Annual Leadership Awards

Presented each year in conjunction with Americans for the Arts Annual Convention, these awards recognize the achievements of individuals, organizations, or programs committed to enriching their communities through the arts. Learn more about each award and nominate yourself or a colleague.

  • Alene Valkanas State Arts Advocacy Award honors an individual at the state level whose arts advocacy efforts have dramatically affected the political landscape.
  • Arts Education Award recognizes transformational leadership in arts education through strategic planning, strong programming, and the engagement of partners to achieve community goals.
  • Emerging Leaders Award recognizes visionary leadership by an individual who is a new and/or young arts leader who demonstrates an ability to engage and impact his or her community.
  • Michael Newton Award recognizes an individual, staff member, or volunteer for his or her innovation in developing private sector partnerships for the arts and/or long-term achievement in effective and creative fundraising techniques.
  • Public Art Network Award recognizes an individual or organization that demonstrates innovative and creative contributions and/or exemplary commitment and leadership in the field of public art.
  • Ray Hanley Award recognizes outstanding individual contributions to arts and culture in American cities.
    Please note: The Ray Hanley Award is not included among the Annual Leadership Awards currently open for nominations by our membership. 
  • Selina Roberts Ottum Award recognizes an individual working in arts management who has made a meaningful contribution to his or her local community and who exemplifies extraordinary leadership qualities.

Anunual Awards nominations are open now. The nomation deadline has been extended to midnight Tuesday, April 1, 2015. 2015 award winners will be announced at the 2015 Americans for the Arts Annual Convention and posted online after the event.

National Award for Public Leadership in the Arts

These awards are given in recognition of elected officials who advance of the arts and arts education within their communities and whose vision and leadership provide heightened visibility to the value of the arts.

Presented in cooperation with the United States Conference of Mayors

  • Congressional Arts Leadership Award
  • National Award for Local Arts Leadership
  • National Award for State Arts Leadership
  • National Legendary Artist Award

Presented in cooperation with the National Lieutenant Governors Association

  • Lieutenant Governor Arts Leadership Award

Presented in cooperation with the National Conference of State Legislatures

  • State Legislator Arts Leadership Award

Presented in cooperation with the National Association of Counties

  • County Arts Leadership Award

Learn more about when and how to nominate your elected official and see a list of past recipients.