Liliana Gomez is one of 13 nominees for the artist award.
Liliana Gomez is one of 13 nominees for the artist award.
Lynn Trimble

73 Nominees Named for Governor's Arts Awards

More than 70 individuals and organizations have been nominated for the 2018 Governor's Arts Awards, which recognize significant achievement and contributions to Arizona arts and culture. More than half the nominees are based in metro Phoenix.

The awards are presented by Arizona Citizens for the Arts, a statewide arts advocacy organization, in partnership with the Office of the Governor. Arizona Citizens for the Arts announced the nominees in a press release issued on Wednesday, December 20.

Awards are presented in the following categories: Artist, Arts in Education Individual, Arts in Education Organization/School, Small Business, Large Business, Community, Individual, and Philanthropy.

Ten of the 13 people nominated in the artist category are based in metro Phoenix — including choreographer and dancer Liliana Gomez, as well as visual artists Carolyn Lavender, Ann Morton, and Danielle Wood.

For a complete rundown of nominees in all categories, see the Arizona Citizens for the Arts website.

Since the awards were launched in 1981, only a small number of the artist awards have gone to women, including Annie Lopez and Frances Smith Cohen. Previous artist award recipients also include Ib Andersen, Will Bruder, Alberto Rios, Paolo Soleri, and James Turrell.

The call for nominations went out in October, and people had until November 17 to submit them. Nominations were reviewed by volunteer selection panels comprising arts, community, and business leaders across Arizona.

The 73 nominees will be narrowed down to finalists in each category, whose names will be announced at Herberger Theater Center on February 6, 2018.

Recipients will be chosen using several criteria — including the nominee's achievements, contributions, and commitment to the arts, as well as the range of individuals and groups impacted by the nominee's work.

Typically, the actual awards presented to winners comprise original works of art created by Arizona-based artists.

One additional winner will be chosen, for strategic and innovative work that creates or supports "public policy beneficial to the arts." The recipient of the 2018 Shelley Award, which is named for longtime arts advocate Shelley Cohn, will be announced in January.

Awards will be presented during the 37th Annual Governor's Arts Awards Dinner and Celebration, which takes place on March 22, 2018, at the Arizona Biltmore Resort. Find ticket information on the Arizona Citizens for the Arts website.

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