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Governor Herbert Honors Four Leaders in the Arts – 28 March 2016

SALT LAKE CITY — Gov. Gary R. Herbert and the Utah Division of Arts & Museums have announced the recipients of the 2016 Governor’s Leadership in the Arts Awards.

“This year’s recipients play important roles in highlighting the cultural magnificence of Utah, providing valuable educational opportunities, and boosting the economy of the state,” Gov. Gary Herbert said. “Their leadership enhances the livability of communities in all corners of Utah and prepares future generations for creative success.”

The 2016 Governor’s Leadership in the Arts award winners include:

The Governor’s Leadership in the Arts Awards recipients will be honored at a luncheon during the Mountain West Arts Conference on May 5, 2016, at the Utah Cultural Celebration Center in West Valley City. Luncheon reservations and conference registrations can be made online at

Utah Arts & Museums Director Gay Cookson said, “As a Division we have the privilege of working with many of these exceptional recipients on a regular basis through our programs and partnerships. I am proud of what these individuals and organizations have done to improve the lives of all Utahns and look forward to what they have yet to achieve.”

Registration is $125 for the full conference, including the Governor’s Leadership in the Arts Awards luncheon, or $55 for the luncheon alone. Senior, student and veteran rates are $75. Register online at Group and student rates are available. Educators can receive points toward Utah Educator’s License recertification. Table sponsorship opportunities are available. Details can be found on the Governor’s Leadership in the Arts page. For more information, visit the Utah Arts & Museums Web site or phone 801.236.7554.  Requests for interviews with awardees should be directed to Laura Durham, 801.236.7553,

Recipient Details

The Utah Arts Festival is the largest outdoor multi-disciplinary arts event in Utah with attendance hovering around 80,000 people annually. Having garnered numerous awards internationally, nationally and locally, the event remains a premiere summer events in Utah each June.

James Reese has taught art courses at Provo High School for 24 years. He has also taught at BYU, Westminster College, University of Arizona, Utah Valley University, and the Marie Walsh Sharpe foundation for artists. In additional to his teaching assignments and producing artwork, he is also involved in several local, state and national arts organizations.

Zion Canyon Arts & Humanities Council cultivates a climate of creativity and learning for the Zion Canyon communities of Springdale, Rockville and Virgin. They support the arts and humanities through an annual arts and crafts fair, workshops, performances, and other programming to benefit the community.

Craig Jessop is Professor of Music and the founding Dean of the Caine College of the Arts at Utah State University. He is also the founder and Music Director of the American Festival Chorus and Orchestra. Prior to these positions, Jessop had a distinguished tenure as music director of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.