Governor's Awards for the Arts brings the richness and diversity of the arts in Virginia to the attention of the general public and to state officials. Over 40 states host Governor's Arts Awards programs. The Awards recognize lifetime achievement for the recipients, are a public demonstration of the Governor's commitment to arts and culture, and are an opportunity for celebration of the cultural life of a state.


Governor's Awards for the Arts have been presented four times in Virginia - in 1979 by Governor John Dalton, in 1985 by Governor Charles Robb, in 2000 by Governor James Gilmore and 2008 by Governor Tim Kaine.

2008 Governor's Arts Awards Recipients

  • Bob Brown Puppets, Fairfax
  • Hampton University Museum, Hampton
  • Richmond Ballet, Stoner Winslett, Artistic Director
  • Richmond Jazz Society
  • Theatre IV, Richmond, Bruce Miller and Phil Whiteway, Founders
  • William King Regional Arts Center, Abingdon
  • Dr. Ralph Cohen and Jim Warren, Staunton
  • Dr. Ralph Stanley, Coeburn
  • David and Susan Goode, Norfolk
  • Shenandoah: The Washington and Lee University Review, Lexington

2000 Governor's Arts Awards Recipients

  • Galax Moose Lodge #733, sponsor of the Old Fiddlers Convention
  • George Garrett, Charlottesville, novelist, essayist, poet, and teacher
  • Dr. Nikki Giovanni, Christiansburg, poet and teacher
  • Adolphus Hailstork, Virginia Beach, composer
  • Philip Morris Family of Companies, patrons of the arts
  • Theresa Pollak, Richmond, painter and founder of the VCU School of the Arts
  • Daisy Portuondo, Wise, impresario and arts patron
  • Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, Sweet Briar, artists retreat
  • Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts, Vienna

1985 Governor's Arts Awards Recipients

  • Jewett Campbell, painter and educator
  • Janette Carter and the Carter Family Fold
  • the Chrysler Museum
  • Sydney and Frances Lewis
  • Dr. Undine Smith Moore, composer and educator
  • Thea Musgrave, composer
  • the Fairfax Symphony
  • Peter Taylor, author
  • CSX Corporation, supporter of the arts
  • Norfolk Southern Corporation, supporter of the arts

1979 Governor's Arts Awards Recipients

  • Dabney Stuart, poet and professor of English at Washington & Lee University
  • Isaiah Jackson, conductor
  • the Lynchburg Fine Arts Center
  • Nell Blaine, painter
  • Marian Van Landingham, founder of the Torpedo Factory Arts Center
  • the Richmond Symphony
  • the Virginia Opera
  • the Barter Theatre
  • Catherine Filene Shouse, founder of Wolf Trap Farm Park for the Performing Arts
  • Leslie Cheek, Jr., director of the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts
  • Miller & Rhoads Department Store, supporter of the arts
  • Thalhimer's Department Store, supporter of the art