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Governor's Arts Awards

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2015 Governor’s Arts Awards
Nomination Criteria and Process

The Governor's Arts Awards program honors outstanding citizens and organizations in Montana whose achievements in the arts, or on behalf of the arts, benefit all Montanans. Anyone or any organization in Montana with commensurate accomplishments can be nominated for the Governor's Arts Awards. Awards are not given posthumously.

To make the final selections, the council uses these criteria:
1. Worthiness of statewide recognition
2. Integrity
3. Excellence

Key Dates
August 18 – December 15, 2014 – Nomination process is open for submissions
Early March 2015 – Council members select up to five awardees
Early June 2015 – Awards Ceremony and Reception in Helena

Status of Past Nominations
Forms and support materials that were submitted on behalf of nominees endorsed during the 2010 awards cycle are available to nominators who wish to use them to update a nomination for the 2015 cycle. If a nominator would like to access past information, please contact Cinda Holt at the Montana Arts Council – or (406) 777-0090.

How to Nominate
On or before December 15, 2014:

  1. Nominators must provide responses to the questions listed on the document titled “GAA Narrative.” Nominators should open and save the file on their computer, type in the answers and save them right on the document. Send it back to MAC via email at along with all supplementals listed below.
  2. Nominators must also submit via email at the following supplemental files or documents:
    1. Nominee’s bio or resume
    2. Artist’s statement or an organization’s mission statement, or an educator’s teaching/education philosophy
    3. A minimum of three letters of endorsement (the nominator will be considered an additional (fourth) endorser by completing the GAA Narrative answers.)
    4. A minimum of three support samples (this can be images, videos, music, printed documents such as letters of support, press articles, annual reports, etc.).

GAA Narrative Questions
Open the document titled "GAA Narrative" and immediately save it on your computer. Include your nominee's name when you save and rename the document.

As the nominator, you will respond to these four questions:

  1. If the nominee is an individual artist, please describe their art form, vision, authenticity and uniqueness. If the nominee is an organization, please describe the type of arts and services they provide to the public, how they involve the community in their efforts and the mission and vision of the organization. If the nominee is an arts educator, please explain their expertise and significance to their students and schools and how they have impacted the larger education community.
  2. How are you personally affected by the nominee’s artwork, vision, service, philosophy and/or mission?
  3. Describe how the nominee’s achievements in the arts benefit the state of Montana, making them worthy of statewide recognition? (i.e. community services, partnerships, teaching, legacies, to name a few) Please give examples.
  4. Optional: you are welcome to provide other information not related to the above questions if you feel it will benefit members of the Selection Committee who may be unfamiliar with their work.

Important Technical Information

  1. Submit your completed GAA Narrative document in its current format.
  2. Submit your supplemental materials as WORD documents or PDFs. Keep them in the order listed above and you are welcome to combine documents as long as the file does not exceed 8MB in size. (For example, you may scan and combine all letters of support.) Please label them so that we know what they are (Bio, Statement, Letters, Samples)
  3. Submit videos and music as compressed .mov, .mp4, .mp3 or .wav files. You may also submit videos or music as a URL address to link to the work on other sites such as YouTube, or as files on a CD or flashdrive and mail it to our office at POB 202201, Helena, MT 59620-2201.

If you need help submitting your nomination materials, email Czelsi Kozak at or call KarenDe Herman at (406) 444-4700.


These six distinguished Montanans are recipients of the 2010 Governor’s Arts Award:

John Buck and Deborah Butterfield

photo of Deborah Butterfieled and John Buck
For their profiles click here

Donna Forbes

photo of Donna Forbes
For her profile click here

Amy Ragsdale

photo of Amy Ragsdale
For her profile click here

Kelly Roberti

photo of Kelly Roberti
For his profile click here

Pat Williams

photo of Pat Williams
For his profile click here

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Previous Governor's Arts Awards Honorees:

Philip Aaberg, 1995
Stephen Ambrose, 1999
Eugene Andrie, 1981
Archie Bray Foundation, 1981
Rudy Autio, 1981
Francis Bardanouve, 1995
Joanna Barker, 2001
Uri Barnea, 2003
Bigfork Summer Playhouse, 1997
Judith Blegen, 1983
Dana Boussard, 1987
James Lee Burke, 2001
Ray Campeau, 1987
Donald Carey, 2001
Russell Chatham, 1997
Corwin Clairmont, 2008
Terry Conrad, 2008
Custer County Art and Heritage Center, 2003
Gennie DeWeese, 1995
Robert DeWeese, 1995
Ivan Doig, 1991
Becky Eiker, 2005
Judy Ericksen, 2003
LaDonna Fehlberg, 1983
Robert Fehlberg, 1983
Edith Freeman, 1993
Fort Peck Summer Theater and Fort Peck Fine Arts Council, 1999
Eric Funk, 2001
A.B. Guthrie, Jr., 1982
James Haughey, 1981
Hawthorne School, 2005
Walter Hook, 1985
Elmer Jakab, 1999
Dorothy Johnson, 1983
Isabelle Johnson, 1983
Oshanee (Agnes) Kenmille, 2001
William Kittredge, 1985
Ed Lahey, 2008
John Lester, 1986
Myrna Loy, 1989
Stan Lynde, 1983
Norman Maclean, 1987 Arnie Malina, 1997
Thomas McGuane, 1989
Wally McRae, 1989
Terry Melton, 1991
Missoula Children’s Theatre, 1987
Montana Institute of the Arts, 1993
Montana Power Company, 1999
Montana Repertory Theatre, 1983
Montana Shakespeare in the Parks, 1991
Mary E. Moore, 1997
Robert F. Morgan, 2001
Jo-Anne Mussulman, 1999
Dr. Joseph Mussulman, 1999
David Nelson, 1999
Christopher Parkening, 1987
Myrna Paulus, 2001
Ralph Paulus, 2001
Eewokso - Ernie Pepion, 2005
Lyndon Fayne Pomeroy, 1991
James Poor, 1985
James Kenneth Ralston, 1984
Bernie Rasmussen, 1981
Mary Agnes Roberts, 1991
Joseph S. Sample, 1997
Miriam Sample, 1997
Robert Scriver, 1990
Gary Schildt, 1999
Edmund Sedivy, 1993
Frances Senska, 1988
David Shaner, 1989
Kevin Shannon, 1987
Michael Smuin, 1981
Harold Sprague, 1985
Virginia Sprague, 1985
Benjamin Steele, 1992
Shirley Steele, 1992
William Stockton, 2003
John Talbot, 1994
Susan Talbot, 1994
U S WEST Foundation, 1989
Agnes Vanderburg, 1983
Allen Vizutti, 2008
Peter Voulkos, 1985
James Welch, 1981
Larry D. William, 2003
Jessie Wilber, 1988
Yellowstone Art Museum, 1995
Thomas Yellowtail, 1993
Paul Zarzyski, 2005

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