Academy Awards


Tennessee Arts Academy Award Recipients


The Tennessee Arts Academy honors individuals and organizations each year in a variety of categories during the Bravo Awards Banquet and Performance and during the TAA Finale luncheon. Current and previous award winners are listed below, as well as descriptions of each award category.

The 2018 award recipients are as follows:


Linda Wilson Miller

Joe W. Giles Lifetime Achievement Award
Finale Luncheon
Curb Event Center
July 13 • 11:30 AM



During her forty-nine-year career in speech and theatre, Linda Wilson Miller has helped thousands of students develop the confidence and ability to communicate well. Her teaching years took place at Henry County High School, in Paris, Tennessee. Miller was hired when the school opened in 1969, after being recommended by her predecessor and legendary high school speech teacher Ruby Krider. “Miss Ruby” was my mentor and my inspiration,” says Miller. “Her energy and passion for speech and theater education are unequalled, as is the number of students she impacted over her years of teaching.” Miller quickly established herself in her own right as one of the most outstanding speech and theatre teachers in the country. She has coached thirty-two students to nineteen national speech tournaments, and in 1974, led her former student, Cherry Jones, the Tony and Emmy award winning actress, to a second place national finish in the Original Oratory competition of the National Forensic League.


Miller retired from the classroom in 2014, but she continues to coach Henry County High’s forensic team and one-act play competition cast. Miller is a longtime member of Delta Kappa Gamma, an honorary society for key women teachers. She also serves her community on the board of directors of the Paris-Henry County Arts Council. In 1996, she was named the state educator of the year by the Tennessee High School Speech and Drama League; in 2001, she was inducted into their Hall of Fame. Miller has attended the Tennessee Arts Academy for at least fifteen summers. She credits the Academy for giving her wonderful ideas she was able to take back and use in the classroom. “I am so grateful to have literally spent my life in school,” she says. “It’s such an exciting and challenging place to be, and if I had the chance, I would do it all over again.” Miller is married to Bob Miller and has one son, Chad, a daughter-in-law, Sabrena, and four grandchildren.


Tennessee Senate Majority Leader Mark Norris

Lamar Alexander Founder’s Award of Distinction
Bravo Awards Banquet and Performance
Curb Event Center
July 11 • 6:30 PM



Mark Norris is a consistent and tireless advocate for arts and education. He is completing his eighteenth year in the Tennessee Senate and is the longest serving senate majority leader in Tennessee history. He has been the primary sponsor of the state’s budget for eight consecutive years, during which state funding for kindergarten to twelfth grade education has increased by $1 billion. He was the primary sponsor of Tennessee Promise, which provides tuition-free education to graduating high school seniors. He has also been instrumental in providing annual funding for the Tennessee Arts Academy and in preserving and supporting Tennessee’s specialty license plate program, which provides millions of dollars to the arts, including arts education. As a member of the General Assembly’s arts caucus, he created the state’s Gift-A-Tag Program to boost sales of specialty plates.


Norris is a lifetime member of the Tennessee Parent Teacher Association and has twice been named its Legislator of the Year. He has pioneered funding for programs addressing adverse childhood experiences, including the ACE Awareness Foundation and the University of Tennessee’s Center for Health in Justice Involved Youth. He has championed the cause of juvenile justice reform for many years. He sponsored the Juvenile Justice Reform Act of 2018 and also enacted changes to prevent the incarceration of juveniles in solitary confinement.


Norris is a graduate of the University of Denver College of Law and has practiced law in Tennessee since 1980. He is special counsel with the law firm of Adams and Reese LLP. This year, he was nominated by President Trump to serve as a federal judge in the United States District Court for the twenty-two county Western District of Tennessee. When he’s not tending to the peoples’ business, he tends to his cattle at home on his family farm in Shelby County. He and his wife, Chris, live there with four generations of family, including their two grandchildren—Field and Louise, ages 6 and almost 4.


