Marilyn Moosnick

Michael Newton Award
2008

Although she majored in journalism at the University of Kentucky, which led to a professional career as a reporter for the former Lexington Leader and as a talk show host at WLEX-TV for 28 years, Marilyn Moosnick minored in studio art and danced with the Tau Sigma Modern Dance Troop as a University of Kentucky student.  Her first venture into volunteerism in the arts, while she was education editor at the Leader, came when she joined the board of directors of the Central Kentucky Youth Orchestra.  She quickly followed that board term with positions on the boards of the Lexington Children’s Theatre and the Living Arts and Science Center.  She served as president of  those two youth entities and went on to help found the Lexington Arts and Cultural Council in 1972, the Lexington Ballet Company, and the Lexington Opera Society. 

While she was president of the Living Arts and Science board in the early 1970s, she was named by Nancy Hanks to the National Endowment for the Arts Expansion Arts Panel for a three year term and by Gov. Julian Carroll to the Kentucky Arts Council in 1975.  She continued to serve on the state arts council under five governors, including the last four of those 25 years, 1992-1996, as president of the council, by appointment of Gov. Brereton Jones.  In 1997 she received the Hudson Milner Award for lifetime commitment to the arts, chief recognition among annual Governor’s Awards in the Arts. 

Mrs. Moosnick was a member of a small group named by the Lexington-Fayette County government to raise the funds that would restore the Lexington Opera House and continued for a number of years to serve as secretary of the Opera House Fund, designed to bring outstanding arts events to Lexington and offer financial support for Opera House rental to all member groups of the Lexington Arts and Cultural Council.

She was one of 100 citizens chosen by the Lexington-Fayette County School System to bring forth new concepts to improve the quality of Lexington’s public schools; in the committee specifically studying magnet programs, she proposed the program that would become the very successful, scholastically top-rated School for the Creative and Performing Arts. 

She also has been involved in the work of a number of health and service organizations, including the Kentucky Conference for Community and Justice on whose board she continues to serve.  In the 1990s she served a three year term as the Kentucky chapter representative on the National Board of  NCCJ.  Active in Hadassah, Women’s Zionist Organization of America, she has served as president of the Lexington Chapter and of the Central States Region, and still serves on the National Hadassah Board of Directors.  In Lexington she has served on the boards of Ronald McDonald House, Ask Us Inc., community welfare referral service, and Housing for the Handicapped.