CONCORD — The N.H. State Council on the Arts is pleased to announce the individuals and organizations being honored as recipients of the 2021 Governor’s Arts Awards.
Lotte Jacobi Living Treasure: Al Jaeger, Deerfield; Arts Education: Marek Bennett, Henniker; Arts in Health: New Hampshire Theatre Project, Portsmouth; Creative Communities: Dover Arts Commission; Distinguished Arts Leadership: Nicolette Clarke, Concord; Folk Heritage: Randy Miller, East Alstead; and Individual Arts Champion: Jeff Johnston and Mark Stebbins, Portsmouth.
Stebbins, who collaborated with Johnston to form the “Together 250 Challenge” that supported local arts programs, restaurants, and hunger relief during the pandemic, was informed of being named an awardee before he unexpectedly passed away in June.
This year, a special category, the Silver Lining Resilience Awards, will be awarded to one entity from each Executive Council district to honor creative and innovative solutions that were implemented and supported as a way of offsetting challenges brought about by the pandemic. Those awardees are:
District 1: Women’s Rural Entrepreneurial Network, Bethlehem; District 2: N.H. Dance Institute, Keene; District 3: Seacoast Repertory Theatre, Portsmouth; District 4: theatre KAPOW, Manchester; and District 5: Andy’s Summer Playhouse, Wilton.
The New Hampshire 2021 Governor’s Arts Award celebration will take place at StudioLab in Derry, on October 26, beginning at 5:00 p.m. Gov. Chris Sununu is scheduled to host the ceremony, which will include both live music and videos profiling awardees. The free event will be live-streamed to reach the broadest audience possible.
The N.H. Governor’s Arts Awards are given every other year. While the awards are non-monetary, they publicly recognize outstanding contributions to the state’s arts and cultural life made by individuals, organizations, and communities.
André Belanger of Berlin designed and created the Governor’s Arts Awards themselves, which echo the N.H. State House Eagle, widely considered the first piece of public art in the state. Silver Lining Awards were created by R.P. Hale, an interdisciplinary artist, and state arts councilor.
To be eligible for nominations, individuals must reside in New Hampshire or have made significant contributions to the arts while living in New Hampshire; nominated organizations, cities and towns must be physically located in New Hampshire.
The N.H. Governor’s Arts Awards are supported entirely through private funding.
To learn more about the 2021 Governor’s Arts Awards and to see a list of previous awardees, visit nh.gov/nharts/artsandartists/gaa/index.htm.
The N.H. State Council on the Arts is a division of the Department of Natural and Cultural Resources. The State Arts Council provides a wide variety of services, competitive grants, and technical assistance to not-for-profit organizations, schools, health care facilities, and individual artists, helping to ensure that the arts thrive in New Hampshire and are accessible to all. Funding for grants and services is provided by the New Hampshire Legislature and the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency. Learn more at nh.gov/nharts.