conway

2007 - Darcy Pattison - North Little Rock

2008 - John Erwin - Little Rock

2009 - Sandra McDonald - Little Rock

2010 - Virgil "Spot" Daniel - Prescott

2011 - Larry Foley - Fayetteville

2012 - John Jeter - Fort Smith

2013 - Robert Hupp - Little Rock

2015 - Kevin Kresse - Little Rock

2016 - RB McGrath - Jacksonville

2017 - Reese Rowland - Little Rock

2018 - Richard Stephens - Hot Springs

2019 - Marjorie Williams-Smith - Little Rock

2020 - Mark Landon Smith - Fayetteville

2021 - Warren Criswell - Benton

1991 - Dolph Whitten - Arkadelphia

1992 - Joe Harris, Jr. - Blytheville

1993 - Polly Crews - Fort Smith

1994 - Billie Starr - Fayetteville

1995 - June Freeman - Pine Bluff

1996 - Donald Munro - Hot Springs

1997 - Janine Earney - West Memphis

1998 - Elizabeth Pruet - El Dorado

1999 - William Bettwy - Pine Bluff

2001 - James Dyke - Little Rock

2002 - Barbara Mashburn - Fayetteville

2003 - Dorothy Morris - Hot Springs

2004 - Dr. Paul Tucker - Hot Springs

2005 - Dr. Ted Bailey - Little Rock

2006 - Jim Blair - Springdale

2007 - Dr. and Mrs. Henry Udouj Jr. - Fort Smith

2008 - Coleman and Shirley "Peaches" Peterson - Rogers

2009 - Ferold and Jane Arend family - Bentonville

2010 - Marilyn Patterson - Fort Smith

2011 - Denise and Hershey Garner - Fayetteville

2012 - Drs. Mack and Vern Ann Shotts - Paragould

2013 - Lee and Dale Ronnel - Little Rock

2015 - Curt and Charlotte Bradbury - Little Rock

2016 - Dr. Thomas A. Bruce - Little Rock

2017 - Johnelle Hunt - Rogers

2018 - Charlotte Hudspeth Gadberry - Little Rock

2019 - Jim and Joyce Faulkner - Little Rock

2020 - Madison and Suzanne Murphy - El Dorado

2021 - The Bob Bogle Family - Bentonville  

2000 - Rhonda Hicks - El Dorado

2001 - Sleepy LaBeef - Springdale

2002 - Dr. Wesley Branstine - Arkadelphia

2003 - Kathi Sweere - Conway

2004 - Alice Guffey Miller (Arts in Education) - Monticello

2004 - Doug DeMorrow (Individual Artist) - Arkadelphia

2005 - Chuck "Lucky Russell" Lomerson - Clinton

2006 - Julia Gardner (Lifetime Arts Patron) - Wynne

2006 - Lorenzo Smith (Arts in Education) - Little Rock

2007 - Dr. William Clements - Jonesboro

2008 - RuAnn Ewing - Hindsville

2009 - Charles B. Pierce - Redfield

2010 - David Peterson - Greenbrier

2011 - Claire Haun - North Little Rock

2012 - Jim D. Johnson - Little Rock

2013 - Farrell Ford - Arkadelphia

2015 - Kaki Hockersmith - Little Rock

2016 - Theresa Timmons-Shamberger - Maumelle

2017 - Max Elbo - Eureka Springs

2019 - Anthony Tidwell - Hot Springs 

2020 - The Breakfast Club Interdisciplinary Arts Program at Ramay Junior High School - Fayetteville

2021 -  Elmer Beard - Hot Springs

1993 - Lucy Cabe - Little Rock

1997 - May Harris Gray - Fort Smith

1999 - Cliff Baker - Little Rock

2000 - Susan Morrison - Eureka Springs

2001 - Al Allen - Little Rock

2002 - Townsend Wolfe - Little Rock

2003 - Stanley Rames - Hot Springs

2004 - Evan Lindquist - Jonesboro

2005 - George Dombek - Goshen

2006 - Charles Banks Wilson - Fayetteville

2007 - Jeane M. Hamilton - Little Rock

2008 - Peggy Caudle Vining - Little Rock

2009 - Julia Lansford - Jonesboro

2010 - Gene Hatfield - Conway

2011 - Vincent Insalaco - North Little Rock

2012 - Zeek Taylor - Eureka Springs

2013 - Billie Seamans - McGehee

2015 - Jana Beard Hendrix - Little Rock

2016 - Suzanne Vining Kunkel - Little Rock

2017 - Thom Hall - Little Rock

2018 - June Biber Freeman - Little Rock

2019 - Billie Joe Starr - Fayetteville 

2020 - Henri Linton Sr. - Pine Bluff

2021 - Trout Fishing in America - West Fork