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.
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), the Arts Prize 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 Arts
Prize recipient 1997) the Arts Prize 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, the Cleveland Arts Prize began the tradition of
holding a fundraiser in addition to the annual awards event.
oldest award of its kind in the United States, the 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
Cleveland Arts Prize— has two purposes:
identify, reward, publicly honor and promote those creative artists
whose original work has made Northeast Ohio a more exciting place to
live, and whose accomplishments have set a standard of excellence to
which other artists can aspire.
are essential to a healthy community, and the arts need a supportive
environment and an engaged public. Therefore, it is also the
mission of The Cleveland Arts Prize to 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.
Cleveland Arts Prize Vision:
We will continue promoting and rewarding artists, individuals and organizations that contribute to the quality of our life by:
Connecting them to the community through year-long accessible programming,
Offering more funded awards to more artists, and greater recognition for their efforts.
The Cleveland Arts Prize Goal:
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 Officers:
Barbara Robinson, Chairwoman
Robert Maschke, FAIA, President
Kristin S.M. Morrison, Secretary
Joseph Compton, Treasurer
Board of Trustees:
Mary Louise Hahn
Robert P. Madison, FAIA
Alenka Banco, Interim Executive Director
Grace Summanen, Administrative Assistant
Camille N. Baron, Bookkeeper
The Cleveland Foundation
Cleveland Museum of Art
Cleveland State University Foundation
Kent State University, College of Arts
Northeast Shores Development Corporation
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