Indiana Governor’s Arts Awards ceremony


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News release from the Indiana Governor’s Office:

Governor, First Lady Honor State’s Cultural Past, Present and Future at Governor’s Arts Awards

Indianapolis (April 9, 2016) – Governor Mike Pence and First Lady Karen Pence, honorary chair of the Governor’s Arts Awards, tonight honored the recipients of the Indiana Governor’s Arts Awards during a ceremony held by the Indiana Arts Commission at the Howard L. Schrott Center for the Arts at Butler University.

“As we celebrate Indiana’s bicentennial year, we also pay homage to the Hoosier artisans that contribute to our state’s rich cultural past, present and future,” said Governor Pence. “The recipients of this year’s Governor’s Arts Awards exemplify the uniquely Hoosier creativity and ingenuity that mark our arts community, and tonight we celebrate their artistic achievements.”

“As many people know, the arts mean a great deal to me personally, but even more importantly Mike and I realize the significant impact the arts have in our Hoosier state,” First Lady Karen Pence said. “The arts in Indiana are a tremendous cultural asset that bring excellence in education, strides in art therapy and an enhanced quality of life, which is one of many reasons Indiana is a great place to live, work and raise a family.”

The Governor’s Arts Awards recipients are:

  • American Pianists Association, arts organization, Indianapolis, IN
  • Jim Davis & PAWS, Inc., visual artist, cartoonist, Albany, IN
  • Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds, singer, songwriter, recording artist, producer, Los Angeles, CA
  • Robert and Ellen Haan, art collectors, philanthropists, Lafayette, IN
  • David Hochoy & Dance Kaleidoscope, choreographer, arts educator, Indianapolis, IN
  • Wes Montgomery, musician, recording artist, Indianapolis, IN (posthumous)

“It seems fitting that an awards program that celebrates the 200th anniversary of our state, and the 50th anniversary of the Indiana Arts Commission, would include recipients that reflect so well the cultural heritage of Indiana,” said Lewis C. Ricci, Executive Director of the Indiana Arts Commission. “Our recipients represent our rich artistic legacy, current popular culture, and the celebration of new talent.”

In addition to the honorees, the program included live performances by American Pianist Association Fellow Sullivan Fortner; Dance Kaleidoscope; Butler Dance; and the Indianapolis Children’s Choir, a 2007 recipient of a Governor’s Arts Award.

In 2013, Governor Pence presented awards to philanthropist Christel DeHaan; arts educator Cynthia Hartshorn; singer songwriter John Hiatt; Bloomington Mayor Mark Kruzan; producer, director, and actor Sydney Pollack (posthumous); and Traditional Arts Indiana.

Originally conceived in 1973, the biennial awards program honors individuals, organizations, partnerships, businesses and communities that have made significant contributions to the arts in and beyond Indiana. The awards recognize excellence in artistic achievement, philanthropy, arts education and leadership in the arts, and at the same time build statewide awareness of the important role the arts play in Indiana.

For more information on the Governor’s Arts Awards, visit


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