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Shelly Angers, NH Department of Cultural Resources
(603) 271-3136

Jennifer McLean, NH State Council on the Arts
(603) 271-2789

Governors Arts Awards Celebration to take place at the Colonial Theatre in Keene
Ken Burns among those to be honored

On April 24, artists, arts patrons and other arts supporters will gather in Keene for the 2007 Governors Arts Awards.

The Governors Arts Awards are given out every other year to recognize outstanding contributions to the excellence, growth, support and availability of the arts in New Hampshire. Governor John Lynch and First Lady Susan Lynch, honorary chair of the Governors Arts Awards, will present the awards.

The celebration begins at 4 p.m. with open houses at a variety of arts locations throughout Keene. At 7 p.m., award recipients will be honored at a formal presentation at the Colonial Theater. This evening program includes poetry, music and dance performances; short tribute videos produced by WMUR's New Hampshire Chronicle; and the unveiling of six unique "Eagle Awards" by some of the state's finest visual artists.

The public is invited to participate at both the afternoon and evening events. There is no charge to attend the open houses; tickets for the evening program can be purchased through the Colonial Theatre box office and web site, General admission tickets are $18; limited, preferred seating admission is $75, which includes a tax deductible donation of $57.

"Here in New Hampshire we are very fortunate to have a rich cultural and artistic heritage, which is an important part of our high quality of life. These awards are one way that we, as state government, can build public awareness of the great contributions the arts make to New Hampshire and demonstrate how the arts truly enrich our lives," Governor Lynch said.

The 2007 Governors Arts Award recipients are:

  • The Bloomfield Family (Bow); Individual Arts Patron Award
  • Ken Burns, for Florentine Films (Walpole); Creative Enterprise Award
  • Pheobe Ann Neiswenter (Pembroke); Arts Education Award
  • Drika Overton (Portsmouth); Distinguished Arts Leadership Award
  • Harvey Tolman (Nelson); New Hampshire Folk Heritage Award
  • Marilyn Ziffrin (Bradford); Lotte Jacobi Living Treasure Award

Burns, director and producer of award-winning documentaries that include The Civil War, Baseball and The War, was chosen to receive the Creative Enterprise award for his ongoing work at Florentine Films, which he co-founded in Walpole in 1976.

Each awardee will receive a unique "Eagle Award," a work of art that references the eagle atop the State House dome. New Hampshire artists commissioned to create the works are:

  • Emilie Birch (Canaan); sculptor
  • Kit Cornell (Exeter); studio potter
  • Beth Krommes (Peterborough); illustrator and printmaker
  • Randy Miller (East Alstead); illustrator and engraver
  • Suzanne Pretty (Farmington); visual artist
  • Gerry Williams (Dunbarton); studio potter

For more information about the awardees and the commissioned artists, visit

The April 24th Governors Arts Awards event is supported by ChicagoSoft of Hanover, Lincoln Financial Group, C&S Wholesale Grocers; the Gilbert Verney Foundation; the Kingsbury Foundation; Northeast Delta Dental; Public Service of New Hampshire; WMUR—NH Chronicle, CA, Inc; and private donations.

The New Hampshire State Council on the Arts is the advisory Council for the Division of the Arts within the Department of Cultural Resources. It was established in 1965 as the official state arts agency with legislation (RSA 19-A) designed "to insure that the role of the arts in the life of our communities will continue to grow and play an ever more significant part in the welfare and educational experience of our citizens." The New Hampshire State Council on the Arts receives support from the State of New Hampshire and the National Endowment for the Arts. Learn more at

New Hampshire’s Department of Cultural Resources includes the State Council on the Arts, the Film and Television Office, the Division of Historical Resources, the State Library and the American Canadian French Cultural Exchange Commission. The Department strives to nurture the cultural well-being of our state. From the covered bridges and traditional music of our past to the avant garde performances and technological resources of today and tomorrow, New Hampshire’s culture is as varied as its geography and its people. This strong cultural base—which truly has something for everyone—attracts businesses looking for engaged workforces, provides outstanding educational opportunities and creates communities worth living in. Learn more at


NOTE TO EDITORS: For more information about the 2007 Governors Arts Awards, please contact Shelly Angers, 603-271-3136,



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