Tennessee Nominations Open for 2021 Governor’s Arts Awards

Jan 04, 2021 at 09:44 am by WGNS

The Tennessee Arts Commission is accepting nominations now through March 31, 2021, for the 2021 Governor’s Arts Awards, to be presented by Governor and First Lady Lee in the fall of 2021.

Established in 1971, these accolades are Tennessee’s highest honor in the arts, recognizing individuals and organizations that have made significant contributions to cultural life.

“The Governor’s Arts Awards provide an opportunity to recognize the state’s rich cultural heritage and reward creative excellence in the arts,” says Anne Pope, Executive Director of the Commission. “The honored recipients represent the best of Tennessee with selection based on their extraordinary contributions. Their influence often extends well beyond the state, making an impact across the country and even internationally.”

There are three award categories:


Presented to folk artists or organizations that have made outstanding contributions to Tennessee’s traditional arts. The award honors significant achievements within art forms that are rooted in the traditional or ethnic cultures of Tennessee.


Presented to individuals or organizations who have demonstrated significant contributions that have impacted or advanced the value of the arts in Tennessee. Examples of recipients include educators, arts organizations, businesses, patrons, arts administrators, corporations, and volunteers.


Presented to Tennessee artists of exceptional talent and creativity in any discipline whose work has significant and lasting impact on a state or national level.

Instructions on the nomination process and the nomination form are available online.

All nominations must include a narrative detailing the nominee’s contribution to the arts in a specific award category and why the individual, organization, community or business merits consideration for a Governor’s Arts Award. Also, nominations must include at least three but no more than five current letters of support for each nomination. Support letters should provide the selection committee important testimonies and additional information about your nominee. Letters may be written by colleagues, board members, community leaders, educators, etc.

Recipients are selected by an inter-board committee of the Tennessee Arts Commission comprised of the Commission’s board members and representatives from the Governor’s and First Lady’s offices. The 2021 Award recipients will be notified by the Tennessee Arts Commission in the summer/fall of 2021.
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