On Thursday, March 10, 2016 the West Virginia Division of Culture and History and the West Virginia Commission on the Arts will sponsor the Governor’s Arts Awards Gala at the Culture Center, State Capitol Complex in Charleston. During the awards ceremony, 10 Governor’s Arts Awards and 10 Legislative Leadership Awards in the Arts will be presented. In addition, to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the National Endowment for the Arts, etched glass medallions will be presented to 50 individuals and 50 organizations whose work in respective fields exemplifies the importance of art in our lives. The program includes performances by Ryan Kennedy on guitar, The Mountain Stage Band, Barbara Nissman on piano, Kari Stafford Blankenship on vocals, Cabell Midland High School Jazz Band and Adam DeGraff on violin.

WHO:            Governor Earl Ray Tomblin, Commissioner Randall Reid-Smith of the Division of Culture and History, Director of Arts Renée Margocee and Commission on the Arts Chair Susan Landis will present awards to 120 individuals and organizations.

WHAT:          Governor’s Arts Awards Gala

WHERE:        The Culture Center, Capitol Complex, Charleston

WHEN:          Thursday, March 10, 6 p.m.

WHY:             To recognize and honor exceptional artists and arts organizations that have made significant contributions to the state’s culture.


Governor’s Awards for the Arts:

Lifetime Achievement to Carter Taylor Seaton, Huntington, Cabell County
Artist of the Year to Robert Villamagna, Wheeling, Ohio County

Arts in Education to West Virginia Symphony Orchestra – SCALE Program, Charleston, Kanawha County; Mark Albright, Martinsburg, Berkeley County; and Tim James, Barboursville, Cabell County
Arts Patron to The Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Distinguished Service to Susan Landis, Beckley, Raleigh County
Leadership in the Arts to The Old Opera House, Charles Town, Berkeley County; Sen. William P. Cole, Princeton, Mercer County; and Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin, Logan, Logan County

Legislative Leadership Awards

Arts in Education to Del. Kelli Sobonya (R-Cabell) and Sen. Craig P. Blair (R-Berkeley)
Community Arts to Del. Eric Nelson (R-Kanawha) and Sen. Art Kirkendoll (D-Logan)
Cultural Facilities to Del. Denise L. Campbell (D-Randolph) and Sen. Greg Boso (R-Nicholas)
Folk Arts to Del. Ron Walters (R-Kanawha) and Sen. William R. Laird IV (D-Fayette)
Lifetime Achievement to Del. Doug Reynolds (D-Wayne) and Sen. Mitch Carmichael (R-Jackson)

Individual Medallions for Excellence in Support of the Arts

John Auge, Charleston, Kanawha County
Judy Belcher, Charleston, Kanawha County
Jude Binder, Big Bend, Calhoun County
Lynn Boggess, Fairmont, Marion County
Steve Brightwell, Beckley, Raleigh County
Roger Bryant, Logan, Logan County
Adam DeGraff, Lewisburg, Greenbrier County
Nina Denton Pasinetti, Charleston, Kanawha County
Jeff Diehl, Meadow Bridge, Fayette County
Norman Fagan, Red House, Putnam County
Jeff Fetty, Spencer, Roane County
Charli Fulton, Charleston, Kanawha County
Kay Goodwin, Charleston, Kanawha County
Frank George, Walton, Roane County
Buddy Griffin, Cox’s Mills, Gilmer County
Marc Harshman, Wheeling, Ohio County
Kate Harward, Belington, Barbour County
Dale Hawkins, Rock Cave, Upshur County
Harold Hayslett, South Charleston, Kanawha County
Ron Hinkle, Buckhannon, Upshur County
Joni Hoffman, Duck, Clay County
Vernon Howell, Barboursville, Cabell County
Stan and Sue Jennings, Grafton, Taylor County
Danny Jones, Charleston, Kanawha County
Michael and Carrie Kline, Elkins, Randolph County
John Lambros, Charleston, Kanawha County
Susan Landis, Beckley, Raleigh County
Margaret Mary Layne, Huntington, Cabell County
Tom and Connie McColley, Chloe, Calhoun County
Gerry Milnes, Elkins, Randolph County
Barbara Nissman, Lewisburg, Greenbrier County
Pam and Ren Panziale, Kearneysville, Jefferson County
Cat Pleska, Scott Depot, Putnam County
Susan Poffenbarger, Dunbar, Kanawha County
Randall Reid-Smith, Charleston, Kanawha County
Jerry Rose, Beckley, Raleigh County
Norm Sartorius, Parkersburg, Wood County
Dr. Bernie Schultz, Morgantown, Monongalia County
Carter Taylor Seaton, Huntington, Cabell County
Steve Shaluta, St. Albans, Kanawha County
Stephen Skinner, Charles Town, Jefferson County
Sarah Sullivan, Williamsburg, Virginia
Matt Thomas, Shock, Gilmer County
Bob Thompson, Charleston, Kanawha County
Jack Thompson, Morgantown, Monongalia County
Drs. Joseph and Omayma Touma, Huntington, Cabell County
Brian VanNostrand, Hacker Valley, Webster County
Dianna Vargo, Wheeling, Ohio County
Billy Edd Wheeler, Swannanoa, North Carolina
Steve Williams, Huntington, Cabell County

