First Lady Frances Wolf Announces 2017 Governor’s Awards for the Arts to be Held in Lancaster

April 27, 2017

LANCASTER, PA – First Lady Frances Wolf today joined Lancaster Mayor Rick Gray and members of the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts to announce that the 2017 Governor’s Awards for the Arts will be held October 26 at the Lancaster County Convention Center in downtown Lancaster. This will be the first time the state arts event has been held in the City of Lancaster. In keeping with event tradition, the host community will be named the “Cultural Capital of the Commonwealth” for the day of the event.

“With deep roots interwoven with our nation’s history and a distinguished reputation today as a city that embraces the arts, Lancaster is an ideal host community for the Governor’s Awards for the Arts,” said First Lady Wolf. “We look forward to celebrating the accomplishments of our commonwealth’s arts community and showcasing the rich arts and culture of Lancaster itself.”

The awards recognize artistic accomplishments in four categories: Distinguished Arts Award, Patron Award, Artist of the Year Award (the Hazlett Memorial Award) and the Arts Leadership & Service Award. A call for nominations is currently open and available at through May 11, 2017.

The Governor’s Awards for the Arts originated in Harrisburg in 1980 and were held there until 1996. The ceremony was then taken on the road and is now held in a different city across the commonwealth each year. The event has allowed multiple regions of the state to share in this celebration of the arts and showcase their unique cultural assets.

Past recipients of the Distinguished Arts Award include Marian Anderson, Andrew Wyeth, James Michener, Jennifer Higdon, Fred Rogers, M. Night Shyamalan, Marilyn Horne, Lang Lang, August Wilson, Rob Marshall, Jeff Koons and Michael Keaton. There have been more than 180 honorees to date.

The 2017 award recipients will be announced this summer and posted on the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts’ website (

Private contributions support the ceremony, reception, award objects and related expenses.

The Governor’s Awards for the Arts are administered by the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, a state agency under the Office of the Governor. The Council’s mission is to foster the excellence, diversity and vitality of the arts in Pennsylvania, and to broaden the availability and appreciation of those arts throughout the state.

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