Experience Idaho Arts
Anika Smulovitz, In Honor of the Matriarchs (Torah pointer), 2012
Experience Idaho Arts
Rawhide braiding. Image by Ilona McCarty, Open View Photography
Experience Idaho Arts
Contra dance lessons in Pocatello
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Governor’s Award in the Arts

The biennial awards, established in 1970, recognize and encourage excellence in the arts in Idaho and stimulate and support awareness of the arts throughout the state. Nominees must be Idaho residents, businesses based in Idaho, organizations or communities that have, through creative accomplishments or distinguished service, made a significant contribution to the cultural life of Idaho.

2020 awardees
Excellence in the Arts
Tabish Romario — Dancer, Boise
Karen Day — Filmmaker, Boise
Randy Van Dyck — Visual Artist, Boise
Excellence in Folk & Traditional Arts
Nancy Martiny — Saddlemaker, May
Joanne Hultstrand — Norwegian Rosemaler, Boise
Support of the Arts
Gary Eller — Arts Volunteer, Nampa
Dr. Nikki Halverson — Arts Volunteer and Supporter, Twin Falls
Support of Arts Education
John Anderson — Music Teacher, Salmon
Michele Chmielewski — Art Teacher, Past President, Idaho Art Education Assn., Coeur d'Alene
Kathy Stefani — Music Teacher, President, Idaho Music Educators Assn., Moscow
Excellence in Arts Administration
Mark Junkert — General Director, Opera Idaho, Boise
Roger Rowley — Prichard Art Gallery, University of Idaho, Moscow
Lifetime Achievement in the Arts
Kay Hardy — Arts Volunteer and Philanthropist, Boise
Innovation in the Arts
Diana Thompson — creator of the COVID Concert Series on Facebook, Rigby

Award categories include Excellence in the Arts, Excellence in Folk & Traditional Arts, Support of the Arts, Support of Arts Education, and Excellence in Arts Administration.

Nominations must include a brief description of why the nominee merits the award, 3-5 letters of recommendation, and any supporting materials such as magazine and newspaper articles, résumés, or artist statements. Examples of artwork are strongly encouraged for the Excellence in the Arts and Traditional Arts categories.

Nominations are accepted through our grant application system at

Deadline: July 15, 2022

Award History
Past Recipients & Photos