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 2019 award recipients are as follows:


Donna Anderson

Joe W. Giles Lifetime Achievement Award
Finale Luncheon
Curb Event Center
July 19 • 11:30 AM




Donna Anderson is a much admired and devoted visual art educator from Knoxville, Tennessee. During her forty-year teaching career in the Knox County Schools, she won numerous awards and honors and held many leadership roles in state, regional, and national art education professional organizations. Her first teaching assignment was at Beardsley Junior High, followed by subsequent positions at both South-Young and South-Doyle high schools. She retired from teaching in 2015 from Hardin Valley Academy. As an educator, Anderson taught a wide range of courses in drawing, painting, printmaking, photography, and AP Art. She was named the South Doyle Teacher of the Year three times and received the Knox County Teacher of the Year award in 1997. She served as president of the Tennessee Art Education Association (TAEA) and was a recipient of the organization’s Tennessee Distinguished Service within the Profession award. TAEA also presented her with the Tennessee Secondary Art Educator of the Year award on more than one occasion, and in 2003, they named her Tennessee Art Educator of the Year. In 2005, Anderson received the Liz Whorley Bradley Professional Growth Award from Delta Kappa Gamma International.

A frequent National Art Education Association (NAEA) conference presenter, Anderson served as the organization’s southeastern regional director from 2005 to 2007. In 2008, she was named the NAEA National Secondary Division Art Educator of the Year. As a professional artist, her work has been seen in many exhibitions, including TAEA’s members art exhibition Connections; the Downtown Gallery’s ArtSource, for which she won best of show; and TVA’s You Gotta Have Art and Diversity. As a Fulbright Scholar, she did research and work in Japan, Egypt, and Israel in 1999 and 2000. She is the author of Experience Printmaking, which is part of a studio series produced for high school students by Davis Publications.


Jeff Calhoun

Distinguished Service Award
Bravo Awards Banquet and Performance
Curb Event Center
July 17 • 6:30 PM



Jeff Calhoun is an award-winning choreographer, dancer, director, and producer. His work has been seen in countless venues from Broadway to London and in theatres across America.

Calhoun began his career as one of the seven brothers in the Broadway production of Seven Brides for Seven Brothers. He then went on to replace Tommy Tune in the Broadway production of My One and Only starring Twiggy and the legendary Charles “Honi” Coles. His Broadway directing debut was Tommy Tune Tonite! at the Gershwin Theater. Calhoun’s collaboration with Tune led to the 1991 Tony Award for Best Choreography for the Will Rogers Follies. As a dancer in the film version of The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, Calhoun met Dolly Parton. Just this year, he worked with her again when he directed her show 9 to 5: The Musical on London’s West End as well as on its U.S. and U.K. tours.

Calhoun’s Broadway experience is extensive. He directed the hit Disney musical, Newsies, which was nominated for eight Tony Awards, including for best musical and best director. His revival of Frank Wildhorn and Leslie Bricusse’s Jekyll and Hyde played the Marriott Marquis Theatre following its U.S. National Tour. Also in collaboration with Wildhorn, Calhoun directed and choreographed the Broadway production of Bonnie and Clyde. Calhoun’s numerous other Broadway credits include his roles as producer, director, and choreographer of Brooklyn: The Musical; director and choreographer of the 1994 Broadway Grease revival; co-choreographer with Graciela Daniele of the Broadway Tony Award winning revival of Annie Get Your Gun; and the musical staging for the Tony Award winning Broadway musical Grey Gardens.

His additional projects across the United States include work at the Old Globe Theatre in San Diego, where he directed the critically acclaimed production of Emma: A Musical Romantic Comedy, based on the Jane Austen novel, and co-directed Himself and Nora with Joe Hardy. Calhoun also directed the world premiere production and tours of Disney’s High School Musical: On Stage! and Disney’s High School Musical 2: On Stage! For the North Hollywood, California-based Deaf West Theatre, he directed and choreographed Pippin at the Mark Taper Forum and the company’s Tony Award winning production of Big River.

Calhoun is currently an associate artist at Ford’s Theatre in Washington D.C. He also serves on the board of directors for Covenant House International, a nonprofit organization helping homeless youth in thirty-one cities across six countries.

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Jeanette and Bill Watkins

Lorin Hollander Award
Bravo Awards Banquet and Performance
Curb Event Center
July 17 • 6:30 PM



Jeanette and Bill Watkins have given a lifetime of service to their community of Germantown, Memphis, and to the state of Tennessee. Their volunteer work has focused on education and the arts. A native of Missouri, Bill Watkins began his career in public accounting with a large Memphis firm. He then served as controller for the sixth largest industrial security firm in the United States. In 1971, he co-founded the public accounting firm Watkins Uiberall, PLLC. Watkins is a graduate of the University of Memphis College of Business, which has named the auditorium in its Fogelman College of Business and Economics in his honor. He is a member and former president of the Germantown Performing Arts Center, where he currently serves on the board of directors. For twelve years, he served on the Tennessee Board of Regents; during that time, he was chair of the audit committee and for two years also served as vice chair of the board. Watkins is a member of the Economic Club of Memphis and has also served on the board of the Boy Scouts of America, who awarded him their Silver Beaver Award. He is a member of the University of Memphis Fogelman College of Business Executive Committee, and in 2012, he received the University of Memphis Distinguished Alumni Award. Watkins is the current TAA Foundation vice president.

Jeanette Watkins is a former high school teacher and graduate of the University of Memphis. She is a member of the Germantown Garden Club, the New Neighbors Organization, and the Salvation Army. She was appointed to the Shelby County Film and Television Commission by Shelby County mayor Mark Luttrell. Watkins has served the Germantown Performing Arts Center as its Gala chair, and she is a past president of the Josephine Circle. While a member of the East Memphis Rotary Club, she received the Paul Harris Fellowship Award. Watkins currently holds the office of treasurer for the Germantown Museum. She has served the Shelby County Republican Women’s Club in several capacities, including holding the office of president for three years. Watkins is the current co-chair of the TAA Foundation fundraising committee.

The Watkins are active members of Christ United Methodist Church in Memphis. They have two children, Cynthia Renee Watkins and William H. “Trey” Watkins III; a daughter-in-law, Sarah Sutton Watkins; and three grandchildren. In their free time, the Watkins enjoy spending time with their children and grandchildren, relaxing at their lake home, and boating.




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