The Governor’s Awards for Excellence in the Arts
Established in 1974 by Governor Bruce King and First Lady Alice King, the Governor’s Arts Awards celebrate the role that artists, craftspeople, and arts supporters play in the cultural and economic life of New Mexico. The awards are given to living artists and arts supporters who have demonstrated lifetime achievement in their art form or contributions to the arts in New Mexico. During its over forty-year existence, a diverse and prestigious list of painters, weavers, sculptors, dancers, musicians, storyteller, poets, actors, playwrights, potters, and other outstanding individuals and organizations have been honored. Nominations for the awards are invited each year from arts groups and individuals. All nominations are reviewed by a committee of the New Mexico Arts Commission, which sends its recommendations to the full commission and to the governor. The Governor’s Awards for Excellence in the Arts continue to evolve with the ever-changing arts world so that the impact and relevance of the awards persist.
January–February Nominations sought
March Deadline for nominations
June Public announcement of awardees
September Award events
To nominate an individual artist or a major contributor to the arts, fill out the nomination form. For more information on the nomination process, the public exhibit of recipients at the Governor’s Gallery, and a list of last year’s award winners, visit the Governor’s Arts Awards website.
To re-nominate an individual artist or a major contributor to the arts, simply download and fill out a current nomination form, submit updates with a new nomination letter or addendum. Please contact New Mexico Arts to check if nomination materials are still on file before submitting. It is not unusual for a nominee to be nominated several times before being awarded a Governor’s Arts Award for Excellence in the Arts. However, not every individual nominated will receive an award.
Here is a list of musicians, music organizations and music supporters who have received the Governor’s Arts Award:
2015: William Clark
2014: Robert Mirabal
2004: Ralph Berkowitz
2002: Dale Kempter
1999: Roberto Martinez
1997: Marianna Gabbi
1994: Cipriano Vigil
1993: K. Lloyd Higgins; Al Hurricane; Julia Jaramillo
1992: Antonia Apodaca
1991: John Farrer; Ricardo Lucero Valenzeula
1988: Hector Garcia
1986: Cleofes Ortiz
1985: Cleofes Vigil
1982: William Kirschke; David Salazar
1979: Yoshimi Takeda
1977: Dr. Kurt Frederick
1976: John O. Crosby; Dr. J.D. Robb
1974: Grace Thompson Edmister
See complete list of all past recipients.