The Highland Center for the Arts will host the 2017 Governor’s Arts Awards presented by the Vermont Arts Council, in association with Governor Phil Scott. These awards are presented annually to recognize outstanding individual and organizational contributions to the arts. Awards are given to educators, artists, performers, advocates, administrators, volunteers, and scholars. In 2017, Vermonters will be recognized for their contributions in five categories.

Internationally renowned author and illustrator David Macaulay will be honored with The Governor’s Award for Excellence in the Arts, the highest honor presented to an artist by the state of Vermont. In selecting David Macaulay for this award, Governor Phil Scott said "We recognize you for your long and successful career as an author and illustrator, having published books that have been translated into more than a dozen languages and having won numerous awards. We also honor your generous contribution to children’s understanding of ‘The Way Things Work,’ in the state of Vermont.”

Macaulay 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. His many awards include a MacArthur Fellowship, the Caldecott Medal, and an American Institute of Architects Medal.

The Governor’s Arts Awards will be held Tuesday, October 24, 7 p.m. at the Highland Center for the Arts. The program will include a debut performance by Christal Brown and the Dance Company of Middlebury and will be followed by a reception. Tickets may be purchased on the Highland Center for the Arts website, or by calling 802-533-2000.

The following people will also be honored at the Governor’s Arts Awards:

Chris Bohjalian of Lincoln will receive the Walter Cerf Medal for Outstanding Achievement in the Arts.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 “The Guest Room.” His work has been translated into more than 30 languages, and three of his books have been adapted for film. Bohjalian’s books have been chosen as Best Books of the Year by, among others, the Washington Post, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, and the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel.

Taryn Noelle of Stowe will receive the Ellen McCulloch-Lovell Award in Arts Education. Noelle has been performing, teaching, choreographing, and directing in Vermont for the past 20 years. She teaches dance at Green Mountain Performing Arts in Waterbury, and is the Theatre Program director for Stowe High School. She has taught at the Vermont One Act Festival, Green Mountain Performing Arts, Ballet Wolcott, and the Vermont Young Playwright's Festival.

Cornelia Carey of Calaiswill receive the Margaret L. (Peggy) Kannenstine Award for Arts Advocacy. For the past 22 years, Carey 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. Carey 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.

Gregory Sharrow of Middleburywill receive the Arthur Williams Award for Meritorious Service to the Arts. Sharrow has worked at the Vermont Folklife Center for the past 29 years, serving as co-executive director, director of education, and folklorist. He has conducted field research and worked collaboratively to present research materials in a variety of media including video, audio, and exhibition. He has served on NEA grant review panels and folk arts review panels throughout New England.

The 2017 Governor’s Arts Awards are sponsored by the Highland Center for the Arts.

Photo caption: David Macaulay is the recipient of the 2017 Governor’s Award for Excellence in the Arts

The Vermont Arts Council envisions a state where everyone has access to the arts and creativity in their life, education, and community. Through its programs and services, the Council strives to increase public awareness of the positive role artists and arts organizations play in communities and to maximize opportunities for everyone to experience the arts. Since 1965, the Council has been the state's primary provider of funding, advocacy, and information for the arts in Vermont.