Skip navigation

2018 Governor's Arts Awards Recipients Announced

OKLAHOMA CITY (January 10, 2018) - The Oklahoma Arts Council has announced the names of 14 individuals and five organizations that will be honored for their contributions to the arts in Oklahoma during the 42nd Governor’s Arts Awards on Wednesday, February 28, 2018.

The awards will be presented during a special ceremony beginning at 4:00 p.m. in the fourth floor rotunda at the Oklahoma state Capitol. A reception will follow outside the Betty Price Gallery on the Capitol's first floor. The event is free and open to the public.

Oklahoma Arts Council Executive Director Amber Sharples cited the impact of the awards on generating support for arts programs in communities and schools across Oklahoma.

“Through honoring the efforts of generous and devoted volunteers, professionals, businesses, educators, and others, we offer a small but meaningful acknowledgment about the importance of the many actors required to empower the arts to thrive. The selection committee felt strongly that these honorees warrant our gratitude.”

Recipients are selected from submitted nominations by the Governor’s Arts Awards Selection Committee, comprised of members of the Governor-appointed Oklahoma Arts Council board.

The Governor's Award recognizes longtime leadership and significant contributions to the arts. Honorees are:

Elizabeth Eickman, Oklahoma City
Luann Branch, Drumright

The Business in the Arts Award recognizes individuals, businesses and corporations that exhibit outstanding support of the arts in Oklahoma. The honoree is:

Medley Material Handling Company, Oklahoma City

The Media in the Arts Award is given to an individual member of the media or media outlet that demonstrates commitment to the arts in Oklahoma documented through public awareness, support, fairness, initiative, creativity, and professionalism in reporting. The honoree is:

Bradford Ferguson, KUCO Radio, Edmond

The Arts in Education Award recognizes an individual, organization, school, educator, or group for their outstanding leadership and service in the arts benefitting youth and/or arts in education. Honorees are:

Crista McCann, Stillwater
Frances Pitts, Oklahoma City
Mark Frie, Broken Arrow
Matt Moffett, Tulsa
Putnam City Schools, Oklahoma City
Tulsa Opera

The Community Service Award recognizes individuals for significant contributions to the arts in specific Oklahoma communities in the areas of leadership and volunteerism. Honorees are:

Bob Fleischman, Tulsa
Cherokee National Youth Choir, Tahlequah
Lois Wilson, Duncan
Michael Laird, Oklahoma City
Robert Mills, Oklahoma City
Suzanne Hylton, Sayre
W. Jerome Stevenson, Oklahoma City

A Special Recognition Award recognizes an individual or organization that has made a unique contribution in support of the arts. The honorees are:

Margaret Roach Wheeler, Sulphur
Oklahoma Youth Orchestras, Oklahoma City

For more information, contact Joel Gavin, director of marketing and communications, at (405) 521-2037 or

About the Oklahoma Arts Council
The Oklahoma Arts Council is the official state agency for the support and development of the arts. The agency’s mission is to lead in the advancement of Oklahoma’s thriving arts industry. The Oklahoma Arts Council provides more than 400 grants to nearly 225 organizations in communities statewide each year, organizes professional development opportunities for the state's arts and cultural industry and manages works of art in Oklahoma Public Art Collection and the public spaces of the state Capitol. Additional information is available at

Sign up to receive Oklahoma Arts Council news.