Tony Walton

Distinguished Service Award
Bravo Awards Banquet and Performance
Curb Event Center
July 11 • 6:30 PM



Tony Walton is an award-winning director, production designer, and costume designer for Broadway, Off-Broadway, film, television, ballet, and opera. During his career, he has been honored with numerous accolades and awards for his work. He has received sixteen Tony Award nominations for his Broadway sets or costumes, including those created for Pippin, House of Blue Leaves, and Guys and Dolls, which all won Tony Awards. Among his twenty films, Mary Poppins, The Boy Friend, The Wiz, and Murder on the Orient Express earned him five Academy Award nominations. He won an Oscar for his work on Bob Fosse’s All That Jazz and an Emmy for Death of a Salesman. Two of his more recent projects include the Broadway set designs for Annie Get Your Gun and A Tale of Two Cities.


Walton was the production designer for Madison Square Garden’s A Christmas Carol for ten years as well as for Julie Andrews’ 2003 revival of The Boy Friend. His graphic work includes a great many illustrations for books and magazines; caricatures for the publications Playbill, Theatre Arts, and Vogue; and posters for many Broadway, Off-Broadway, and West End shows. During the last twenty-two years, Walton has directed and designed theatre productions of Wilde, Shaw, Coward, and others for New York’s Irish Rep, San Diego’s Old Globe, Sarasota’s Asolo Rep, East Hampton’s John Drew Theatre, and the Bay Street Theatre, Sag Harbor.


As a producer, Walton has co-presented six plays or musicals in London—three of which were in association with the legendary Hal Prince. His designs for opera have been seen at London’s Theatre Royal Covent Garden, the Sadlers Wells Opera Company, and throughout Europe and America. His many ballet designs include the Dance Theatre of Harlem’s St. Louis Women, which was performed at the Lincoln Center; the American Ballet Theatre’s Peter and the Wolf and Sleeping Beauty, which were both performed at the Met; and many ballets for the San Francisco Ballet Company and other dance companies throughout the United States.


Born in Walton-on-Thames, England, he has lived in New York City for more than fifty years with his wife, author Gen LeRoy Walton. The pair has two daughters and five grandchildren. In 1991, Tony Walton was elected to the Theatre Hall of Fame.




Arts Leadership Award of Excellence

is presented to an individual or group who has achieved a unique milestone in the arts that deserves recognition and honor.

Distinguished Service Award

is presented to an American whose work stands as a monument to the importance of the arts in the lives of all people.


Joe W. Giles Lifetime Achievement Award

is conferred upon a Tennessee teacher, whose life's work is widely acknowledged to have positively influenced the role of the arts in education, thereby benefiting the students of Tennessee's schools.

Lamar Alexander Founder's Award of Distinction

is presented to an individual whose meritorious accomplishments in the fields of education and the arts have profoundly impacted American culture and life.

Lorin Hollander Award

is given to a Tennessean whose influence has benefited arts education in general and/or the Tennessee Arts Academy in particular. This award is named in honor of internationally renowned concert pianist Lorin Hollander, a special friend of the Academy.

Partner in the Arts Award

honors an individual or business whose generosity and support have contributed in sustained and significant ways to the success of the Tennessee Arts Academy's mission.

Spirit of Tennessee Award

recognizes an individual or group whose work exemplifies the highest standards of artistic endeavor and brings positive recognition to the place of the arts in the lives of Tennesseans.

