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Reverand Receives Governor’s Arts Award

December 21, 2015
man seated and leaning on harpsichord with open lid and words on the inside of the lid
Cedric Reverand, after receiving the George Duke Humphrey Distinguished Professor Award in 2003. (UW Photo)

Cedric Reverand, who brought hundreds of world-renowned artists to Wyoming as the founding director of University of Wyoming Cultural Programs, was among six recipients of Gov. Matt Mead’s 2015 Governor’s Arts Awards.

Established in 1982, the Governor’s Arts Awards recognize artists, arts organizations and patrons who have displayed excellence in the arts and outstanding service to the arts in Wyoming. Other recipients this year are Paul Taylor, Laramie; Chris Navarro and Brian Scott Gamroth, of Casper; Sarah Rogers, of Sundance; and the Hot Springs Greater Learning Foundation of Thermopolis.

“Ric’s unbending commitment to the art form ensured that world-class artists would not only visit Laramie, but many small towns around Wyoming,” wrote Timothy Wilson, executive director of the Western Arts Alliance. “This could only happen if overseen by a selfless and patient arts leader such as Ric Reverand. His service was greatly appreciated by the small communities of Wyoming to which he donated his time, energy and passion for bringing the finest performing artists to the stages of Wyoming.”

While attracting world-class acts to UW, Reverand negotiated contracts to offer tickets at far less cost than what audiences paid in America’s major venues such as New York, Denver and San Francisco. Among performers he brought to Wyoming were the Emerson String Quartet, The Swingle Singers, Pinchas Zukerman, Helene Grimaud, The Shakespeare Project, Paul Taylor Dance Company, Gil Shaham, Bobby McFarrin, Wynton Marsalis, Turtle Island String Quartet, Allen Toussaint, Bela Fleck and the Martha Graham Dance Company.

Barry Douglas, the world-renowned pianist who performed at UW six times, says he never hesitated to accept an invitation from Reverand.

“Not only did one know that the audience would be receptive, knowledgeable and warm, but the hospitality of the community made Laramie such an attractive destination for us performing travelers,” Douglas wrote. “He is a friend to the arts, but, possibly even more important, he has shown great fondness and respect for his subscribers and has wanted them to witness the very best.”

“Ric’s contributions certainly enhanced the quality of education of students in the departments of Theatre and Dance, and Music,” wrote Oliver Walter, former dean of the UW College of Arts and Sciences. “The opportunity for students in these departments to interact with some of the world’s most accomplished artists was not only a thrill, but very often a confidence builder.”

Additionally, Reverand received numerous awards for teaching and research as a professor in the Department of English. In 2003, he received the university’s highest academic honor, the George Duke Humphrey Distinguished Professor Award.

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