In 1960, the Women’s City Club sponsored a series of talks to assess the cultural scene in Cleveland.  In the final lecture of the series, composer Klaus George Roy suggested that Cleveland begin a tradition of identifying and honoring its own outstanding artists on an annual basis. Martha Joseph accepted Roy’s challenge and assembled the first Cleveland Arts Prize committee.


For 30 years, Martha Joseph guided the Arts Prize within the Women’s City Club and led a drive to establish an endowment. Under the tenure of Mary Louise Hahn (Chair, 1990–2000 and CAP 2010), CAP commissioned an Arts Prize medal, launched a scholarship program, and established the tradition of holding an annual awards event in cultural venues throughout the city.  Led by Diana Tittle (Chair, 2000-2004 and CAP 1997), CAP codified and published the selection criteria and became an independent non-profit organization.  In 2005, Terri Pontremoli led the organization until Marcie Bergman became the Executive Director in 2006.  During this time, CAP began the tradition of holding a fundraiser in addition to the annual awards event. Marcie Bergman served until 2013.  Alenka Banco, veteran arts administrator and entrepreneur, was selected to be the organization's new Executive Director in 2014. Banco had served on the Arts Prize Board since 2007.


The oldest award of its kind in the United States, the Cleveland Arts Prize is a testament to the standard of excellence and quality of artists in Northeast Ohio.  In addition to artists, the Arts Prize honors individuals who have expanded the community’s participation in the arts and helped make the region more hospitable to creative artistic expression.


  1. identify, reward, publicly honor and promote those creative artists whose original work and accomplishments have set a
    standard of excellence to which other artists can aspire.
  2. recognize the contributions of individuals and organizations that have expanded the community’s participation in the arts
    and helped make the region more hospitable to creative artistic expression.



To continue promoting and rewarding artists, individuals and organizations that contribute to the quality of our life by:

  1. connecting them to the community through year-long accessible programming.
  2. offering more funded awards to more artists, and greater recognition for their efforts.



It is the goal of the Cleveland Arts Prize to support and encourage artists, and to promote public awareness of artistic creativity in

Northeast Ohio through the work of Arts Prize recipients.

Board of Trustees:


Howard J. FreedmanChair

Michael Belkin, Vice- Chair

Kristin S.M. Morrison, Secretary

Paul Weisinger, Treasurer




Parry Daiuto

Brian N. Edelstein

Kathy Futey

Pam Gill

Deborah Glosserman

Cindy Katzenmeyer

Lewis Schwartz

Meg Harris Stanton


Peter van Dijk, FAIA, (CAP 1969)

John Voso, Jr.

Sean Watterson

Thomas M. Welsh

H. Scott Westover


Associate Board:

Daniel Gray-Kontar, Chair


Emeritus Trustees:


Mary Louise Hahn (CAP 2010)

Kathryn Karipides (CAP 1974)

Robert P. Madison, FAIA (CAP 2000)

Robert Maschke, FAIA (CAP 2011)

Barbara Robinson (CAP 2001)

Paul Westlake Jr., FAIA (CAP 1995)



Alenka Banco, Executive Director

S. Jordan Fine, Administrative Assistant

Camille N. Baron, Bookkeeper

Cleveland Arts Prize

P.O. Box 21126