An actress from Lewisburg, the founder of a dance farm and a citywide arts festival are among a half dozen winners recently selected from dozens of nominations for the 2006 Governor’s Arts Awards, which will be held at the Cultural Center in Charleston on Monday, April 3, at 6:30 p.m. The winner of the seventh category, the Distinguished Arts Award for lifetime achievement, selected from among four finalists, will be announced on the night of the awards ceremony.
“We are thrilled at the excellence, extensive service and diversity of the award winners,” said Jeanne Mozier, event chairman and member of the West Virginia Commission on the Arts. “There are individual artists, organizations and every corner of the state represented. Reading their accomplishments, it is obvious why the arts have such a huge impact on life in all our communities.”
The Arts in Education/Service to Youth award will go to the Augusta Heritage Center of Elkins, which is known for its dedication to teaching and preserving the traditional arts for more than 30 years. John Bernard Schultz, dean and director of the Creative Arts Center at West Virginia University, won the Arts Leadership and Service Award for his years of work promoting and nurturing the arts among students and the community at large. The Creative Community Spirit Award was won by the City of Charleston for FestivALL, the dramatic new arts festival that brings together dozens of arts groups to celebrate all aspects of the arts in the capital city. The Artistic Excellence Award was won by Cathey Sawyer of Lewisburg for her work with the Greenbrier Valley Theatre, both as actress and artistic director. Kitty Clark of Shepherdstown was selected for the Arts Innovator Award for her efforts to involve the Eastern Panhandle community in dance with her Goose Route Arts Collaborative. A special Arts Patron award will be given to the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation for decades of financial support to arts facilities throughout West Virginia.
Four West Virginians are finalists for the Governor’s Distinguished Arts Award for lifetime achievement. The finalists are David Wohl of Cross Lanes for his outstanding contributions to both regional theater and arts organizations throughout the state; Nina Denton Pasinetti of Charleston for more than 30 years as teacher, choreographer and director; Gail Galloway Adams as both a writer and teacher of creative writing at West Virginia University; and William “Sarge” McGhee, noted folk artist and muralist from Mullens. “Choosing among this quartet of dedicated arts overachievers is an almost impossible task, probably best done with the flip of a coin,” said Mozier.
The honorees will receive sterling silver “Artys” created by sculptor Mark Blumenstein of Alderson. The gala awards ceremony and reception will serve as the centerpiece of the 2006 West Virginia Arts Assembly. Provided filming for the second season of “Thirty Days” cooperates, award-winning producer and television star Morgan Spurlock will return as emcee of the awards gala.
“After the success of last year’s awards, everyone from the Governor on down wanted them to continue,” said Mozier. “Fortunately, the depth and breadth of talent and dedication among the arts community in the state meant we were not lacking for outstanding nominees. The judges could have selected a second set of winners with no sacrifice in quality.”
Tickets for the Governor’s Arts Awards are $35/person and can be reserved by calling (304) 558-0220.
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.
Media Note: Contact event chairman Jeanne Mozier at (304) 258-4248 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Deputy Commissioner/Communications Manager
West Virginia Division of Culture and History
The Cultural Center
1900 Kanawha Blvd., East
Charleston, WV 25305
Phone (304) 558-0220, ext. 120
Fax (304) 558-2779