Thursday December 6, 2012

BRATTLEBORO -- The Vermont Arts Council invites the public to join Gov. Peter Shumlin on Monday, Dec. 10, as he presents the Governor’s Award for Excellence in the Arts to author Karen Hesse, author Archer Mayor, cellist Sharon Robinson and teacher and professional clown Stephen Stearns.

The Vermont Arts Awards Gala, sponsored by Entergy Nuclear Vermont Yankee in association with the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, will be held at 8 p.m., at the Latchis Theatre, 50 Main St. Admission is free; reservations may be made by calling 802-828-3293.

Awardees are nominated by the public and the Arts Council then passes on the top nominees to the governor, who makes the final selection. This year is a year of firsts; it is the first time the award will be presented to four people and it’s also the first time the award will be presented outside of Montpelier. As all four awardees hail from the Brattleboro area, it only seemed fitting to hold the ceremony in Brattleboro.

The Governor’s Award is presented annually. Recipients must: Reside in Vermont; have made a significant and sustained contribution to the advancement of an art form; are recognized for contributions in an international, national or regional area; demonstrate a personal commitment to the development of cultural life in Vermont; demonstrate exemplary standards of professional integrity.

As part of the celebration, the Arts Council of Windham County is encouraging all artists and those working in support of the arts to attend the ceremony and wear their art on their sleeves. Artists and those working for artists or arts organizations are encouraged to wear something that identifies themselves. ACWC will have buttons saying "Working Artist" or "I Work in the Arts" free at the door.

"It is a great affirmation for our arts community that these four awards are all going to Windham County artists, and that the event will be in Brattleboro for the first time" stated Doug Cox, ACWC president. "One thing we’ve learned in the arts is that excellence does not develop in a vacuum. All of us working in the arts can take pride in the accomplishments of those being honored. We can all celebrate the rich community of which we are a part and that feeds all of us as artists and workers.

"Our recent study and report ‘Arts Economy Prosperity in Windham County’ is eye-opening and encouraging for the arts sector. But more meaningful is to see the many people with lives and imaginations that make up that economy. This event is a chance for all those working in the arts to be seen, counted and celebrated," said Cox.

For more information on the Governor’s Awards or the Vermont Arts Council, visit www.vermontartscouncil.org.