GMA’s Jackie Patillo Discusses The Dove Awards

Jackie Patillo

Jackie Patillo

Tuesday night’s (Oct. 7) Gospel Music Association Dove Awards will be a showcase for multiple genres, says GMA President and Executive Director Jackie Patillo. “The Dove Awards is the only platform where all of these different styles of music come together on one stage. It really looks like The Kingdom,” she says. “It has been really important to me to unify our community, and it’s very rewarding to see that happen in one night on the Dove Awards.” The diversity is reflected in co-hosts Bart Millard of MercyMe (a CCM/pop artist) and hip-hop/rapper Lecrae, who recently held the No. 1 spot on the all-genre albums chart. Patillo adds there will be a Southern Gospel segment, black gospel choir and a worship song backed by a choir of star artists.

It is the awards show’s second year at the Allen Arena on the campus of Lipscomb University in Nashville. GMA and the university have forged a relationship, which includes the GMA offices moving to campus.

For the first time, the show will be broadcast exclusively on The Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN), with the air date set for Sunday, Oct. 12.

While other awards shows, including the ACM and CMA Awards, have not always made tickets available to consumers, Patillo doesn’t remember a time when fans weren’t invited to the Doves, and this year they’ve upped the ante. “For the first time we are offering a VIP experience,” says Patillo. “The fans will have an opportunity to do artist meet and greets, have dinner with artists, and enjoy premium seating. Christian music is all about sharing with the people. There’s a spiritual bond as well as a musical bond.”

Events surrounding the Dove Awards keep expanding. Among three events tonight (Oct. 6) is a comedy show with headliner Bone Hampton at Lipscomb’s Shamblin Theater. There will be a nominee luncheon today at the Schermerhorn Symphony Center featuring speaker Beth Moore. “Everybody should be honored, even though not everybody is going to be a winner on Tuesday,” says Patillo. “The nominee luncheon is a great time of fellowship and letting them see each other, because the show is hectic.”

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As the GMA marks its 50th anniversary, its slate of events is biggest than ever, including the addition of the GMA Honors in the spring. “We want what we do to celebrate the past, present, and future,” says Patillo. “GMA Honors is our way of acknowledging the trailblazers that came before us. The Dove Awards is the platform that we use to raise those who are presently on the front lines making an impact with their music. And we do an event called Immerse which is geared toward the future. It is a three-day program, where we gather the industry for panels, training, vocal competitions and speak to the aspiring artists and Christian business people who want to learn more about the industry.

“Every year we induct four or five people into the Gospel Music Hall of Fame, and this year we decided to broaden the Hall of Fame event into GMA Honors. We added five honorees, we focused on companies and artists who are making an impact through their philanthropic endeavors. And we did a sit-down family style dinner in the Allen Arena. It was powerful.”

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Tuesday, Oct. 7, Dove Awards day schedule—The preshow begins at 2 p.m. at Collins Alumni Auditorium at Lipscomb, sponsored by SoundExchange. The Dove Cares Red Carpet in partnership with St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital starts at 3:30 p.m. Both will stream live at www.hearitfirst.com/live. The Dove Awards will be presented at 6:30 p.m. at Lipscomb’s Allen Arena.

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Sarah Skates has worked in the music business for more than a decade and is a longtime contributor to MusicRow.

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