It was a star-studded occasion as onlookers and special guests filled the Capitol rotunda Thursday morning and Gov. Ernie Fletcher presented the 2003 Governor's Awards in Arts.
The awards went to 10 individuals, businesses or organizations that have made significant contributions to the arts in Kentucky during the past year, ranging from a music educator in Frankfort to a humble basket maker in Park City to the celebrated Judd family, formerly of Ashland.
Stirring up a raucous round of applause, national recording artist Wynonna Judd and sister, actor Ashley Judd, waded through the crowd to accept the Governor's National Award in Arts on behalf of the Judd family.
Among the 2003 recipients is Frankfort resident and Kentucky State University assistant professor of music, Vernell Bennett.
Bennett was awarded the Education Award for an individual, for her early childhood music institute, Operation Half Note, which provides introductory music education for preschool children in the Frankfort community.