By Robert Barron, Staff Writer
Enid News and Eagle
ENID, Okla. —
Two Enid residents will receive the Governor’s Arts Award Nov. 8 during a special ceremony in the fourth-floor rotunda of the Oklahoma Capitol beginning at 4 p.m.
Delores McClure, of Enid, will be honored in public service, and Mayor Bill Shewey will receive the George Nigh award at the 37th annual awards. Kim Baker, director of Oklahoma Arts Council, said the awards bring recognition to individuals and organizations making a difference in communities throughout the state.
McClure and Shewey are among 11 people from across the state receiving the award.
“I support the arts because its a quality-of-life issue to me, and it’s important to me,” Shewey said.
He called the award a nice one and said it speaks well for Enid. Shewey mentioned Gaslight Theatre, Enid Symphony Orchestra, Cherokee Strip Regional Heritage Center and Leonardo’s Discovery Warehouse as some arts-promoting organizations in Enid.
“There are a lot of different items within the arts that all add up to the quality of life in Enid,” Shewey said. “It’s important that we support it. It enhances the qualify of life in Enid.”
McClure will be recognized for her longtime devotion to the arts in Enid.
While at Phillips University, McClure helped form an arts group, “Kaleidoscope,” which consisted of artists, writers and performers who shared their works and encouraged each other to be creative.
“I’ve always been interested in art,” McClure said. “My father was a sign painter, and I think that’s where it came from.”
McClure also initiated and partially funded the “The Homesteaders” statue at Cherokee Strip Regional Heritage Center. She helped sculptor Harold Holden with the design, which includes her granddaughter as the child in the family of homesteaders.
McClure also has helped raise funds for Leonardo’s Discovery Warehouse and Adventure Quest, is a gold sponsor of Enid Symphony Orchestra, is a contributor and fundraiser for Enid Beautiful Inc., funded the art program at St. Joseph Catholic School when it opened and contributed a replica of the St. Francis Cross for the altar at St. Gregory the Great Church.
“The arts is important because it makes us more aware of the beautiful in the world and keeps it in front of us,” McClure said. “There is so much emphasis on violence.”
McClure said participation in the arts is good for young people.
The Governor’s Arts Award recognizes longtime leadership and significant contributions to the arts. Other honorees are Dr. Don Betz, Edmond; Christian Keesee, Oklahoma City; and Charles Ward, Tulsa.
The Business in the Arts Award recognizes individuals, businesses and corporations that exhibit outstanding support of the arts in Oklahoma. The honoree is AVB Bank, Broken Arrow.
The Media in the Arts Award is given to an individual member of the media or media outlet that demonstrates commitment to the arts in Oklahoma documented through public awareness, support, fairness, initiative, creativity and professionalism in reporting. Honorees are KOSU Radio, Stillwater; OKIE Magazine, Lawton; and RSU Public TV, Claremore.
The Arts in Education Award recognizes an individual, organization, school, educator or group for their outstanding leadership and service in the arts benefiting youth and/or arts in education. Honorees are Choregus Productions, Tulsa; Firehouse Arts Center, Norman; and Oklahoma City Philharmonic, Oklahoma City.
Besides McClure, other Community Service Award winners are Dr. Bob Palmer, Bethany; Laurie Thompson, Mangum; Mary Bryant, Arnett; Nancy Harris, Arnett; Marlene Woods, Arnett; and Philbrook Museum of Art, Tulsa.
Mike Larsen of Perkins will be given the Special Recognition Award.