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APSU to honor local artists and arts supporters during March 17th Ovation Awards

APSU Center of Excellence for the Creative ArtsClarksville, TN – On Wednesday evenings, you might know him as Bucky Dawes, manager of the fictional country music star Rayna James on the ABC drama “Nashville.” Later this month, when Nicole Kidman’s new psychological thriller “Stoker” hits theaters, he’ll be the minister dressed in black with a white collar

But most people in Clarksville know him as the Julliard-trained actor David Alford, an Austin Peay State University graduate who has never forgotten his alma mater.

David Alford is the recipient of this year's George Mabry Award.
David Alford is the recipient of this year’s George Mabry Award.

Alford regularly returns to campus to drum up support for APSU’s Acuff Chair of Excellence or to sing during the University’s annual Percussion Ensemble holiday concerts. At 2:00pm on March 17th, he will visit the Customs House Museum and Cultural Center to receive a special thank you from the community.

Alford is the recipient of this year’s George Mabry Award, which will be presented that afternoon during the Acuff Circle of Excellence’s annual Ovation Awards Ceremony in the museum’s auditorium.

The Acuff Circle of Excellence is a patron society devoted to advancing the role of arts and culture in the lives of Austin Peay State University students and the citizens of Montgomery County and surrounding region. The Circle seeks to maintain an association of individuals interested in strengthening and advancing the APSU Center of Excellence for the Creative Arts.

The George Mabry Award, instituted three years ago by the center, is presented to a living Tennessee individual who has made a significant impact on arts and culture in Montgomery County through philanthropy, leadership or direct involvement or a Tennessee individual who has advanced arts and culture through strategic and innovative work in creating or supporting public policy beneficial to the arts in Montgomery County.

The George Mabry Award is only one of several Ovation Awards that will be given out that Sunday. Since 1996, the Center has honored individuals and organizations that made significant contributions to the artistic and cultural life of the Clarksville community.

The other recipients who will be recognized during the awards ceremony include:

  • Local sculptor Tom Rice – Ovation Artist Award.
  • Kenwood High School student Elizabeth Bell and Montgomery Central High School student Brittney Griffin – Ovation Young Artist Award.
  • Immaculate Conception Catholic Church/International Day – Ovation Community Organization Award.
  • Beachaven Winery/Jazz on the Lawn – Ovation Business Award.

“These awards bring recognition to those talented people, businesses and organizations that work to improve the quality of our lives,” Christopher Burawa, director of the APSU Center of Excellence for the Creative Arts, said.

Wade Bourne, a nationally recognized radio and television personality, as well as a noted author, will serve as the event’s master of ceremonies. Bourne is a veteran contributor to the nation’s leading outdoor magazines, including Ducks Unlimited and Bassmaster, and he is author of six outdoor and hunting books.

He is the host of the award-winning “Pros’ Pointers Radio” program, in addition to hosting “Ducks Unlimited TV” on the Versus Channel.

A reception with Bourne and the award recipients will follow the ceremony in the upstairs banquet room of the museum.

For questions or more information on this event, contact the center at 931.221.7876.


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