Missouri Arts Awards Ceremony

Missouri Arts Council Selects 2020 Missouri Arts Awards Honorees


The Missouri Arts Council has selected the recipients of the 2020 Missouri Arts Awards, the state’s highest honor in the arts. Honorees are recognized for their profound and lasting contributions to the artistic and cultural legacy of the state. The awards categories are Arts Education, Arts Organization, Creative Community, Individual Artist, Leadership in the Arts, and Philanthropy.

The awards will be presented in a public ceremony on February 5, 2020, in the Capitol Rotunda in Jefferson City. Everyone is welcome 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, Kansas City

Adventurous chamber music ensemble celebrating the genius and relevance of J.S. Bach, his contemporaries, and composers he has inspired through today, by presenting performances, multi-genre collaborations, and the BachReach 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

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.


The honorees receive artwork in glass created by Tyler Kimball, founder and owner of Monarch Glass Studio in Kansas City.

The poster commemorating the 2020 awards and the program and invitation for the awards ceremony will feature Life’s a Chess Match, an acrylic painting by Cbabi Bayoc of St. Louis.

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 | member, 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

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