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2017 Governor’s Arts Awards

2017 Governor’s Arts Awards

September 14, 2017

The Vermont Arts Council, in association with the Governor’s office, recognizes outstanding individual and organizational contributions to the arts each year. Awards and citations are given to educators, artists, performers, advocates, administrators, volunteers, and scholars. In 2017 the Council will be recognizing the contributions of Vermonters in five different categories.

This year’s awards will be presented at a celebration held at 7 p.m. Tuesday, October 24 at the Highland Center for the Arts in Greensboro (accessibility information). Tickets are $25 and will be available beginning September 26.

Maccauley267WGovernor’s Award for Excellence in the Arts

David Macaulay, Norwich

David Macaulay developed an early fascination with simple technology and a love of model making and drawing. These interests led him to study architecture at the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD).  He received his degree in 1969 after spending his fifth year with RISD’s European Honors Program in Rome.  The next four years were spent working in interior design, teaching junior and senior high school art, and tinkering with the idea of making books. Since then, David has written and/or illustrated numerous books, including the international best seller “The Way Things Work” His books have sold more than three million copies in the United States alone, and his work has been translated into a dozen languages. David’s numerous awards include the MacArthur Fellowship, the Caldecott Medal (for “Black and White”), the Boston Globe Horn Book Award, the Christopher Award, an American Institute of Architects Medal, the Washington Children’s Book Guild Nonfiction Award, the Deutscher Jugendliteraturpreis, the Dutch Silver Slate Pencil Award, and the Bradford Washburn Award. He was U.S. nominee for the biennial, international Hans Christian Andersen Award in both 1984 and 2002.

More about the Governor’s Award for Excellence in the Arts


Walter Cerf Medal for Outstanding Achievement in the Arts

Chris Bohjalian, Addison County

As a boy, Chris Bohjalian loved ghost stories, but it took many years for him write “Night Strangers,” the sort of ghost story that had enthralled him as a boy. Most of his works explore contemporary social issues and the ways in which they play themselves out in the lives of ordinary people. His writing covers such controversial topics as midwifery, gender reassignment surgery, animal rights, homelessness, domestic violence, human trafficking, and the personal, moral, and ethical dilemmas that arise from them. He is the author of 18 books, most of which have been New York Times bestsellers, including Sandcastle Girls, The Light in the Ruins, and his 2016 novel The Guest Room. His work has been translated into more than 30 languages, and three of his books, Midwives, Secrets of Eden, and A Killing in the Real World, have been adapted for film. Bohjalian’s books have been chosen as Best Books of the Year by the Washington Post, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the Hartford Courant, the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, Publishers Weekly, Library Journal, Kirkus Reviews, Bookpage, and Salon. Chris is a graduate of Amherst College.

More about the Walter Cerf Medal for Outstanding Achievement in the Arts


Ellen McCulloch-Lovell Award in Arts Education

Taryn Noelle, Stowe

Taryn began performing at an early age and later pursued theatrical training at Circle in the Square Theatre School in New York. Since returning to Vermont more than two decades ago, Taryn has been performing, teaching, choreographing, and directing. She has taught at the Vermont State One Act Festivals, Green Mountain Performing Arts, Ballet Wolcott, Vermont Young Playwrights Festival, and The Fine Arts and PHIT Studio. Choreography and directing credits include the Middlebury Actors Workshop, Lyric Theatre, Barre Opera House, Montpelier High School, Harwood Union High School, Stowe High School, Stowe Theatre Guild, Lost Nation Theater, The Valley Players, Waitsfield Elementary School, and the University of Vermont. Taryn teaches dance at Green Mountain Performing Arts in Waterbury and is the Theatre Program director for Stowe High School.  In 2017, Taryn adapted musicals for Lost Nation Theater and Waitsfield Elementary School She also wrote and directed an original dance play, which was entered into the Vermont State One Act Festival.

More about the Ellen McCulloch-Lovell Award in Arts Education


Margaret L. (Peggy) Kannenstine Award for Arts Advocacy

Cornelia Carey, Calais

As a child, Cornelia studied music. More importantly, she listened to her mother practicing piano for two hours each day. It was love of that music and an ongoing fascination about artists — their lives and their work — that influenced her choice in a career dedicated to artists. For the past 22 years, Cornelia has served as Executive Director of CERF+, a national artists’ service organization based in Montpelier. CERF+ provides emergency relief assistance for artists working in craft disciplines and emergency preparedness and mitigation resources for all artists. Cornelia is a founder of the National Coalition for Arts Preparedness and Emergency Response, an initiative to strengthen emergency resilience and response in the arts sector. Prior to her tenure at CERF+, Carey ran programs supporting artists and cultural institutions at the Vermont Arts Council and the Massachusetts Cultural Council. She has a Master of Education degree with a specialization in Human Development and educational research. Cornelia has served on boards and review panels for foundations, state arts agencies and the National Endowment for the Arts.

More about the Margaret L. (Peggy) Kannenstine Award for Arts Advocacy


Arthur Williams Award for Meritorious Service to the Arts

Gregory Sharrow, Middlebury

Gregory Sharrow grew up in a family of dairy farmers, and his firsthand experience of the culture of farm life as both a livelihood and a craft activity has remained a personal touchstone and a focal point for his work ever since. For the past 28 years, Greg has worked at the Vermont Folklife Center as a folklorist emeritus, co-executive director, director of education, and folklorist. He spent nearly 20 years conducting field research and presenting research materials in a variety of media, including exhibit planning and design. For three summers, Greg traveled to Washington, D.C. to participate as a fieldworker and program participant in the Smithsonian’s Festival of American Folklife. Greg has achieved academic excellence as both a learner and a teacher. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Oberlin College, a Master of Education degree from the University of Vermont, and a doctorate in Folklore and Folklife from the University of Pennsylvania. He was appointed the Mellon Graduate Fellow at the University of Pennsylvania for the 1987-88 Academic Year. Greg taught at the Braintree School in the Orange Southwest Supervisory Union for several years and was named Outstanding Teacher of the Year for that district in 1983.

More about the Arthur Williams Award for Meritorious Service to the Arts

Tags: awards, Chris Bohjalian, Cornelia Carey, David Macaulay, Gregory Sharrow, Taryn Noelle, Vermont Artists


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