The Perry F. Kendig Arts and Culture Awards

Presidents Gray and Maxey with Kendig Award Winners

Shown: Nancy Gray, interim President Hollins University, Vera Dickerson/Studio School, Susan Jennings, Jimmy Ray Ward, and Michael Maxey, president, Roanoke College

Congratulations to the 2019 Perry F. Kendig Award winners Susan Jennings, Jimmy Ray Ward, and The Studio School (read the news release here). A complete list of nominees for 2019 can be found here: nominations news release.

Photos from the September 24 award ceremony can be viewed here: Kendig Award Celebration Photos 2019

Hollins University and Roanoke College are dedicated to providing students with the finest arts and cultural learning experiences. From artist residencies, gallery programs, live theatre productions, music concerts, creative writing activities, and film projects, students are exposed to amazing faculty and professional artists of all disciplines.

To enhance learning and build upon these unique campus offerings, both Hollins and Roanoke have actively sought ways for students to experience the rich and vibrant Roanoke region* arts and cultural community. At any time throughout their experiences at Hollins and Roanoke, students might find themselves working alongside a local visual artist in their studio or in the community, performing in a local theatrical production or learning about arts administration during an internship at a non-profit organization.

In 2013 The Perry F. Kendig Awards, an annual program that has recognized excellence in arts and culture for more than 25 years, found itself without a home, Hollins University and Roanoke College came together to keep the tradition alive in appreciation to the Roanoke region’s cultural community resources. In addition, Hollins University and Roanoke College hope that in presenting this annual program it will build an even stronger arts and culture bridge between the campus environment and community at large.


The late Perry F. Kendig served as president of Roanoke College and was an avid supporter and patron of the arts. Since 1985, The Perry F. Kendig Awards program has recognized exemplary individuals, businesses and organizations that support excellence in the arts. In addition, these awards have served as an important advocacy program for the community to realize and appreciate the vital role arts and culture play in economic development and education in our schools, while providing a focal point for celebrating and strengthening the Roanoke region’s cultural identity.

The Perry F. Kendig Arts and Culture Awards program strives to: Showcase the quality and diversity of artistic excellence throughout the greater Roanoke region, Recognize outstanding support of arts and culture, and celebrate exemplary arts and cultural organizations.

Award Categories

One award will be presented in each category only (for a total of three (3) awards).

  • Individual Artist (of all disciplines – dance, literature, music, media arts, visual arts and theatre)
  • Arts and/or Cultural Organization
  • Individual or Business Arts Supporter

Please see the FAQ section for more information on the nomination process.

*Roanoke Regional Chamber defines the Roanoke region as the counties of Botetourt, Franklin, and Roanoke, and the cities of Salem, Roanoke and the Town of Vinton.

Important Note

The Perry F. Kendig Arts and Culture Awards is a programmatic offering between Hollins University and Roanoke College since 2013. Past Perry F. Kendig Awards recipients from 1985-2012 are eligible for consideration (unless they are now full time employees of Hollins University or Roanoke College) – see complete lists:

Kendig Award Recipients from 1985-2012
Kendig Award Nominees Winners 2013 to present

Programs and full time employees of Hollins University and Roanoke College are not eligible.

Deadline for Nominations

Nominations are closed.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q.) Are supporting materials important to include along with my nomination form?

A.) Yes, at least two supporting letters/documents are required; any additional information will help the review committee learn more about your nominee and why you feel they should be selected as a recipient of an award. We highly recommend including samples or links to work, especially for visual artists.

Q.) How are nominations evaluated?

A.) The review committee will evaluate nominations through the lens of three core categories:

  1. Leadership contributions (i.e., advocacy, education, formal leadership roles, development of the arts community);
  2. Patronage (i.e., participation and/or financial support);
  3. Overall body of work and involvement in the local arts community.

A strong nomination provides examples or evidence to support excellence in the above listed categories. Two letters of nomination are required and/or examples of work (especially for visual artists) are encouraged to supplement the basic nomination form.

Q.) How are review committee members selected?

A.) Hollins University and Roanoke College have selected faculty with expertise in arts and culture along with community supporters. In addition, past year’s recipients will also serve on the committee to ensure a comprehensive scope and understanding of arts and culture in the greater Roanoke region.

Q.) Where will The Perry F. Kendig Arts and Culture Awards ceremony take place?

A.) The awards will alternate between Roanoke College and Hollins University. The 2020 awards presentation will take place in the fall at Hollins University, date TBD.

Q.) The organization/individual I want to nominate was a past recipient of a Perry F. Kendig Award. Are they eligible?

A.) Yes. As of 2013 and the new collaboration and programmatic offering between Hollins University and Roanoke College, only past recipients during 1985 and 2012 are eligible moving forward.

For Additional questions:

Libby Camper
Roanoke College
540-375-2521 or