KU Librarian Susan Craig receives 2010 Governor’s Arts Award

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

A KU Librarian is among the Kansans selected for the 2010 Governor’s Arts Awards given to distinguished Kansas artists, patrons and arts educators.

Susan Craig, KU art and architecture librarian, will be honored March 11 in Topeka for her contributions to the arts in Kansas. The Governor’s Arts Awards are given annually by the governor and the Kansas Arts Commission.

Craig is being honored as an arts advocate for documenting the lives of more than 2,600 Kansas artists in her award-winning e-book “Biographical Dictionary of Kansas Artists.” Recognized as a seminal reference for researchers, her dictionary is the only work of its kind. The dictionary details the lives of artists born or working in Kansas before 1945. Craig began work on the book in 1981 after seeing a compilation of a state-by-state guide to artists that had no entry for Kansas.

Craig, originally from Newton, earned a bachelor’s degree at KU and a master’s degree at Emporia State University. Willmott  grew up in Junction City and earned his bachelor’s degree from Marymount College in Salina and master’s degree from New York University Tisch School of the Arts. 

Craig joins another KU recipient, Kevin Willmott, associate professor of film and media studies.
Willmott is recognized for his work as a writer, director and producer of films that have received national acclaim for their pioneering and innovative themes focused on Kansas and its history.

This year’s other honorees include a metals artist, Elliott Pujol of Manhattan; an arts educator and musician, Doug Talley of the Shawnee Mission school district; the Emporia Arts Council as an arts organization and the City of Hays as an arts community. The Distinguished Arts Award goes to  photojournalist and social documentarian Jim Richardson of Lindsborg.

Gov. Mark Parkinson said: “The State of Kansas is proud to honor and recognize these outstanding artists, advocates, educators, cities and organizations. These awards call attention to the creative spirit that captures the magnificence of our state, contributes to our culture and inspires future Kansas artists.”

The governor has been invited to present the awards during reception ceremony on Thursday, March 11, at Washburn University’s Memorial Union Washburn Room.

The Governor’s Arts Awards have been given annually since 1974. An expert panel, consisting of members of the Kansas Arts Commission, a representative from the Governor’s office and arts professionals, selected the winners from submitted nominations.

 “Each year the Governor’s Arts Awards celebrate the dedication to artistic and cultural enrichment made by individuals and communities,” said Kansas Arts Commission Chairman John Divine. “The commission is proud to recognize these Kansans – artists, educators, advocates, patrons and communities – for their accomplishments and efforts in support of the arts.”

The Kansas Arts Commission is the state agency dedicated to promoting and supporting the arts in Kansas. Its mission is to provide opportunities for the people of Kansas to experience, celebrate and value the arts throughout their lives. More information is available at the Kansas Arts Commission.

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