Cleveland Arts Prize promotes creativity in northeast Ohio by honoring artists for artistic excellence and recognizes community leaders who help regional arts flourish.
The Cleveland Arts Prize (CAP) was established by the Women’s City Club in 1960. In its earliest years, the group commissioned the Arts Prize medal, launched a scholarship program and established an endowment that secured the traditional annual awarding of prizes. That strong focus on incremental growth, and leveraging limited resources toward having an outsized community impact laid the groundwork for the CAP of today – the nation’s oldest municipal arts award and an ongoing platform for celebrating northeast Ohio’s exceptional arts community. Over the past 58 years, the organization has celebrated the contributions of more than 330 exceptional artists, cultural leaders and organizations that have expanded community access to the arts.
CAP continues to steward this proud tradition, while also continuously adapting to the changing needs of a revitalizing, 21st century city. Staff and board work has resulted in increased transparency and community engagement in award decision-making; online infrastructure that makes it easier for the community to submit nominations and to learn about past awardees; and frequent dialogue with nominees, jurors, and the broader community to ensure continued improvement of the selection process.
In recent years, CAP has also expanded its commitment to broaden community programming, with specific emphasis on developing more sustained relationships with awardees; facilitating dialogue between artists and residents traditionally underserved by arts programming; and breaking down barriers to awareness and access to local arts assets. Throughout the years, the prize(s) have been selected and awarded in a variety of procedures, which have evolved into the public process applied today. It has been a primary focus of the Cleveland Arts Prize Board of Trustees to execute transparency and create a dialogue for the continued improvement of the awardee selection process. The current online nomination structure and evaluation system is just one of the recent successes for the CAP organization. The new structure is accessible to the public, allowing the organization to reach beyond the active arts community and share its mission well beyond the greater Cleveland area, and in turn discover talent throughout the region.
That process culminates each year with a formal and respected awards presentation at the Cleveland Museum of Art. Five monetary prizes of $10,000 each of are awarded to discipline artists for exemplary work. The discipline categories include Design, Literature, Theatre & Dance, Music, and Visual Arts. In addition, the organization honors individuals who are committed to cultivating the arts in the region with special recognition awards. In recent years, nominations for Cleveland Arts Prizes have risen 30% annually.
The Cleveland Arts Prize is committed to cultivating and celebrating artistic excellence in Northeast Ohio.
Board of Trustees:
Howard J. Freedman, Chair
Michael Belkin, Vice- Chair
Kristin S.M. Morrison, Secretary
Paul Weisinger, Treasurer
Brian N. Edelstein
Meg Harris Stanton
Peter van Dijk, FAIA, (CAP 1969)
John Voso, Jr.
Thomas M. Welsh
H. Scott Westover
Daniel Gray-Kontar, Chair
Barbara S. Robinson (CAP 2001), Chair
Mary Louise Hahn (CAP 2010)
Kathryn Karipides (CAP 1974)
Robert P. Madison, FAIA (CAP 2000)
Robert Maschke, FAIA (CAP 2011)
Paul Westlake Jr., FAIA (CAP 1995)
Alenka Banco, Executive Director
S. Jordan Fine, Administrative Assistant
Camille N. Baron, Bookkeeper