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Originally presented in 1973, the biennial awards recognize excellence in artistic achievement, philanthropy, arts education, and leadership in the arts. The awards also build statewide awareness of the important role the arts plan in Indiana.
Governor’s Arts Awards have been given to the following for significant achievements in, or contributions to the arts in Indiana and beyond:
The Award's recipients are selected by an independent panel of distinguished representatives from Indiana's arts, education, business, public and private sectors. The IAC conducts a public call for nominations, and the panel reviews and scores nominations based on the nominee's total body of work and the impact of the nominee's work on the cultural climate of the city, region, the state of Indiana, or on the national and international level. A limited number of recipients are selected from the field of nominees to receive this distinguished honor.
In addition to recognizing key contributors to the arts, the IAC commissions an Indiana artist to design and create each award. The artist is selected through a statewide call for artists by the same independent panel that selects the Award's recipients.