Governor's Arts & Heritage Awards
Dr. Quinton Morris, an educator and performer, received the Governor's Young Arts Leader Award in 2016. Photo by Eva Blanchard Photography.

Governor’s Arts & Heritage Awards

Honoring Achievement, Creativity, and Excellence

Announcing the 2019 Governor’s Arts & Heritage Awards Honorees

The Governor’s Arts & Heritage Awards (GAHA) recognize individuals and organizations for their significant contributions to Washington’s creative vitality.

The Governor’s Arts Awards were established in 1966. They recognize and honor individuals and organizations for their significant contributions to the arts and cultural development of Washington State.

The Governor’s Heritage Awards were established in 1989. They recognize and honor individuals and organizations for their significant contributions to preserving traditions and cultural heritage in Washington State.

To be eligible for a GAHA, individuals or organizations must be:

  • Current Washington residents; or
  • Based in Washington during the time the contributions were made

As of 2018, 255 Washington State artists and organizations have been honored with a Governor’s Arts Award or a Governor’s Heritage Award.

There are many deserving artists, tradition bearers, cultural institutions, arts & heritage advocates, community leaders, organizations, and educators doing exemplary work in their local communities around the state. We’d like to recognize the best of them. Your nominations make that happen.

Archive of Past Honorees


Governor’s Arts Awards
Arts Education
Young Arts Leader
Arts Legacy
Arts Advocacy
Philanthropy Award
Community Award

Governor’s Arts Awards Criteria and Category Definitions

Governor’s Heritage Awards

Governors Heritage Awards Criteria and Category Definitions

Evaluation and Selection

A selection panel evaluates nominations. Panel recommendations are forwarded to ArtsWA’s board of commissioners. The Commission deliberates and forwards recommendations to the Governor, who has final approval authority. Once approved, all nominators and nominees are notified and award recipients are announced to the public.

For more information or questions contact:
Miguel Guillén | | 360-586-0424

Support the Program

There are many ways to support the Governor’s Arts & Heritage Awards:

Make a nomination

Nominations are currently closed. Check back here in May 2020 or sign up for our email news (see bottom of home page) for updates about next year’s GAHA nomination period.

Place an ad in the GAHA Program Brochure
Placing an ad in the Governor’s Arts & Heritage Award program brochure is a great way to celebrate the honorees. Show your support of arts and heritage in Washington State! Advertising space and prices are as follows:

  • $100 for full page color ad (5.5″ X 8.5″)
  • $50 for a half page color ad (5.5″ X 4.25″)
  • Deadline to purchase GAHA program ads is October 30, 2019
  • For more information contact:
    Glenda Carino | glenda. | 360-586-8093

See examples of ads placed in previous brochures

Governor’s Arts & Heritage Gala Awards Gala Dinner Program 2018

Governor’s Arts & Heritage Gala Awards Gala Dinner Program 2017

*See ArtsWA advertising policy