2021 Governor’s Awards in the Arts Winners Announced – 89.3 WFPL News Louisville
The 2021 Governor’s Award in the Arts the winners are out.
The awards recognize individuals and organizations that have had a significant impact on art in the Commonwealth.
They’ve been around since 1977. Each year, the Kentucky Arts Council commissions an artist to design and create the physical award winners receive.
“The Governor’s Awards in the Arts are the highest artistic honor a Kentuckian can receive,” Kentucky Arts Council officials said in a statement. “Whether the recipients are individuals or organizations, these talented Kentuckians become ambassadors for creativity in the Commonwealth.”
Anne Klema glass artist from Jefferson County, is the designer for this year’s award.
The sculpture is made up of different colors and shapes, which shows Klem’s inspiration for the piece.
“Diversity, in particular, has also become a center of inspiration,” Klem said in her artist statement. “The textures and variety of colors are my interpretation of diversity. We see it across the state in our different populations, our different political priorities, and our different economic situations.
Here are the 2021 winners:
Milner Prize: James Gifford, CEO of the Jesse Stuart Foundation of Boyd County nonprofit publishing organization
The foundation was established in 1979 to administer the works of Kentucky writer Jesse Stuart. Since then, it’s become a way for books about Appalachia to stay in print.
Even before leading the organization, James Gifford has a long history of working to preserve and share Appalachian culture within and outside the region. He has written several books, including biographies of local people.
“As a historian, I know from experience that poetry, music, visual arts, crafts, plays and videos provide lessons that are just as important as the lessons we learn from books and lectures,” Gifford told the Kentucky Arts Council.
Artist Award: The Northern Kentucky Brotherhood Singers of Kenton County
the a capella, holy gospel quartet formed over 34 years ago when Ric Jennings assembled a “five-voice quartet” of singers from the Ninth Street Baptist Church Men’s Choir in Covington, Ky.
Since then, the band have risen to fame locally and globally, and expanded their songs outside of gospel music to include some R&B favorites.
While the events of the past few years have been difficult for the group, this award has sustained them.
“It helps keep us motivated to keep going and inspires us to do our best as Kentucky representatives,” band member Stace “Babydeac” Darden said in an email. “COVID and health issues have made it difficult to take every opportunity presented to us, but when we have, we have been encouraged to share the gift God has given us among his people.”
The Northern Kentucky Brotherhood Singers plan to continue entertaining people with “soul-friendly” music.
Company price: Paducah Bank in McCracken County
Bank of Paducah got its start, of course, in Paducah, Ky. Since its founding nearly 75 years ago, the bank has played an important role in the community. He has helped fund programs like the Artist Relocation Program, which aims to bring professional artists to areas that have little investment, and has offered investment and mentorship to artists in the region.
Beyond that, the bank has received numerous awards, including the Louisville Mayor’s Worksite Welfare Award and the Governor’s Service Award.
Community Arts Awards: Butler County Arts Guild
Created in April 2013, the Butler County Arts Guild aims to elevate the artists of the region.
Their work began with the creation of a mural in Morgantown, designed by Andee Rudloff. The project led several artists to join the guild.
In 2016, the guild acquired a building where it now hosts exhibits and events, including the West Ohio Street Chalk Arts and Crafts Festival and performances by the banjo player and Governor’s Awards in the Arts recipient. 2021 Sue Massek and National Thumbpickers Hall of Fame guitarist Joe Hudson.
The guild also created a Junior Arts Guild and a yet-unnamed Writers’ Group.
Education Awards: Jane Dewey, director of arts education for Danville Independent Schools in Boyle County
In his eyes, Jane DeweyThe work of is to “create high quality artistic opportunities for children”.
She writes and implements grants, does administrative work, and runs the district theater. Dewey’s work involves a bit of everything, but it’s all about art.
“As human beings, I think creating art is just rooted in who we are,” Dewey said. “We’ve been making art since the dawn of time, even when it was more important to feed and find some kind of shelter.”
She said art teaches children communication in a way that reading and writing cannot.
Popular Heritage Award: Folklorist and musician Sue Massek of Washington County
Sue Massek is a banjo player and performer. Transplanted to Kentucky, Massek came to understand the culture of Kentucky, specifically Appalachia, during her 50 years of inhabiting the Commonwealth.
She was a music educator for several years and even served as a mentor for the Kentucky Art Council’s Folk and Traditional Arts Fellowship Program.
She has performed around the world, both as a soloist and in The Reel World String Band.
Massek views music as a humanitarian effort that can be used for social justice purposes.
“There is a deep sense of unity when voices come together,” Massek told the council. “The arts give a voice to those who feel like no one is listening to them.”
Government Prize: Beaver Town Dam
In one city of just over 3,000there’s an amphitheater that holds 5,000. Artists like Sheryl Crow, Merle Haggard, The Beach Boys and The Temptations have stopped by.
The city’s success in attracting notable artists is one of the reasons it is one of this year’s winners.
Mayor Paul Sandefur said he hopes the honor will bring more attention to the city’s cultural scene.
“I hope we can leverage this for our economic development and for our citizens here,” Sandefur said. “I tell people, ‘Yeah, we do this stuff for tourism, but whatever we do, our local residents benefit from it,’ and that’s kind of a win-win for us.”
Media Awards: Louisville Public Media
The non-profit public media organization houses three radio stations and an investigative unit.
WFPL News is part of Louisville Public Media.
LPM is home to the city’s only dedicated classical station, 90.5 WUOL, as well as 91.9 WFPK, an alternative station that plays a plethora of different genres.
89.3 WFPL and the Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting produce coverage on a wide range of topics and work with state and area stations to bring information to a wide and diverse audience. WFPL has a full-time arts and culture reporter on staff.
“For decades, we have invested time, energy, creativity and resources in fostering a strong arts community in our city and across our state – all based on the idea that what we create brings us together,” said Louisville Public Media President Stephen George. in a report. “Through our music stations and WFPL News, we have dedicated ourselves to covering the wide range of artistic expressions that make Kentucky special.”
National price: Martha Redbone, singer, songwriter, composer and educator from Harlan County
Known for her mix of folk, blues and gospel Martha Redbone aims to push the boundaries of American roots music.
Drawing on her experiences as an Afro-Indigenous woman, Redbone creates music that speaks to social justice, the human spirit, and the connection of diverse cultures.
She has been recognized for her work composing the music for the play “For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide/When the Rainbow Is Enuf” at the Public Theater in New York.
Despite the New York influence in her work, Redbone said she values her roots in Harlan Country for the artist she is today.
“I wouldn’t be a musician without Kentucky in my blood!” Redbone told the Kentucky Arts Council.