Quin Gresham of Arrow Rock, 2020 honoree for Leadership in the Arts, with the Arrow Rock Lyceum Theatre’s annual production of A Christmas Carol that he directs

Missouri Arts Awards 2020

Since 1983, the Missouri Arts Council and the State of Missouri have been honoring our state’s arts heroes—the people who make the arts happen. Our annual Missouri Arts Awards celebrate people, organizations, and communities that have made profound and lasting contributions to the cultural and artistic climate of the state. Including the 2020 honorees, the awards have acclaimed 223 people, organizations, and communities. Honorees are selected by an independent panel in six categories: Arts Education, Arts Organization, Creative Community, Individual Artist, Leadership in the Arts, and Philanthropy.

The 2020 Missouri Arts Awards will be presented in a ceremony in the Capitol Rotunda in Jefferson City beginning at 1 p.m. on Wednesday, February 5, 2020. Everyone is invited to attend.

Arts Education | William Ash, St. Louis
Creator and continuing champion of St. Louis Classical Guitar’s pathbreaking Guitar Horizons education initiatives, begun while he was the organization’s director 1980-2017 and now reaching thousands of underserved children in city public schools

Arts Organization | Bach Aria Soloists
Adventurous chamber music ensemble in their 20th year of celebrating the genius and relevance of J.S. Bach, his contemporaries, and composers he has inspired through today, by presenting performances including multi-genre collaborations and their education program

Creative Community | Grand Center Inc., St. Louis
Nonprofit developer and facilitator of Grand Center Arts District, the landmark destination for arts and culture in St. Louis’ midtown, home to more than 60 organizations, 22 bars/restaurants, 17 museums and galleries, 16 theaters, and 10 music venues

Individual Artist | Maryfrances Wagner, Independence
Nationally renowned poet with nine published collections of her works, editor of books and magazines, reviewer, teacher, mentor, arts volunteer, community leader, and advocate for cross-cultural arts – a leader in the Midwest literary world for decades

Leadership in the Arts | Quin Gresham, Arrow Rock
Producing artistic director of Arrow Rock Lyceum Theatre since 2005, who has built the 60-year-old company into a major professional producing theater that attracts audiences from across the U.S. and is a cultural and economic treasure for rural central Missouri

Philanthropy | Jeanne and Rex Sinquefield, Westphalia
Ardent supporters of music education and the composition and performance of new music, especially through the University of Missouri in Columbia via competitions, festivals, awards, scholarships, and the leading gift toward a new music building

William Ash, St. Louis | Arts Education

Bach Aria Soloists, Kansas City | Arts Organization | Dr. Elisa Williams Bickers (harpsichord, organ, piano), Hannah Collins (cello), Sarah Tannehill Anderson (soprano), Elizabeth Suh Lane (violin, founder, artistic director) | photo, Dan White

Grand Center Inc., St. Louis | Creative Community | 19th-century house, Jazz St. Louis, the Continental Building | photo, Oliver C. Slicer

Maryfrances Wagner, Independence | Individual Artist

Quin Gresham, Arrow Rock | Leadership in the Arts

Jeanne and Rex Sinquefield, Westphalia | Philanthropy

Choosing the Honorees

Since founding the Missouri Arts Awards in 1983, the Missouri Arts Council and the State of Missouri have honored 223 people, organizations, and communities throughout the state. An independent panel of Missourians representing the arts community throughout the state selects the honorees from among public nominations. These panelists chose the 2020 honorees:

Barth L. Fraker, chair, Springfield | vice chair, Missouri Arts Council and Trust Board

Consuelo Cruz, Kansas City | arts marketing coordinator, City of Kansas City Office of Culture and Creative Services

Sarah Dresser, Columbia | manager, Office of Cultural Affairs, City of Columbia

Jerry Ford, Cape Girardeau | director, The Jerry Ford Orchestra | 2017 Individual Artist Honoree

Michael Gaines, Hannibal | executive director, Hannibal Arts Council and Missouri Association of Community Arts Agencies | 2012 Leadership in the Arts honoree

Sharon Kosek, St. Joseph | 2018 Leadership in the Arts honoree

Cecilia Nadal, St. Louis | founder and executive director, Gitana Productions, St. Louis | 2019 Leadership in the Arts honoree

Steve Snyder, Mount Vernon | 2019 Individual Artist honoree