Ralph Bright, 8, of Lexington, tried to play the trombone during the 2013 Great American Brass Band Festival in Danville. The Boyle County seat had two honors in the 2014 Governor’s Awards in the Arts. © Herald-Leader photo by Briana Scroggins.
Danville had a big day in the announcement of the 2014 Governor’s Awards in the Arts, along with several other Eastern and Central Kentucky entities and an internationally acclaimed rock band.
The awards are administered by the Kentucky Arts Council and presented by Gov. Steve Beshear in an October ceremony in the Capitol Rotunda in Frankfort.
Judith Jennings. Photo courtesy of the Kentucky Foundation for Women.
Retiring Kentucky Foundation for Women executive director Judith Jennings snagged the top honor, the Milner Award. Jennings work has focused on arts in rural Kentucky and Appalachia, and her work with the foundation has focused on feminist art. In an interview with the Herald-Leader, published Tuesday, Jennings said she plans to continue her work following her retirement. The announcement from the Arts Council said, “Her work has allowed her to develop a strong local, regional and national presence that benefits Kentucky, Appalachia and rural America by advocating for expanding and diversifying the arts. Her expertise and national approach in addition to her writings on arts and culture challenge national stereotypes about community arts in Kentucky and support the transformative power of community-based arts and culture to create a better Commonwealth.”
Gospel stars Sandi Patty and Larnelle Harris, winner of the National Award, at the 2009 Dove Awards. © AP photo by Mark Humphrey.
The artist award goes to gospel singer and composer Larnelle Harris, a native of Danville, Western Kentucky University graduate and Louisville resident. Harris has received five Grammy Awards, 11 Dove Awards and been inducted into the Gospel Music Hall of Fame. In addition to the Governor’s Award, he is a member of the Kentucky Music Hall of Fame.
Making it an even bigger week for the Boyle County seat, the City of Danville won the government award. Among Danville’s arts attractions are Centre College’s Norton Center for the Arts, the Great American Brass Band Festival and the Pioneer Playhouse, which just opened its latest Kentucky Voices production, The Wonder Team, about the Centre College football team’s historic 1921 victory over Harvard. The awards announcement said, “The local government representing the City of Danville has played an integral role in the success of creating an arts- and culture-focused atmosphere that benefits its residents and attracts tourists from across the nation. … The city also was instrumental in obtaining Danville’s Kentucky Cultural District Certification.”
Neil Chethik, director of the Carnegie Center for Literacy and Learning in Lexington. © Herald-Leader staff photo by Tom Eblen.
Lexington’s Carnegie Center for Literacy and Learning took the education award for two decades of activities focused on promoting literacy and literary arts in Kentucky. “The Center aims to foster participation in the arts as a lifelong process for people of all ages, income groups and ethnicities, and partners with numerous community organizations to create programming and service opportunities to the benefit of the entire community and the Commonwealth,” the awards announcement said. The center is working on its own awards now, soliciting nominations for the next class of the Kentucky Writers Hall of Fame.
Merrill Richardson coordinates the in-house audio and television production from his control panel where he is surrounded by three banks of monitors during the UK-Alabama basketball game at Rupp Arena in Lexington, Ky., Tuesday, February 9, 2010. Richardson is dir. of facilities and a 35-year employee of the facility. © Herald-Leader photo by Matt Goins.
The Lexington Center and Rupp Arena Technical Services Staff gets the business awardfor “making Rupp Arena and the Lexington Center one of the finest presenting facilities in the country.”
Frankfort’s Robert Gates, Founder and former director of the Kentucky Folklife Program at Western Kentucky University, wins the folk heritage award. He was the state folklorist from 1989 through 2012 and developed the program as the state organization dedicated to “documenting, presenting and conserving the traditional art and cultural heritage of the Commonwealth.” He developed the Kentucky Community Scholars program that has trained more than 200 Kentuckians in documenting local culture and creating community projects.
The media award goes to Constance Alexander of Murray, who writes an arts column for the Murray Ledger & Times and is an award-winning poet, playwright, radio producer and memoir writer with extensive publication, production and broadcasting credits.
The Market House Theater of Paducah wins the community arts award. The 50-year-old community theater, “aims to enhance the quality of life in the community by providing ‘hands-on’ artistic and educational experiences for people of all ages,” the announcement said.
My Morning Jacket, winner of the national award. © Photo by Danny Clinch.
And the national award winner is Louisville’s My Morning Jacket, one of the most critically acclaimed bands working today, which maintains a close identity with its home state through residence and activity.