The best in Western film, TV, music and literature will be honored by The Cowboy during the 60th Annual Western Heritage Awards, April 17-18, 2020.

Presented by celebrity hosts, this black-tie event honors individuals who have made significant contributions to Western heritage through creative works, as well as inductees into the Hall of Great Western Performers, Hall of Great Westerners, Chester A. Reynolds Memorial Award and Lifetime Achievement Award recipients.

The 2020 honorees include:

Literary Awards

• Western Novel: The Cheyenne Story: An Interpretation of Courage, written and published by Gerry Robinson

• Nonfiction Book: Lakota America: A New History of Indigenous Power by Pekka Hämäliänen published by Yale University Press

• Art/Photography Book: Don Weller Tracks, by Don Weller, published by Weller Institute for the Cure of Design

• Juvenile Book: J is for Jackalope by Teal Blake

• Magazine Article: “If You had Fought Bravely I would have Sung for You” The Changing Roles of Cheyenne Women During Ninteenth-Century Plains Warfare, by David Beyreis, published Montana The Magazine of Western History

• Poetry Book: We Make a Tiny Herd: Poems to Honor the Burro Lady of Far West Texas by Lucy Griffith, published by Main Street Rag


Music Awards

• Original Western Composition: “Hats Off to the Cowboy” recording artist Red Steagall, composed by Red Steagall and Joe Merrick

• Traditional Western Album: Shadow of a Cowboy, recording artist Andy Hedges

• New Horizon: “Desert Dwelling Mama” recording artist Adrian Brannan, produced by Craig Schumacher

Film & Television Awards

 • Fictional Drama: “Touching Your Enemy” Yellowstone S2, E5 starring Kevin Costner, written by Taylor Sheridan

 • Western Lifestyle Program: Cow Town, produced by Robert Burch ant OETA

• Theatrical Motion Picture: Deadwood: The Movie starring Timothy Olyphant, directed by Daniel Minahan, produced by HBO

 • Documentary: Country Music, directed by Ken Burns, written by Dayton Duncan, and produced by Duncan, Burns and Julie Dunfey


Each award winner and inductee receives a Wrangler, a bronze sculpture of a cowboy on horseback.


As previously announced, Golden Globe-nominated actor Kurt Russell and his father actor Bing Russell will be inducted into the Hall of Great Western Performers, cattle ranchers Montford T. Johnson and Bennett Richard Houston will be inducted into the Hall of Great Westerners, third-generation rancher John Scott will receive the Chester A. Reynolds Memorial Award and Academy Award winner Robert Duvall will receive the Lifetime Achievement Award.


Western Heritage Awards Events

Friday, April 17
The 60th annual Western Heritage Awards festivities begin April 17 at 11 a.m. with a workshop free to the public with Museum admission. That evening, the Western Heritage Cocktail Reception begins at 5:30 p.m. and feature hors d’oeuvres and a cash bar. Western or business casual attire. At 6 p.m., attendees will enjoy an autograph session with honorees.


Saturday, April 18
The Western Heritage Awards Panel with the honorees and moderated by actor and producer Rex Linn begins April 18 at 11 a.m. The panel discussion is free to the public with Museum admission.

The Western Heritage Awards Cocktail Hour begins at 5 p.m., followed by dinner service and the awards ceremony at 6 p.m.


Reservations are required for all evening events and will be available March 1. For additional information visit or contact Kaylia McCracken, events coordinator, at (405) 478-2250, ext. 218.

Western Heritage Award Sponsors to date include, Supporting Sponsors: Arvest Bank, Compellier; Promoting Sponsors: Hall Capital, IBC Bank; Heritage Sponsors: Mr. and Mrs. Roger Simons, The Annie Oakley Society, Simmons Bank, Mr. and Mrs. A.J. Jacques, OKC Convention and Visitors Bureau, Mr. Greg Kowalski, Mr. Skylar Houston, South Point Hotel and Casino and Round Up Riders of the Rockies; Inductee Sponsors: National Western Stock Show, Mr. Robert A. Funk, Mr. and Mrs. Wyatt McCrea, Mr. and Mrs. Bobby Norris, Mr. and Mrs. Mike Ingram, Mr. Brent Cummings, Nadine and Alan Levin and Calgary Stampede; Museum Partners: Devon Energy Corp. and E.L. and Thelma Gaylord Foundation; Community Sponsors: Allied Arts, Arvest Bank, Continental Resources, OG&E, COX, OERB, JE Dunn, The Oklahoman, Southwestern Stationary and Bank Supply, a Southwestern Group of Company, Oklahoma City Convention and Visitors Bureau, Tulsa World and MassMutual Oklahoma.

Sponsorship opportunities remain available; for more information or contact Trent Riley, Major Gifts Officer, at or (405) 478-2250 ext. 251.