Governor Kate Brown Reinstates Governor’s Arts Awards in Honor of Arts Commission’s 50th Anniversary

Celebrating the uplifting power of art and its value to Oregonians’ quality of life, Governor Kate Brown announced she is reinstating the Governor’s Arts Awards in honor of the Oregon Arts Commission’s 50th Anniversary.

Established in 1977, the once-annual awards have been on hiatus since 2007. A call for nominations (deadline in June 30) is now posted on the Arts Commission website:

A partnership between the Office of the Governor and the Arts Commission, the Governor’s Arts Awards recognize and honor individuals and organizations that have made significant contributions to the arts in Oregon. Awardees will be announced during the Governor’s Arts Awards ceremony from 8 to 9am on Friday, October 6, at the Portland Hilton Downtown.

“Art is a fundamental ingredient of any thriving and vibrant community,” Governor Brown said. “Art sparks connections between people, movements, and new ideas. To put it simply, art makes life better. I am thrilled to celebrate Oregon’s best artists and art supporters through the Governor’s Arts Awards.”

The Governor’s Arts Awards are open to any individual, organization or community that currently resides in or has a significant presence in Oregon and has made outstanding contributions to the arts in the state. The 143 past recipients of a Governor’s Arts Award are not eligible. (View past awardees:

“The Governor’s Arts Award is the most prestigious honor an Oregon artist can receive,” said Arts Commission Chair Libby Unthank Tower. “We are extremely grateful to Governor Brown for restoring the Awards so that we can once again formally recognize the contribution of Oregon artists and arts supporters to our collective quality of life.”

Nominations will be reviewed by a committee comprised of a representative from the Governor’s Office, an Arts Commissioner and three to five arts leaders from across the state. They will recommend three to five awards based on the nominee’s regional, national or international recognition for his/her/their contributions; role in improving the quality of arts experiences and appreciation for the arts in Oregon; contributions to advancing the arts’ positive impact on Oregonians’ quality of life; and length of service to the arts in Oregon. Governor Brown will have final approval of award recipients.

Nominations must be received by 5 p.m. on Friday, June 30. Recipients will be notified by July 28 and must be available to attend the Oct. 6 award ceremony.


The Oregon Arts Commission provides leadership, funding and arts programs through its grants, special initiatives and services. Nine commissioners, appointed by the Governor, determine arts needs and establish policies for public support of the arts. The Arts Commission became part of the Oregon Business Development Department in 1993 in recognition of the expanding role the arts play in the broader social, economic and educational arenas of Oregon communities.

The Arts Commission is supported with general funds appropriated by the Oregon legislature, federal funds from the National Endowment for the Arts and funds from the Oregon Cultural Trust.

Carrie Kikel

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