Pierce grew up in Rome, graduating from East Rome High School in 1971, attending Floyd Junior College before graduating with a bachelor of fine arts in drama and theatre from the University of Georgia.
The award honors “outstanding individuals and organizations that have made significant contributions to Georgia’s civic and cultural vitality through service to the humanities or excellence in the arts.”
In a letter to Pierce announcing the award, Deal said, “Expressions of creativity give our state a distinctive cultural identity and provide our citizens with a strong sense of place. Your lifetime commitment to the arts has helped build a better Georgia by supporting communities and ensuring that our cultural identity not only remains intact but continues to grow stronger.”
The governor pointed out that Pierce’s knowledge of theatre operations and breadth of experience are just about unparalleled.”
In presenting the award, executive director of the Georgia Council for the Arts Karen Paty cited Pierce’s 25 seasons as director of the Springer Opera House (which is the State Theatre of Georgia) and praised the Springer’s Mainstage, Studio and children’s performances, “which attract thousands of attendees annually who contribute to the economic vitality of the west central Georgia area.”
“Beyond the Springer,” Paty said, “Pierce devotes great energy and guidance to Georgia’s network of arts and theatre organizations. He also works closely with area businesses, nonprofits and educational institutions to ensure that arts and culture remain an ongoing component of community development.”
Other recipients of the 2012 Governor’s Award for the Arts and Humanities were Annette Cone-Skelton (director of the Museum of Contemporary Art of Georgia), Phillip Moulthrop (woodturner), Melvin Steely (founder of Georgia Political Heritage Program), Thomaston-Upson County Archive, Akbar Imhotep (storyteller), Arthur Berry (artist/educator), Kay and Dean Swanson (philanthropists), Thomas Lux (director of the McEver Visiting Writers Program and director of Poetry@TECH), Savannah Music Festival, Amy Roberts Lotson (St. Simons African American Heritage Coalition) and Colonel Bruce Hampton (musician). The Governor’s Award for the Arts and Humanities are presented by the Office of the Governor in partnership with the Georgia Council for the Arts, Georgia Department of Film, Music & Digital Entertainment and the Georgia Humanities Council.
Click here to read additional press releases on RN-T.com.