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.

The Awards

Each Governor’s Arts Awards recipient receives an original work of art created by an Arkansas artist. The following are the awards created from 2000-2015. Photos by Larry Pennington.

Don Nibert 2000James Hayes 2001Siegele and Haley 2002Jim Larkin 2003
Ron Mynatt 2004Michael Warrick 2005Beverly Norton 2006Ty Brunson 2007
Gary Carter 2008Mark Rademacher 2009Joe Doster 2010Winston Taylor 2011
Riley Brothers 2012Stephen Driver 2013Ron Ufkes 2015Kelly Edwards 2016
Elizabeth James 2017