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History of the Governor's Awards for the Arts

The Governor’s Awards for the Arts represent a Pennsylvania tradition begun in 1980 by Governor Dick Thornburgh. Presented annually in Harrisburg at the State Capitol, these awards honored artists in each of the following categories: painting, sculpture, photography, music, literature, dance, theatre, crafts, and media arts. An award was also made for “service to the arts.” The awards, which recognized Pennsylvanians who contributed their creative talents to their communities, were named the Hazlett Memorial Awards for Excellence in the Arts, after the late Theodore L. Hazlett Jr. of Pittsburgh, the first chairman of the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts. The awards were administered by the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts. A Distinguished Pennsylvania Artist Award was also established to be chosen by the Governor. [Note: No standard policy was established for this category, but it was generally agreed that the recipient would be a native Pennsylvanian and an artist of world renown.]

Following the 1982 awards, the Hazlett awards were presented in no more than six disciplines, in alternating years, and architecture was added as a category.

The awards were suspended in 1987 in the first year of Governor Robert P. Casey’s administration. In 1988, through his cultural advisor’s office, Governor Casey established “a comprehensive Governor’s awards program” with the Governor’s Awards for Excellence in the Arts, Humanities, and Sciences “to honor outstanding individual creativity and achievement, to focus attention upon the critical importance of the arts, humanities, and sciences in the life of an enlightened democratic society, and to pay tribute to Pennsylvania’s rich cultural and intellectual traditions.” A single award was presented in each area.

In 1996, oversight and administration of the Governor’s Awards returned to the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts. Four new award categories were established by Governor Tom Ridge to recognize not only the contributions of Pennsylvania’s individual artists and patrons of the arts, but also the outstanding arts organizations which make the Commonwealth a leader in the cultural life of the nation. For the first time, a category was established which recognizes the significant contributions to the arts made by corporations and foundations (the Patron Award).

Currently, the Governor's Office has developed five award categories:

The Distinguished Arts Award recognizes a Pennsylvania artist of international fame, leadership or renown whole creations or contributions enrich the state. 

The Patron Award recognizes an individual, corporation, or foundation patron's significant contributions to the vitality and availability of the arts in Pennsylvania. 

The Arts Leadership & Service/Arts Innovation Award Recognizing an organization or individual(s) for outstanding leadership and service or innovation in the arts.

The Artist of the Year Award (The Hazlett Memorial Award) recognizes an individual artist for their creations and contributions to the excellence of the arts in Pennsylvania.

Past Recipients of the
Pennsylvania Governor's Awards for the Arts

2013 2012 2010 2009      
 
2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2002
2001 2000 1999 1998 1997 1996
Governor's Awards for Excellence in the Arts and Distinguished Pennsylvania Artists

Theodore L. Hazlett Memorial Awards for Excellence in the Arts

 

2013 Governor's Awards for the Arts -- Harrisburg
2013govaward_logo  Jerry Pinkney Distinguished Arts Award  
Beverlee and Bill Lehr Patron Award  
LIVE: Chad Taylor, Patrick Dahlheimer and Chad Gracey Arts Innovation  
Kathleen Mulcahy and Ron Desmett Artists of the Year  

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2012 Governor's Awards for the Arts --Erie

 
 Peter Q. Bohlin FAIA   Distinguished Arts Award
Tom and Susan Hagen   Patron Award
Bruce Katsiff   Arts Leadership & Service Award
Jane Golden and the City of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program   Arts Innovation
   Susan Hale Kemenyffy   Artist of the Year

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2010 Governor's Awards for the Arts -- Philadelphia

 
 Charles Dutoit   Distinguished Arts Award
Carole Price Shanis
Joseph Shanis
  Patron Award
 ArtsQuest   Outstanding Leadership & Service in Arts for Youth
 John Vanco   Pennsylvania Creative Community Award
   Moe A. Brooker   Artist of the Year

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2009 Governor's Awards for the Arts -- York

   
 
 Jeff Koons   Distinguished Arts Award
 Louis J. Appell
Arthur J. Glatfelter
  Patron Award
 Caroline S. Nunan   Outstanding Leadership & Service in Arts for Youth
 Ridgway Chainsaw Carvers   Pennsylvania Creative Community Award
   Del McCoury   Artist of the Year

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2008 Governor's Awards for the Arts -- Williamsport

Michael Keaton   Distinguished Arts Award
Barbara B. Hudock   Patron Award
The PAL Center for the Arts Unit
of The Olivet Boys & Girls Club of Reading & Berks County
  Outstanding Leadership & Service in Arts for Youth
Taller Puertorriqueno
Carmen Febo-San Miguel, M.D., Executive Director
  Outstanding Leadership & Service in Arts in Education Award
Phil Woods
& the Delaware Water Gap Celebration of the Arts (COTA)
  Pennsylvania Creative Community Award
  Sascha Feinstein   Artist of the Year

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2007 Governor's Awards for the Arts -- Gettysburg

Rob Marshall   Distinguished Arts Award
Kathleen Marshall   Distinguished Arts Award
Jennifer & David LeVan   Patron Award
Marcia Dale Weary   Outstanding Leadership & Service to Youth Award
Settlement Music School   Outstanding Leadership & Service to Youth Award
Pike County Arts & Crafts   Pennsylvania Creative Community Award
Lorenzo “Rennie” Harris   Artist of the Year
(The Hazlett Memorial Award)
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2006 Governor's Awards for the Arts -- Wilkes-Barre

Nelson Shanks   Distinguished Arts Award
Santo Loquasto   Distinguished Arts Award
Marlene O. “Linny” Fowler   Patron Award
Bradford County Regional Arts Council (BCRAC)   Outstanding Leadership & Service in Arts in Education Award
Dr. Vernell A. Lillie   Pennsylvania Creative Community Award
The Dixie Hummingbirds   Artist of the Year
(The Hazlett Memorial Award)

