Musician and local public figure, Jerry Ford has been nominated to receive the 2017 Missouri Arts Award on February 8th in Jefferson City. He was selected by Murielle Gaither, executive director of the Arts Council of Southeast Missouri and Wendy Rust. Out of 6 different categories, he fell into the “individual artist” category for his 50 years of contributions to the community. In 1957, Ford joined the Cape Girardeau Municipal Band, an establishment of which he now serves as manager. He also started the Jerry Ford orchestra in 1960. They feature multiple music genres: jazz, patriotic brass, German, and Dixieland. The bands often serve at veteran’s assemblies, event venues, and when paddle-wheel boats make their way to Cape Girardeau’s Riverfront docks. Ford has served on the Board of Managers for Southeast Missouri State University’s River Campus for 16 years. He donates regularly to the Municipal Band and towards scholarships, and has also served two terms as state representative of the 156th District of Missouri.