Jazz festival, costume designer among the winners of the arts awards

JACKSON, Mississippi (AP) – A college jazz festival, costume designer, producer and gospel band will be among the recipients of the Mississippi Arts Commission’s annual Governor’s Awards early next year.

The Governor’s Artistic Awards are presented annually to individuals and organizations in Mississippi who do outstanding artistic work and promote arts-based community development.

“These recipients have had incredible and rich careers in the arts and have made a lasting impact in their fields and in the state,” Sarah Story, executive director of the Mississippi Arts Commission, said in a press release.

The more than four decades old Alcorn State University Jazz Festival in Vicksburg will be honored with the Arts in Community Award. The festival is always free and open to the public and aims to educate participants through workshops with performing artists.

Myrna Colley-Lee, a prominent costume designer of the Black theater movement of Charleston, will receive the “Excellence in Costume Design & Arts Patron” award.

Larry Gordon, a native of Belzoni and producer of the Oscar nominated drama “Field of Dreams” and the historic action film “Die Hard” will be honored with an “Lifetime Achievement in Film and Television” award.

Holly Lange, founder of the Mississippi Book Festival, will receive the Governor’s Choice Award.

Mary Lovelace O’Neal, a contemporary abstract artist and arts educator exploring personal stories and themes of social justice through mixed media, painting and printmaking, will receive the “Excellence in Visual Arts” award. O’Neal is originally from Jackson.

Grammy-nominated gospel group The Williams Brothers will receive a “Lifetime Achievement in Music” award.

The arts awards ceremony will take place in person on February 10, 2022, in downtown Jackson. The winners are nominated by members of the public and selected by a jury made up of community arts leaders and industry peers.

Gerald R. Schneider