Governor and First Lady Lee Announce Twelve Recipients of the 2019 Governor’s Arts Awards

Governor and First Lady Lee have announced twelve recipients who will receive a Tennessee Governor’s Arts Award, Tennessee’s highest honor in the arts. Since 1971, the Governor’s Arts Awards have celebrated those who have made outstanding contributions to the state’s cultural life. An awards ceremony for the recipients will take place in Conservation Hall at the Executive Residence on October 23, 2019.

“Tennessee’s artistic heritage and culture is some of the richest in the nation. These twelve outstanding recipients are true leaders in the arts and culture in our state, and they help make Tennessee the special state it is,” Governor Lee said. ”Maria and I congratulate them, and we are so glad they call Tennessee home.”

The twelve recipients come from all walks of life and symbolize the tremendous variety of the arts and culture of Tennessee. The Governor’s Arts Awards are presented in three different categories — Folklife Heritage, Arts Leadership and Distinguished Artist.

“The awards are a testimony to the value that the arts bring to our communities, our schools, and our lives,” said Joe Kilgore, chair of the Tennessee Arts Commission.

The 2019 Governor’s Arts Awards recipients are:

“The arts help build stronger communities by enhancing quality of life and the distinctive character of Tennessee places,” said Anne B. Pope, Executive Director of the Tennessee Arts Commission. “The 2019 recipients of the Governor’s Arts Award have each contributed significantly in defining who we are as a state.”

About the Tennessee Arts Commission
The Tennessee Arts Commission is the state arts agency whose mission is to cultivate the arts for Tennesseans and their communities. For more information on the Governor’s Arts Awards and prior recipients, visit