Local Actor/Educator to Receive Governor’s Arts Award Thursday

Release Date: Feb 09, 2016

ASU Dean and Hollywood actress Tommie ‘Tonea’ Stewart to Receive Mississippi Governor’s Arts Award.





A local resident, acclaimed Hollywood and movie actress and the dean of ASU’s College of Visual and Performing Arts is being honored in her home state of Mississippi on Thursday with an award honoring her prowess and expertise as an actor and acting-educator.

Dr. Tommie “Tonea” Stewart, renowned actress and dean of the College of Visual and Performing Arts at Alabama State University, helped start an award in 1988 to honor artists in her home state of Mississippi. On Thursday (almost 30 years later), the governor of Mississippi will bestow upon her the very honor she helped to conceive.

The Mississippi Governor’s Arts Award will be given to Stewart in recognition of her excellence in acting during the 28th annual Governor’s Awards ceremony at 6 p.m. Thursday Feb 11, at Duling Hall in Jackson, Miss.

The Governor’s Arts Award is presented annually to outstanding writers, artists, performers, craftsmen and educators who have made significant and lasting contributions through their work as well as on the basis of their dedication to arts advancement.

Stewart is among five honorees selected by peers in the arts industry from hundreds of qualified nominations submitted by the public.

“To be honored in my state at a high level such as this humbles me,” said Stewart. “I can now appreciate how all of those before me felt when they received this prestigious award.”


Stewart is an acclaimed actress best known for big-screen roles in “A Time to Kill” (earning an NAACP Image Award nomination), “Mississippi Burning” and her frequent role on TV’s “In the Heat of the Night.” She has performed in numerous other movie roles, as well as on stage throughout the United States, including Carnegie Hall and the Kennedy Center.

Previous winners of the Miss. Governor’s Arts Award include blues singer, songwriter and guitarist B.B. King, blues singer/guitarist Little Milton, and R&B and Chicago Blues vocalist/guitarist Bo Diddley.

ASU news media contact: Kenneth Mullinax, at 334-229-4104