Honorees announced for 2017 Texas Medal of Arts Awards

Honorees include Kris Kristofferson, Jaclyn Smith, Kenny Rogers

By Justin Horne - Weather Authority Meteorologist/Reporter

SAN ANTONIO - The Texas Cultural Trust announced on Wednesday the 2017 Texas Medal of Arts Awards honorees. The awards, which began in 2001, seeks to shine a spotlight on artistic talent from across the state of Texas.

"The Texas Medal of Arts Awards is modeled after the Kennedy Center Honors, with a Texas flavor and Texas flair,” said Jennifer Ransom Rice, executive director of the Texas Cultural Trust. “It is even more meaningful this year, in particular with our San Antonio connection."

This year’s co-chairs for the awards are the Spurs' Peter Holt and local businessman and avid arts patron Guillermo Nicolas. 

"I felt it was important to show Texans that San Antonio, as much as we love the river and the Alamo, that we are much more than that,” Nicolas said.

This year’s ceremony is said to be San Antonio-centric, with the announcement of this year’s honorees taking place at the Tobin Center. Those to be recognized include San Antonio author John Phillip Santos and native San Antonian and journalist Scott Pelley. 

The Tobin Center itself will also be honored. 

Others receiving the Texas Medal of Arts Award in 2017 will be Kris Kristofferson of Brownsville, Jaclyn Smith and Kenny Rogers of Houston. In all, 17 Texas artists will be honored this year.

Past honorees include Walter Cronkite, Jamie Foxx, Willie Nelson and San Antonians Eva Longoria and Grammy Award winner Vikki Carr. 

"I've received a lot of awards in my career, but to be acknowledged by the state of Texas for what you've accomplished … It was incredible, it really was a beautiful, beautiful award,” said Carr.

The Texas Medal of Arts Awards will be presented Feb. 21 and 22 in Austin. To date, 99 awards have been presented to 105 Texas legends and luminaries.

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