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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 - all in even-numbered years


  • January 1 – first Monday in April: Nomination process opens for submissions
  • Summer – Council members select up to five awardees for approval by the Governor
  • First Friday of December at 3:00 p.m. – Awards Ceremony and Reception in Helena



Status of Past Nominations


Forms and support materials that were submitted on behalf of nominees endorsed since 2015 are available to nominators who wish to use them to update a nomination for a future 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 first Monday in April of even-numbered years:

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

Please use "Governor's Arts Award Nomination Info for (Nominee)" as the subject line of the email.



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


  • Submit your completed GAA Narrative document in its current format.
  • 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 each file so that we know what they are (Bio, Statement, Letters, Samples).
  • Submit videos and music as compressed .mov, .mp4, .mp3 or .wav files. You may also submit any of these files on a CD or flashdrive and mail it to our office at P.O. Box 202201, Helena, MT 59620-2201.





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







Montana Arts Council | 830 N. Warren Street, Helena, MT 59601 | P.O. Box 202201, Helena, MT 59620-2201 | P: (406) 444-6430 | F: (406) 444-6548 | 

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The Montana Arts Council is funded by the State of Montana and the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency.

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