Wyoming Arts Council

Governor’s Arts Awards

Established in 1982, the Governor’s Arts Awards recognize excellence in the arts and outstanding service to the arts in Wyoming. These awards were first made possible by an endowment from the Union Pacific Foundation in honor of Mrs. John U. Loomis, a lifelong patron of the arts. Over the years, individuals and organizations from more than 35 Wyoming communities and statewide organizations have been honored for their dedication to the arts in Wyoming.

Nominations for the 2024 Governor’s Arts Awards will open on August 23, 2024

The 42nd Annual Governor’s Arts Awards banquet will take place on Friday, February 28, 2025 in Cheyenne.

2023 Governor’s Arts Award Honorees

Governor Mark Gordon is pleased to announce the recipients of the 2023 Governor’s Arts Awards. Three individuals and two families will be honored and celebrated by the Governor and First Lady, alongside other state leaders for their contributions to the arts at the 41st Annual Governor’s Arts Awards banquet.

This year’s honorees are Mike and Jane Sullivan, arts advocates and former Wyoming Governor and First Lady from Casper; Mary Jane Edwards, arts educator and recently retired executive director of the Jentel Foundation from Banner; The Munsick Boys, musicians from Dayton; Milward Simpson, former director of the WY Department of State Parks & Cultural Resources from Cheyenne; and Geoff O’Gara, filmmaker and author from Lander.

Dinner and Award Ceremony – February 23, 2024 in Cheyenne

Join us for a spectacular evening celebrating the arts at the Governor’s Arts Awards! This in-person event will take place on Friday, February 23, 2024 at 6pm in Cheyenne at the Little America Hotel and Conference Center.

At the Wyoming Governor’s Arts Awards, we honor outstanding individuals and organizations who have made significant contributions to the arts community across the state. From painters to musicians, dancers to playwrights, this event recognizes the diverse talents that enrich our cultural landscape.

Prepare to be captivated by special performances and heartwarming speeches. Meet and mingle with renowned artists, art enthusiasts, and influential figures in the industry.

Whether you’re an artist, a supporter of the arts, or simply someone who appreciates creativity, this is an evening you won’t want to miss. Mark your calendars and get ready to experience an unforgettable celebration of the arts at the Governor’s Arts Awards!

Sponsorship Opportunities

With Governor’s Arts Award recipients hailing from around the state of Wyoming, this is a wonderful opportunity to recognize those living and working within your own community. Your contribution allows us to hold this renowned event while paying tribute to the individuals and organizations who enhance their community, inspire others, and strengthen the arts in Wyoming.

2024 Premier Sponsor

Governor’s Circle SponsorsAdvocate for the Arts Sponsors

Art Ambassador Table Sponsors

If you are interested in sponsoring this event or for additional information and questions, contact Mandy Connelley with the Wyoming Arts Council at mandy.connelley@wyo.gov or 307-214-2701

The Process

There were many nominations submitted for this year’s awards and the selection process was quite competitive. Nominations were submitted to the Wyoming Arts Council in September, reviewed in late October by the Wyoming Arts Council Board, whose recommendations were submitted to the Governor for the final selection.

Nominations are open to any Wyoming citizen, organization, business or community. Winners are selected based on their substantial contributions that exemplify a long-term commitment to the arts through their outstanding impact, breadth of support, dedication to artistic excellence, and involvement in special initiatives supporting the arts.

Special consideration will be given to nominees whose arts service is statewide. Previous Governor’s Arts Award recipients are not eligible for nomination, but the nomination of previously unselected nominees is encouraged.

Current Wyoming Arts Council board members, staff members, contractors and members of their families are not eligible for nomination.


The Arts Council is committed to reducing barriers for participation. If you require disability accommodations, including accessible transportation between Summit sites, please contact Cashmere Balland at 307-214-7819 or cashmere.balland@wyo.gov Advance notice is necessary to arrange for some accommodations.

Previous Wyoming Governor's Arts Award Recipients

2023: Mike and Jane Sullivan, Casper | Mary Jane Edwards, Banner | The Munsick Boys, Dayton | Milward Simpson, Cheyenne | Geoff O’Gara, Lander

2022: Anne Mason, Laramie | Clarene Law (posthumous), Jackson | The Actor’s Mission, Rock Springs

2021: Bronwyn Minton, Jackson | Charles Belden (posthumous), Meeteetsee | Debora Soulé, Rock Springs | James Bama, Wapiti | Off Square Theatre Company, Jackson

2020: Dr. Valerie Innella Maiers, Casper | John and Nancy Schiffer, Kaycee | Margaret Wilson, Laramie | Sue Simpson Gallagher, Cody

2019:  Wendy Bredehoft, Laramie | Jim Jackson, Sheridan| Robert Martinez, Riverton | WYO Theater, Sheridan | Wyoming Music Educators Association

2018: Elaine Henry, Big Horn | Karyne Dunbar, Shell | Keith Seidel, Cody | Marsha Knight, Laramie

2017: Art 321/Casper Artists Guild, Casper | Susan Moldenhauer, Laramie | Leslie O’Hashi, Cheyenne | Dr. Patrick Patton, Casper

2016: Forrest Mars Jr., Big Horn (Posthumous) | Marianne Vinich, Lander | Adam Duncan Harris, Jackson | Tim Sandlin, Jackson

