Washington’s governors began the tradition of honoring artists, arts organizations, arts educators and cultural leaders in 1966 with the Governor’s Arts Awards. Heritage Awards were added in 1989 to honor tradition bearers and heritage organizations. Coordinated by the Washington State Arts Commission, or ArtsWA, the awards are some of the most prestigious bestowed by the governor.
In 2016, honorees included artist Barbara Earl Thomas (Seattle), Vashon Center for the Arts (Vashon), Tejano musician Oscar Galvan (Toppenish), Asia Pacific Cultural Center (Tacoma), and Dr. Quinton Morris (Renton), who received the Young Art Leader Award.
Six awards will be presented at this year’s awards dinner at the Museum of Glass in Tacoma on Nov. 14 from 6 to 9 p.m. The public is invited to attend.
“Over the years, more than 200 individuals and organizations have received Governor’s Arts & Heritage Awards,” said Karen Hanan, executive director of ArtsWA.
Nominations are accepted May through July each year. The nominations are evaluated by a five-member panel and forwarded to the board of the Washington State Arts Commission for review. The board’s recommendation is forwarded to the governor for final approval.
For the last three years the awards event has taken place in Seattle, Hanan said. “We’re excited to bring the dinner to Tacoma and invite all to come support this year’s extraordinary recipients.”
For more about the Governor’s Arts & Heritage Awards, visit the State Arts Commission website.