 

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2005 Governor's Awards for the Arts -- Greensburg

Marilyn Horne   Distinguished Arts Award
Lloyd Alexander   Lifetime Leadership & Service in the Arts for Youth
Francois Bitz   Patron Award
Sarah Tambucci, Ph.D.   Outstanding Leadership & Service in Arts in Education
Art Sanctuary and Asian Arts Initiative   Creative Community Award
Lonnie Graham   Artist of the Year
(The Hazlett Memorial Award)

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2004 Governor's Awards for the Arts -- Reading

Lang Lang   Artist of the Year
(The Hazlett Memorial Award)
Regina "Ginger" Gouger Miller and Marlin Miller, Jr.   Patron Award
Carole Haas Gravagno   Outstanding Leadership & Service in the Arts for Youth
Donna and Al Brown and
The Point Breeze Performing Arts Center
  Pennsylvania Creative Community Award

 

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2002 Governor's Awards for the Arts -- Harrisburg

M. Night Shyamalan   Distinguished Arts Award
Marguerite and Gerry Lenfest   Patron Award
The Harrisburg Housing Authority's Cultural Arts Program   Arts Leadership and Service Award
Bob Dorough   Artist of the Year
     
   

 

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2001 Governor's Awards for the Arts -- Allentown

Wolfgang Sawallisch   Distinguished Arts Award
The Dexter F. and Dorothy H. Baker Foundation   Patron Award
WHYY, Inc.
President and CEO William J. Marrazzo
  Arts Leadership and Service
Leon Bates   Artist of the Year
     

 

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2000 Governor's Awards for the Arts -- Altoona

Chaim Potok   Distinguished Arts Award
Meyer P. and Vivian O. Potamkin   Patron Award
The Heinz Endowments   Patron Award
Lily Yeh   Arts Leadership and Service
LaVaughn Robinson   Artist of the Year

 

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1999 Governor's Awards for the Arts -- Harrisburg

Peter Nero   Distinguished Arts Award
Lois Lehrman Grass   Patron Award
Sunoco, Inc.   Patron Award
William E. Strickland, Jr   Arts Leadership and Service
Thaddeus Mosley   Artist of the Year

 

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1998 Governor's Awards for the Arts -- Philadelphia

Patti LaBelle   Distinguished Arts Award
Bell Atlantic   Corporate Award
Arts & Business Council of Greater Philadelphia   Arts Leadership & Service
Robert Page   Artist of the Year

 

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1997 Governor's Awards for the Arts -- Pittsburgh

Ken Ludwig   Distinguished Arts Award
PNC Bank Foundation   Foundation Patron
Leon Arkus   Arts Leadership & Service
Charlotte Blake Alston   Artist of the Year

 

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1996 Governor's Awards for the Arts -- Harrisburg

Paul Winter   Distinguished Arts Award
Binney & Smith Inc.   Corporate Patron
Carol R. Brown   Arts Leadership & Service
Robert Montgomery Scott   Arts Leadership & Service
Tito Capobianco   Artist of the Year

 

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Governor's Awards for Excellence in the Arts and Distinguished Pennsylvania Artists

1994 Lorin Maazel Conductor
1993 John Edgar Wideman Author
1992 Paul Plishka Opera Singer
1991 Gary Graffman Pianist
1990 August Wilson Playwright
1989 Riccardo Muti Conductor
1988 Judith Jamison Dancer
1986 Andrew Wyeth Painter
1985 Byron Janis Pianist
1984 Bill Cosby Entertainer
1983 John Updike Author
1982 Marian Anderson Opera Singer
1981 James Michener Author
1980 James Stewart Actor
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Theodore L. Hazlett Memorial Awards for Excellence in the Arts

1986    
  Lester Breininger, Jr. Crafts
  Joan Myers Brown Dance
  Samuel Hazo Literature
  Sidney Goodman Painting
  Edgar Kaufmann, Jr. Service to the Arts
  Katherine Minehart Theatre
1985    
  Mitchell/Giurogola Architecture
  Anthony Buba Media Arts
  Max Rudolf Music
  Larry Fink Photography
  Charles Fahlen Sculpture
1984    
  Stanley Lechtzin Crafts
  Hellmut Fricke-Gottschild Dance
  Daniel Hoffman Literature
  Dorothy Dressler Service to the Arts
  Charles Fuller Theatre
  Henry Koerner Painting
1983    
  Linda Blackaby Film/Video
  Andre Previn Music
  Emmet Gowin Photography
  Jody Pinto Sculpture
  Robert Venturi
Denise Scott Brown
Architecture
1982    
  Rudolf Staffel Crafts
  Paul Draper Dance
  Fred Rogers Film/Video
  David Bradley Literature
  George Crumb Music
  Larry Day Painting
  Mark Cohen Photography
  Rafael Ferrer Sculpture
  John Allen, Jr. Theatre
  Philip I. and Muriel Berman Service to the Arts
1981    
  George Nakashima Crafts
  Barbara Weisberger Dance
  Peter Rose Film/Video
  Paul West Literature
  Vincent Persichetti Music
  Andrew Wyeth Painting
  William Larson Photography
  Selma Burke Sculpture
  Margo Lovelace Theatre
  Gregory Gibson Service to the Arts
1980    
  Natale Rossi Crafts
  Arthur Hall Dance
  Dwinell Grant Film/Video
  Gerald Stern Literature
  Eugene Ormandy Music
  Edna Andrade Painting
  Ray K. Metzker Photography
  Harry Bertoia Sculpture
  Dr. Alvina Krause Theatre
  Sondra Myers Service to the Arts
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