Governor's Awards in the Arts recipients named

ctruman@herald-leader.comJuly 10, 2013 

FRANKFORT — The Kentucky Arts Council on Wednesday announced the 2013 winners of the Governor's Awards in the Arts.

Among the winners were two Central Kentucky institutions celebrating significant anniversaries and a Lexington journalist cited for including the arts in his overview of the city.

The Lexington Children's Theatre, which is celebrating its 75th anniversary this year, received the education award for its professional theater experiences and arts education for children and families. The group is a professional, nonprofit organization and one of the oldest continuously operating theaters for youth in the country.

Also enjoying the honor in an anniversary year is the Kentucky Artisan Center at Berea, which receives the government award for marketing Kentucky artists, artist products and Kentucky's cultural life. The Center, which opened in 2003, introduces visitors from around the world to works by more than 650 artists from more than 100 Kentucky counties.

Herald-Leader columnist Tom Eblen won the media award for bringing attention to the arts across the state through his work as the newspaper's metro columnist. Eblen frequently writes about how the arts intersect with life, culture and community.

Herald-Leader reporter Rich Copley won the same award in 2010.

Gov. Steve Beshear called the recipients those "who represent the best of our state's artistic community."

The Governor's Awards in the Arts are presented in nine categories. Winners in the remaining six categories this year are:

Milner award: Oakley and Eva Farris of Covington, for their philanthropic impact on northern Kentucky and the arts for many years. The Farrises have given to schools, libraries, museums, civic organizations and arts organizations. Their gifts include a statue of President Abraham Lincoln to Northern Kentucky University, an amphitheater routinely used by acting classes at the school and a reading room in the campus library.

Artist award: Laura Ross, of Prospect, for her work as a potter for nearly 30 years through exhibits and shows, as an educator and successful professional artist. Ross has exhibited in dozens of galleries and juried exhibits throughout the country.

Business award: The 21c Museum Hotel in Louisville for improving the quality of the arts and its significance to the revitalization of Louisville's downtown. The state release announcing the awards called 21c "an innovative union of genuine Southern hospitality, thoughtful design and culinary creativity — all anchored by world-class contemporary art by today's emerging and internationally acclaimed artists."

A 21c Hotel project for Lexington was announced last year for the First National Bank Building on Main Street.

Community arts award: The International Bluegrass Music Museum in Owensboro for maintaining an environment in which people can discover bluegrass music. The museum is the world's only facility dedicated to the history and preservation of bluegrass music.

Folk heritage award: Edward White, founder and director of the River City Drum Corps in Louisville, for influencing thousands of children, helping them to become recognized artists carrying on musical traditions in the community that date back to marching bands of Louisville's segregated schools.

National award: Actors Theatre of Louisville for being a center for community attention since its incorporation in 1964. Actors Theatre was named the State Theatre of Kentucky in 1974 and "presents stories that reflect the diversity of the Commonwealth and the human experience," according to the state release.

The recipients will be recognized at a public ceremony and celebration at 10 a.m. Oct. 29 in the Capitol Rotunda in Frankfort.

Cheryl Truman: (859)231-3202. Twitter: @CherylTruman.

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