The Oklahoma Arts Council honored 11 individuals and eight organizations for their contributions to the arts at the 37th annual Governor's Arts Awards ceremony held Thursday at the Oklahoma State Capitol. Gov. Mary Fallin was joined by Arts Council executive director Kim Baker and Arts Council chairman James Pickel to make the presentations.
“This is a remarkable time to be in Oklahoma and you are making a huge impact on the state through your contributions to the arts,” Fallin told this year's recipients. “You help us tell the story of our culture, our values, our history and our nation.”
The Governor's Arts Award, which recognizes longtime leadership and significant contributions to the arts, was given to Charles Ward, an architect whose designs include the Gilcrease Museum's special exhibits gallery and the Tulsa Central Library; Christian Keesee, chairman of the Kirkpatrick Foundation and president of the Kirkpatrick Family Fund; and Don Betz, president of the University of Central Oklahoma.
“When I first heard about receiving this award, I kept thinking about all of the people on whose shoulders these awards rest,” Betz said. “It's this unbroken thread that has been created by artistically motivated people along the way who have provided opportunities for everyone.”
The recipient of the Business in the Arts Award was AVB Bank of Broken Arrow.
Media in the Arts Awards were given to KOSU Radio of Stillwater, OKIE Magazine of Lawton and RSU Public TV of Claremore.
Community Service Awards went to Bob Palmer of Bethany, Dolores McClure of Enid, Laurie Thompson of Mangum, the Philbrook Museum of Art in Tulsa, and Mary Bryant, Nancy Harris and Marlene Woods, all of Arnett.