Previous Recipients:


Joe W. Giles Lifetime

Achievement Award

 

Lorin Hollander Award

 

Distinguished Service Award

1995   Joseph Edward Hodges, Crossville
1996   Freda Kenner, Bells
1996   Sue Blass, Jackson
1997   Elizabeth Rike, Knoxville
1997   Celia Bachelder, Kingsport
1998   James Charles Mills, Johnson City
1998   Gene Crain, Memphis
1999   Patricia Brown, Knoxville
2000   Robert Pletcher, Nashville
2000   Kathy Hawk, Kingsport
2001   Tommie Pardue, Memphis
2001   Tully Daniel, Memphis (awarded posthumously)
2004   Marilyn duBrisk, Greeneville
2004   Bobby Jean Frost, Nashville
2005   Nancy Boone-Allsbrook, Murfreesboro
2005   Sally Crain Jager, Cookeville
2006   Michael Combs, Knoxville
2006   Jean R. Thomas, Chattanooga
2006   Mitchell Van Metre, Knoxville
2007   David Logan, Johnson City
2010
2011
2011
2012
2013
2014
2015
2016
2017
2018
  James R. Holcomb, Memphis
Flowerree W. (Galetovic) McDonough, Knoxville
Joe W. Giles, Nashville
Richard Mitchell, Knoxville
Carol Crittenden, Nashville
Fred Patterson, Knoxville
Gregg Coats, Memphis
Ted Rose, Lebanon
Margaret Campbelle-Holman, Nashville
Linda Wilson Miller, Paris

 
1994   Cavit Cheshier, education executive
1995   Steven Cohen, state senator
1996   Nellie McNeil, teacher and advocate
1997   Tom L. Naylor, music educator and administrator
1998   T. Earl Hinton, music educator
1999   Jane Walters, educator and arts advocate
2000   Martha McCrory, music educator
2001   Solie Fott, music educator
2008

  Jeanette Crosswhite, arts education administrator
 2013

2014
   Pat and Thane Smith, arts patrons and philanthropists
Cindy Freeman and Michael Meise, music educators and arts advocates
     
 
1994   Charles Strouse, Broadway composer
1995   Charles Fowler, arts educator, writer and advocate
1996   Jerome Lawrence, playwright
1997   Lorin Hollander, concert pianist and philosopher
2000   Scott Ellis, Broadway theatre director
2000   Mary Costa, opera singer
2001   Sheldon Harnick, Broadway lyricist
2001   Tina Packer, Shakespeare actor and director
2003   Bob McGrath, singer and host of Sesame Street
2005   John Simon, author and arts critic
2005   Dean Pitchford, songwriter, lyricist, screenwriter, and director
2006   Andre Thomas, choral conductor
2007   Joe DiPietro, Broadway playwright and lyricist
2008
2011

2012

2013

2014

2015

2016
2016

2016

2017

2018
  Henry Krieger, Broadway composer
Marvin Hamlisch, composer and pianist
Richard Sherman, composer and lyricist
Marc Cherry, Hollywood writer and producer
Rupert Holmes, playwright, composer, and lyricist
Richard Maltby, Jr., director, lyricist, producer, writer
Audrey Flack, painter and sculptor
Andrew Lippa, composer, lyricist, performer, and writer
Doc Severinsen, musician and bandleader
Christopher Durang, Broadway playwright
Tony Walton, Broadway set and costume designer



 

Spirit of Tennessee Award

 

Partner in the Arts Award

 

Arts Leadership Award of Excellence

2000   Wilma Dykeman, writer
2001   Jim Crabtree, theatre director and writer
2002   Alice Swanson, arts education administrator and advocate
2003   George Mabry, choral conductor
2006   Dolph Smith, visual artist
2009   George S. Clinton, Hollywood film composer
2009   Jackie Nichols, theatre administrator
2009   Michael Stern, symphony conductor
2010
2015
  Cherry Jones, Broadway actress
Charles Brindley, visual artist
 
2008   Steve Spiegel, president of Theatrical Rights Worldwide
 
2013
2015
2016
  E. Frank Bluestein, Germantown
Music Makes Us, Nashville
Belmont University, Nashville



Lamar Alexander Founder's Award of Distinction

2013
2014
2017

  Senator Lamar Alexander, United States Senator Douglas Henry, Tennessee State Senator
Bill Haslam, Tennessee Governor