Jazz festival, costume designer among arts awards recipients

November 6, 2021 GMT

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — A university jazz festival, a costume designer, producer and a gospel group will be among the recipients of the Mississippi Arts Commission’s annual governor’s art awards early next year.

The governor’s arts awards are presented annually to people and organizations in Mississippi who are doing outstanding artistic work and promoting arts-based community development.

“These recipients have had incredible, storied careers in the arts and have made lasting impacts 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 of charge and open to the public and aims to educate attendees through workshops with the performing artists.


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

Larry Gordon, a Belzoni native and the producer behind the Oscar-nominated drama “Field of Dreams” and the landmark action film “Die Hard,” will be honored with a “Lifetime Achievement in Motion Pictures & 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 social justice themes through mixed media, painting and printmaking, will receive the “Excellence in Visual Art” award. O’Neal is a Jackson native.

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

The arts awards ceremony will be held in person on Feb. 10, 2022, in downtown Jackson. Award recipients are nominated by members of the public and selected by a jury of community arts leaders and industry peers.