More than 180 Iowans came together Wednesday to celebrate the remarkable contributions of Iowans in Cedar Rapids, Des Moines, Dubuque, Hampton, Iowa City, Marshalltown and Mason City who have left their mark on Iowa through the arts. Among the honorees was Shannon Dallenbach Durbin of Decorah.
The Iowa Arts Council, a division of the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs, presented the 2023 Governor’s Arts Awards on behalf of Gov. Kim Reynolds to 10 individuals and organizations at an awards ceremony held Wednesday evening at the State Historical Museum of Iowa. Earlier on Wednesday, many of the recipients were recognized by Lt. Gov. Adam Gregg in his formal office. The awards are a longstanding Iowa Arts Council program that recognize and honor individuals, organizations and communities that have had a significant impact on the vitality of the arts in Iowa. The first Governor’s Arts Awards were presented in 1971, shortly after the Iowa Arts Council was established in 1967.
The awards have been presented to some of Iowa’s leading arts organizations, educators, community volunteers, and arts patrons.
“This year’s honorees have been at the forefront of making Iowa a culturally vibrant state, with their creativity, dedication, entrepreneurial spirit and passion for the arts,” Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs Director Chris Kramer said. “Truly, we can measure the growth of the arts in Iowa through their accomplishments.”
“The Iowa Arts Council has long recognized excellence in the arts,” Iowa Arts Council Administrator David Schmitz said. “This year’s honorees demonstrate this excellence and set an inspiring example through their service and impact in their communities.”
Durbin, who is the ArtHaus Executive Director from Decorah, was among 17 additional arts leaders and organizations receiving special recognition for their contributions to the arts in Iowa: