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One of Tattnall County’s own has garnered recognition from Governor Nathan Deal for her contributions and support of Georgia’s creative industry through community involvement, pioneering programs, and long-term financial commitment.

Janisse Ray of Reidsville is one of twelve to receive the 2017 Governor’s Awards for the Arts and Humanities. The awards, in the sixth year, were presented in partnership with the Georgia Council for the Arts and Georgia Humanities.

Ray told AllOnGeorgia, “Because the focus of my work is the environment, I am especially pleased and grateful that Gov. and Mrs. Deal saw fit to honor me with this award. I’d never met the governor so I was really delighted to shake his hand. I’m thrilled that a number of the honorees live and work in rural Georgia. The arts add depth and richness to our lives; they are vital to quality of life — yet outside urban centers the arts often go under-appreciated and missing. I’m proud to be an artist working in rural America, tackling the hard issues of how to live sustainably and communally on this wild earth. I also want to thank Sen. Jack Hill, who spoke on my behalf.”

In a press release, Deal said, “The First Lady and I are longtime supporters of the arts, humanities and expressions of creativity,” said Deal. “These awards recognize outstanding individuals and organizations that have made significant contributions to Georgia’s economic, civic and cultural vitality. Our state’s creative industries provide some 200,000 jobs for Georgians and generate $62.5 billion in economic impact. I congratulate the individuals and institutions being honored today and am grateful for their contributions to communities throughout Georgia.”

Others recognized include:

  • Karen Berman, Milledgeville
  • Valerie Boyd, Athens
  • William Eiland, Athens
  • Gilmer Arts and Heritage Association, Elijay
  • Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport Art Program, Atlanta
  • Virginia Hepner, Atlanta
  • Kenny Leon, Atlanta
  • The Annette Howell Turner Center for the Arts, Valdosta
  • Dr. Pearl McHaney, Decatur
  • National Infantry Museum Foundation, Columbus
  • Lois Reitzes, Atlanta

You can learn more about the program and the awards here.

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Jessica Szilagyi is statewide contributor for All On Georgia and Market Manager for Southeast Georgia. Her main focus with All On Georgia is state and local politics as well as agriculture. She’s served as a policy analyst at the State Capitol and as a campaign manager in political races across the state.

She writes for and has two blogs of her own: ‘The Perspicacious Conservative’, a political blog, and ‘Hair Blowers to Lawn Mowers’, a blog on moving from Atlanta to rural Georgia. Jessica is also a contributor for Fox5 Atlanta’s ‘Like it Or Not.’

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