Wyoming Arts Council

Governor’s Arts Awards announced

Governor Dave Freudenthal’s office just issued this announcement:

Two arts organizations and two individuals will be celebrated by Gov. Dave Freudenthal and other state leaders for their contributions to the arts at the 27th Annual Governors Arts Awards banquet on Feb. 13, 2009. This year’s recipients are the Park County Arts Council, Cody; Jerry Palen, Saratoga; Diane Springford, Lander; and Tandem Productions, Sheridan. They will be honored at the Little America Hotel and Conference Center in Cheyenne at a banquet beginning at 6 p.m. on Feb. 13.

For more than 25 years, the Governor’s Arts Awards have provided a forum to recognize those who dedicate their time, passion and financial support to Wyoming’s cultural life, as well as the importance of the arts in daily life. Details about the awards are available from the Wyoming Arts Council at 307.777.7742.

“I am delighted to be able to recognize these two groups and two individuals for their invaluable contributions to our state,” Gov. Dave Freudenthal said. “Through their work, they foster art, theatre and music in our communities and inspire Wyoming’s young people to get involved in these rewarding pursuits. In the case of cartoonist Jarry Palen, his particular mode of expression allows us to laugh at ourselves and somehow gain a greater appreciation for our western way of life.”

Recipients include:

  • The Park County Arts Council, which was established in 1984 to support and encourage arts activities in the county by providing arts programming through performances and educational opportunities in Cody, Powell and Meeteetse. Performances include in-state, regional and international groups along with extensive Arts Education offerings that include in-school and after school performances, residencies and workshops.
  • Jerry Palen is an acclaimed cartoonist whose characters appear in the national syndicated series “Stampede.” He is also an accomplished bronze sculptor, who has bronzes on display at the National Cowboy Hall of Fame, on the Wyoming Capitol lawn and on the University of Wyoming campus.
  • Diane Springford established the Wyoming Shakespeare Festival Company in 2000, the only theatrical touring company in Wyoming that criss-crosses the state each summer performing full-length production of Shakespeare and the works of other notable playwrights. Springford also produces and directs performances for schools in Fremont County.
  • Tandem Productions, Richard and Tami Davis, conducts a wide variety of programs, including theatre, musical theatre and arts education opportunities for the youth of Sheridan County. Tandem also offers summer theatre camps for children, sponsorship of professional touring companies, which offer school visits, and partnership with the Sheridan YMCA for after-school programs.

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