February 15, 2024

State of Alabama
Press Release: Alabama State Council on the Arts

Announcing the 2024 Celebration of Alabama Arts honorees

Eight remarkable Alabamians to be honored on May 16

MONTGOMERY, Ala., (February 15, 2024) — Alabama State Council on the Arts has announced the names of eight individuals that will be honored for their contributions to our state’s rich cultural landscape during the 2024 Celebration of Alabama Arts ceremony on Thursday, May 16, 2024.

The biennial Celebration of Alabama Arts recognizes notable Alabamians for their work and contributions to the arts in Alabama, across the United States, and beyond. The efforts of artists, arts administrators, creative economy leaders, arts educators, and stewards of traditional art forms across the state result in prosperous communities. Alabama is strengthened when creativity and artistic efforts thrive.

“Through their remarkable achievements and unwavering commitment to the arts, our 2024 honorees have played a pivotal role in shaping Alabama’s creative landscape. Their work reflects the vibrancy and depth of our artistic community and illuminate the path for future generations of artists and creators across our state,” said Dr. Elliot Knight, executive director of the Council on the Arts.

This year’s award recipients and categories follow:

  • Pinky/MM Bass, visual artist – Alabama Arts Impact Award
  • Russell Gulley, musician, teaching artist, arts administrator – Alabama Arts Impact Award
  • Chester Higgins, visual artist – Alabama Distinguished Artist Award
  • Elias Katsaros, visual artist, iconographer – Alabama Folk Heritage Award
  • Kevin King, visual artist, arts advocacy leader – Alabama Arts Impact Award
  • Greta Lambert, actor, director, teaching artist – Jonnie Dee Riley Little Lifetime Achievement Award
  • Monique Ryan, dancer, artistic director – Alabama Arts Impact Award
  • Jeanie Thompson, poet, literary arts advocate – Albert B. Head Legacy Award

Their contributions will be recognized at the awards ceremony with memorable performances in their honor. The free event will be held on May 16 at 7:00 pm at Alabama Shakespeare Festival (ASF) in Montgomery. Complimentary tickets must be reserved through the ASF box office. Visit this link or call 334-271-5353 for ticketing details. For more information about this year’s event and honorees, go to arts.alabama.gov/celebrate.


About Alabama State Council on the Arts
The Council on the Arts is the official state agency for the support and development of the arts in Alabama. The Council works to expand and preserve the state’s cultural resources by supporting nonprofit arts organizations, schools, colleges, units of local government, and individual artists. Arts programs, assisted by Council grants, have a track record of enhancing community development, education, cultural tourism, and overall quality of life in all regions of the state. Alabama State Council on the Arts grants are made possible by an annual appropriation from the Alabama Legislature and additional funds from the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency. Learn more at arts.alabama.gov.

  • For more information, visit http://arts.alabama.gov
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