Awards to Kentucky individuals, organizations, businesses, government agencies, and schools to recognize significant contributions to the arts within the state or nationally. The awards are intended to honor outstanding recipients in a variety of categories. Awardees have supported artists and arts organizations and have demonstrated the value of the arts. An additional goal of the award program is to expand and diversify arts advocacy.
The nine categories (each with its own eligibility criteria) are as follows:
Milner Award: Outstanding philanthropic, artistic, or other contributions to the arts
Artist Award: Lifetime Achievement in the arts
Business Award: Outstanding interest in and support of the arts
Community Arts Award: Positive impact on the community through the arts
Education Award: Significant contribution to arts in education
Folk Heritage Award: Outstanding effort to perpetuate and promote Kentucky's unique artistic traditions
Government Award: Significant support for the arts through government action
Media Award: Commitment to bringing the arts to the attention of the public
National Award: Achievement of national fame in the arts
Nominations will be reviewed using the following performance expectations as applied to each award category description:
The personification of the value of the arts
The nominee has demonstrated their/its support of artists and organizations in providing arts activities.
Eligible nominees include artists, arts organizations, volunteers, schools, educators, local governments, legislators, and corporate citizens.
Organizations, businesses, or individuals from within or outside of Kentucky may make nominations.
Eligible nominations must meet the following specific requirements in each of the award categories:
- Milner Award: Be an individual resident of Kentucky or an organization located in Kentucky.
- Artist Award: Be an individual resident of Kentucky.
- Business Award: Be a business located in Kentucky.
- Community Arts Award: Be an individual resident of Kentucky or an organization located in Kentucky.
- Education Award: Be an individual resident of Kentucky or a school or organization located in Kentucky.
- Folk Heritage Award: Be an individual resident of Kentucky, an organization located in Kentucky, or an individual or organization closely related to Kentucky.
- Government Award: Be a Kentucky son or daughter, an individual Kentucky resident, or an agency located in Kentucky.
- Media Award: Be an individual Kentucky journalist involved in print, broadcast, or electronic media or a media organization located in Kentucky.
- National Award: Be a Kentucky son or daughter who is a resident of, or is closely related to, Kentucky.
Past Governor's Awards in the Arts recipients and deceased persons are ineligible for nomination in any category.
Nominations must be submitted by 4:30 p.m. Eastern time on March 17, 2023.
Nominators are welcome to submit nominations in more than one category. A separate nomination form is required for each category.
Nominations will be kept active for three award cycles. Multiple nominations for the same nominee in the same year do not increase the nominee's competitiveness for an award.