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2020 Governor’s Arts Awards airs Feb. 13 on MPB

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The 32nd Governor’s Arts Awards – an annual event recognizing Mississippi’s top artists – will air on MPB Television Feb. 13 at 8 p.m. and Feb. 16. at 2 p.m. Hear the event at 5 p.m. Feb. 23 on MPB Think Radio. 

Presented by the Mississippi Arts Commission, winners of the Governor’s Arts Awards are individuals and organizations that have made noteworthy contributions of achieved artistic excellence in the state. MPB viewers will have the opportunity to watch musical performances and hear from award winners.

“We are proud to honor this extraordinary group of recipients at the 32nd Governor’s Arts Awards,” said Malcolm White, executive director MAC. “These five recipients are leaders in their fields, and all have made lasting contributions to the arts in our state, adding to Mississippi’s enviable artistic legacy.”

The 2020 Governor’s Arts Awards recipients are:

  • Henry Danton, Lifetime Achievement in Dance – A 100-year-old world-renowned ballet dancer and teacher based in Petal, Mississippi, Danton continues to teach in South Mississippi as well as at Belhaven University today. During his 23-year residency in the state, he’s made a profound impact on the dance community.
  • Steve Forbert, Excellence in Music – A singer-songwriter, whose career in folk-rock spans nearly four decades, the Meridian native began his career in New York City, performing on street corners and working his way up to high-profile gigs. Forbert’s 20th studio album will be released later this year and he continues to tour internationally.
  • Jackson Southernaires, Lifetime Achievement in Music – Formed in 1940, the 80-year old gospel group began recording in 1969, with the release of “Too Late” on Song Bird Records. The group has released 28 albums, 11 of which have charted on the Billboard Gospel Albums chart. They are credited as the first group in Mississippi to employ keyboards, guitar, drums and bass instruments in gospel, establishing a practice that continues today.
  • Richard Kelso, Excellence in Visual Art – A Cleveland, Mississippi, native and well-known Mississippi painter whose work focuses on capturing the beauty, time and place of Mississippi’s land, has work that spans three decades. His art is found in corporate and private collections across the Southeast.
  • Tougaloo College Art Collections, Preservation of the Arts – The collection was started in the 1960s during the Civil Rights Movement when a group of activists, curators and critics formed the New York Art Committee for Tougaloo College. The committee envisioned the collection serving the teaching needs of Tougaloo College and the cultural needs of the broader community. Today the collection has 1,500 works, including works on paper, sculpture, paintings, decorative arts and textiles.     

To learn more about each of this year’s recipients, visit the MAC website.