MAC Calls for 2025 Governor’s Arts Awards Nominations

The Mississippi Arts Commission is now accepting nominations for the 2025 Governor’s Arts Awards, an annual ceremony that recognizes individuals and organizations who have made noteworthy contributions to the arts in Mississippi. The awards are presented in partnership with the Governor’s Office and signify the important relationship between government and the arts. The deadline to submit nominations for the 2025 Governor’s Arts Awards is June 5, 2024. Award nominations may be submitted online via MAC’s website at

“We had an incredible group of recipients for the 2024 Governor’s Arts Awards,” said David Lewis, executive director of MAC. “We look forward to adding to the list of excellent artists recognized through the awards in past years.”

Among the distinguished past recipients of the Governor’s Arts Awards are a diverse group of individuals, including B.B. King, Eudora Welty, Morgan Freeman, Sam Gilliam, Leontyne Price, Marty Stuart, Cedric Burnside, Sela Ward, Bobby Rush, Ann Fisher-Wirth, Jesmyn Ward, Benjamin Wright, Andrew Bucci, and John Grisham.

Ellie Banks, the communications director for MAC, explains the nomination process for this year, “MAC is once again utilizing its grant system, which allows nominators to collaborate, save their progress, and copy former applications for revision and reapplication if a recipient was not selected the year prior.”

Award winners are nominated by members of the public and selected by a jury of community arts leaders and industry peers. Schools, businesses, organizations, arts initiatives, and events are eligible to receive Governor’s Arts Awards, in addition to individual artists and supporters of the arts. Self-nominations are not accepted. Awardees are recognized for outstanding work in visual, literary, and performing arts along with community development through the arts and arts patronage. Recipients are not required to be Mississippi residents but must have significant ties to the state through some years of residency. Recipients are required to attend the awards ceremony.

The 2025 Governor’s Arts Awards ceremony will be held on Thursday, February 6, 2025, at the Two Mississippi Museums in Jackson as part of MAC’s Arts Week.

“This past February, we held our inaugural Arts Week,” said Lewis. “Pairing perfectly with the in-built celebratory events around the Governor’s Arts Awards, Arts Week invites artists, arts organizations, municipalities, elected officials, and the public to come together and celebrate the arts in Mississippi. The Governor and multiple mayors throughout the state made declarations for Arts Week. We look forward to doing this again in 2025 and look forward to even more Mississippians joining us to celebrate the arts.”

To submit a nomination, view a listing of past awardees, and learn more about this annual celebration of the arts, visit