Organizational Medallions for Excellence in Support of the Arts

Augusta Heritage Center, Elkins, Randolph County
Allied Artists of West Virginia, Charleston, Kanawha County
Apollo Civic Theatre, Martinsburg, Berkeley County 
Appalachian Children’s Chorus, Charleston, Kanawha County
Appalachian South Folklife Center, Pipestem, Summers County
Appalachian String Band Music Festival, Clifftop, Fayette County
Art Museum of WVU, Morgantown, Monongalia County
Blenko Glass, Milton, Cabell County
Carnegie Hall, Lewisburg, Greenbrier County
Charleston Ballet, Charleston, Kanawha County
Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Charleston Light Opera Guild, Charleston, Kanawha County
Chuck Mathena Center, Princeton, Mercer County
Clay Center for the Arts & Sciences of West Virginia, Charleston, Kanawha County
Contemporary American Theater Festival, Shepherdstown, Jefferson County
Fenton Art Glass Company, Williamstown, Wood County
FestivALL, Charleston, Kanawha County
Frank and Jane Gabor Folk Life Center, Fairmont, Marion County
Greenbrier Valley Theatre, Lewisburg, Greenbrier County
Heritage Craft Center of the Eastern Panhandle, Martinsburg, Berkeley County
Heritage Farm Museum & Village, Huntington, Cabell County
Holls Chocolate, Vienna, Wood County
Homer Laughlin China Company, Newell, Hancock County
Huntington Museum of Art, Huntington, Cabell County
Huntington Symphony Orchestra, Huntington, Cabell County
Marble King, Paden City, Tyler and Wetzel Counties
Marshall University School of Art and Design, Huntington, Cabell County
McArts Fine Arts Organization, Kimball, McDowell County 
Morgan Arts Council, Berkeley Springs, Morgan County
Mountain Stage, Charleston, Kanawha County
Mountain State Art and Craft Fair, Ripley, Jackson County
Museum of American Glass in West Virginia, Weston, Lewis County
New South Media, Morgantown, Monongalia County
Old Brick Playhouse, Elkins, Randolph County
Old Opera House, Charles Town, Jefferson County
Parkersburg Arts Center, Parkersburg, Wood County
Pocahontas County Opera House, Marlinton, Pocahontas County
Randolph Community Arts Center, Elkins, Randolph County
Stifel Fine Arts Center at Oglebay Institute, Wheeling, Ohio County
Tamarack Artisan Foundation, Charleston, Kanawha County
TAMARACK: The Best of West Virginia, Beckley, Raleigh County
Theatre West Virginia, Beaver, Raleigh County
Vandalia Gathering, Charleston, Kanawha County
West Virginia Division of Culture and History
West Virginia Quilt Guild
West Virginia State Folk Festival, Glenville, Gilmer County
West Virginia Symphony Orchestra, Charleston, Kanawha County
West Virginia Youth Symphony, Charleston, Kanawha County
Wheeling Symphony Orchestra, Wheeling, Ohio County
Youth Museum of Southern West Virginia, Beckley, Raleigh County

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