2015: Cedric Reverand and Paul Taylor, Laramie | Chris Navarro and Brian Scott Gamroth, Casper | Sarah Rogers, Sundance | Hot Springs Greater Learning Foundation, Thermopolis

2014: Tom Lucas, Dubois | Zachary Pullen, Casper | Jim Wilcox, Jackson

2013: Guadalupe Barajas, Cheyenne | Babs Case, Jackson | Bar J Wranglers, Wilson | Bruce Richardson, Casper | Norma Sturges, Casper

2012: AVA Community Art Center, Gillette | Jalan Crossland, Ten Sleep | Lynn Munns, Casper

2011: Eagle Bronze Foundry, Lander | Michael C. Poulsen, Cody | Dr. Seymour Thickman, Sheridan | PALS: Promoting Arts in Lander Schools, Lander

2010: Bradford Brinton Memorial & Museum, Big Horn | Michael Masterson, Powell | Stage III Community Theatre, Casper | pARTners, Jackson | Nancy Curtis, Glendo

2009: Don Butler, Sheridan | Duane Evenson, Gillette | Naoma J. Tate, Cody | Louise Wesswick, Rock Springs | Wyoming Educators of Secondary Theatre

2008: Park County Arts Council, Cody | Jerry Palen, Saratoga | Diane Springford, Lander Tandem Productions, Sheridan

2007: Lander Community Concerts Association (now Lander Performing Arts) | Neil Hansen, Powell | Mike McClure, Lander | Tucker Smith, Pinedale

2006: Candra Day, Jackson | Razmick Sarkissian, Sheridan | Barbara Smith, Rock Springs | Creative Arts Program, Ark Regional Services, Laramie

2005: William Missouri Downs, Laramie | Neltje, Banner | Oyster Ridge Music Festival, Kemmerer | Ucross Foundation Residency Program, Clearmont

2004: All City Children’s Chorus, Cheyenne | Gaydell Collier, Sundance | Dr. Jane Leland Iverson, Cheyenne | Holly Turner, Casper

2003: Art Association, Jackson | Casper Children’s Chorale | Rod Garnett, Laramie | Susie & Mick McMurry, Casper

2002: Jo Crandall, Pinedale | John S. Giarrizzo, Powell | The Honorable Stanley K. and Mrs. Roberta “Bobby” Hathaway, Cheyenne

2001: Arts in Action, Riverton | Dr. Sloan and Anna Marie Hales, Cheyenne | The National Museum of Wildlife Art, Jackson | Ronald Steger, Laramie

2000: Dancers Workshop, Jackson | Sara Wiles, Lander | Lynne Livingston Simpson, Laramie

1999: Susie Dowler, Gillette | David Romtvedt, Buffalo | Dr. Patricia Tate, Laramie | Wind River Artists Guild & Headwaters Community Arts and Conference Center – Dubois

1998: Janet Ahlquist, Casper | Earl Sams Lightner, Jackson | Sophie Pelissier, Sheridan | Sublette County Artists Guild, Pinedale

1997: Hands in Harmony, Cheyenne | Tom Empey, Casper | Joffa and Bill Kerr, Jackson | Platte Valley Arts Council, Saratoga

1996: David B. Anderson, Douglas | Elizabeth Guheen, Clearmont | D. Michael Thomas, Buffalo

1995: Jo Campbell, Gillette | Jackson State Bank | Bud Boller, Dubois | Wyoming Writers, Inc.

1994: Buffalo Bill Center of the West (previously Buffalo Bill Historical Center), Cody | Dr. Gladys Crane, Laramie | Margaret Peck, Riverton | Wyoming State Museum, Cheyenne

1993: Ronnie Bedford, Powell | Jean Paulene Goedicke, Casper | Margaret Small Mains, Laramie | Washakie County Museum and Cultural Center, Worland

1992: William D. Weiss, Teton Village | ARTCORE, Casper | Wyoming Secondary Art Educators Association

1991: Margery Barber, Lander | William Dubois, Cheyenne | Albany County Elementary Art Program, Laramie | Key Bank of Wyoming, Cheyenne

1990: Grand Teton Music Festival, Teton Village | Harry Jackson, Cody | Eva McAdams, Fort Washakie | Wayne McIntire, Casper

1989: Peter H. Hassrick, Cody | Donald L. King, Sheridan | Ann Simpson, Cody | Cheyenne Little Theater Players

1988: Margaret Coe, Cody | George Hufsmith, Jackson | Nicolaysen Art Museum, Casper | Powder River Arts Council, Gillette

1987: Mary Back, Dubois | Mountain Bell Foundation, Cheyenne | James Boyle, Laramie | Arts Edition, Casper Star Tribune

1986: Gertrude Krampert, Casper | Elizabeth (Betsy) Taggart, Cheyenne | University of Wyoming Art Mobile, Laramie | Western Arts Trio, Laramie

1985: Symphony and Chorale Society of Cheyenne | James T. Forrest, Laramie | Harmon Watt, Riverton | KUWR Wyoming Public Radio, Laramie

1984: Casper Symphony Assocation | Rock Springs/Sweetwater County | Pamela McCool – Jackson | Stagehands of Cheyenne

1983: Union Pacific Foundation, Cheyenne | Pinedale Fine Arts Council | Charles Levendosky, Casper

1982: Unicover Corporation, Cheyenne | Fine Arts Council of Saratoga | Historical and Cultural Association | Tonia Burnette, Riverton