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Center of Excellence reinstates Ovation Awards

Back in 1995, the Austin Peay State University Center of Excellence for the Creative Arts began honoring individuals who made significant contributions to the artistic and cultural life of the Clarksville community.

The Ovation Award, as it was called, was given out each year during a much-anticipated gala event. But after the 2003 presentation, for various reasons, the Center stopped bestowing the honor. Nearly seven years have passed with no winners.

That, however, is about to change, according to Center Director Chris Burawa.
Back in 1995, the Austin Peay State University Center of Excellence for the Creative Arts began honoring individuals who made significant contributions to the artistic and cultural life of the Clarksville community.

The Ovation Award, as it was called, was given out each year during a much-anticipated gala event. But after the 2003 presentation, for various reasons, the Center stopped bestowing the honor. Nearly seven years have passed with no winners.

That, however, is about to change, according to Center Director Chris Burawa.

“We're reinstating the Ovation Award, and we're expanding it into four categories,” he said.

The four new award categories include:
• Artist: A living Tennessee artist active in the field of literature, visual arts, performing arts, music, folk arts, architecture and design, who lives or lived in Montgomery County.
• Community: A Tennessee community organization or institution for an outstanding arts-based community program or project. Schools and the school district are not eligible in this category.
• Business: A business or corporation that has made a significant contribution to support arts and culture in Montgomery County. Government agencies are not eligible.
• The George Mabry Award: A living Tennessee individual who has made a significant impact on arts and culture in Montgomery County through philanthropy, leadership or direct involvement or a Tennessee individual who has advanced arts and culture through strategic and innovative work in creating or supporting public policy beneficial to the arts in Montgomery County. (Nominations are not accepted in this category. The honoree is selected by a special committee of the Acuff Circle of Excellence Community Advisory Board.)

The awards will be announced at the Center's Annual High Tea, on Sunday, March 7 in the Music/Mass Communication Building. Burawa said they are currently accepting nominations for the three categories, other than the George Mabry Award.

The nominations must be received in his office by 5 p.m., Feb. 12, 2010.

In order to nominate someone in one of the categories, you must submit a nomination letter, which should not exceed two double-spaced pages.

For more information on the nomination process and the Ovation Awards, contact the Center at 931-221-7876. -- Charles Booth