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Morgan Spurlock to emcee 2005 arts awards program

Academy Award nominee and West Virginia native Morgan Spurlock has agreed to host the Governor’s Arts Awards on Monday, April 4, 2005 at the Cultural Center in Charleston. Sixty individuals and organizations were nominated for awards to be given in seven categories. The program is sponsored by the West Virginia Division of Culture and History.

“It is important for everyone in West Virginia to know how valuable the arts truly are,” said Spurlock in accepting the invitation. “A prestigious event where the state presents awards honoring excellence in several areas of the arts is an ideal way to showcase this value. I’m thrilled to be coming back to West Virginia to act as emcee.”

Spurlock was approached about serving as master of ceremonies in late 2004, before receiving the Academy Award nomination for best documentary for his film, “Super-Size Me,” according to Jeanne Mozier of Berkeley Springs, member of the West Virginia Commission on the Arts and chairman of the awards event. “It was great timing that he is nominated and will have attended the Academy Awards ceremony before coming to serve in the Billy Crystal role for us,” said Mozier. “He’ll know just what to do. And, if we are all lucky—especially Morgan—he’ll be carrying an Oscar statue with him.”

According to Mozier, the Governor’s Awards were established to recognize the impact of the arts in West Virginia. “Morgan’s creative genius has not only paid off financially—‘Super-Size Me’ was made for $75,000 and has already grossed more than $25 million worldwide—but it also influenced social change causing the fast-food industry to rethink some of their policies,” she said. “That’s the kind of impact the arts can have.”

The Governor’s Arts Awards gala ceremony will begin at 7 p.m. and will be followed by a reception honoring both the Governor’s Awards honorees and the recipients of the 2005 West Virginia Artists Fellowships. Tickets for the event can be reserved by calling Sam Ratliff at (304) 558-0220, ext. 124, or e-mailing tina.l.stinson@wv.gov.

For more information about the event, call the Cultural Center at (304) 558-0162.

The West Virginia Division of Culture and History, an agency of the West Virginia Department of Education and the Arts, brings together the state’s past, present and future through programs and services in the areas of archives and history, the arts, historic preservation and museums. The Division of Culture and History is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer.