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John Grisham to receive Mississippi's top arts honor in 2009

John Grisham to receive Mississippi's top arts honor in 2009

Best-selling author John Grisham is among those who will receive The Governor’s Awards for Excellence in the Arts in 2009. Grisham will be honored for his literary achievement.

“When you write popular fiction, you don’t get nominated for a lot of awards – not a lot of serious ones, at least,” Grisham says. “But this one is very meaningful. To be chosen to receive the award in a state so rich in creative people, it’s truly an honor. It means a lot.”

The Governor’s Awards for Excellence in the Arts are presented annually by the Mississippi Arts Commission. The awards recognize individuals and organizations for outstanding work in visual, literary and performing arts, community development through the arts and arts patronage. Honorees must have significant ties to Mississippi.

Winners are nominated by members of the public, who also supply details, support materials and letters of endorsement. The six for 2009 were selected from more than 45 nominations, by a panel of experts that included past recipients and those who’ve worked in the arts for years.

Previous winners include B.B. King, James “Super Chikan” Johnson, Malcolm White, Mary Katharine Loyacono McCravey, the late Little Milton (Campbell), Dr. David Blackburn, the Mississippi Alliance for Arts Education, USA International Ballet Competition, William Eggleston, Bo Diddley and Charles Burnett.

The honorees will receive their awards at a Feb. 26, 2009, public ceremony at Galloway United Methodist Church in downtown Jackson. The ceremony is open to the public and there is no admission fee.

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