Alene Valkanas State Arts Advocacy Award

The Alene Valkanas State Arts Advocacy Award was created in 2006 to honor an individual at the state level who has dramatically affected the political landscape through their arts advocacy efforts. This award is presented annually at the Americans for the Arts Annual Convention to an individual who may be an artist, associated with a local arts agency, a local arts organization, or a statewide arts organization.

The award honors its namesake, Alene Valkanas, who retired after 20-plus years of tireless work as the executive director of the Illinois Arts Alliance (now Arts Alliance Illinois). She is widely seen as the preeminent authority on state arts advocacy by her peers. The award was presented to Alene in its inaugural year by Americans for the Arts, honoring her in front of her peers at the Illinois Arts Alliance’s annual gala in Chicago, November 2006.

The award is presented by the Americans for the Arts’ State Arts Action Network (SAAN) of which Alene was a founding member and co-chair. The SAAN serves as the meeting place for its members—statewide multidiscipline arts service or advocacy organizations—to gather and discuss common issues.

Criteria

When submitting your nomination, please address the following points in your Statement of Nomination:

  1. The nominee has demonstrated sustained effort.
  2. The nominee has proven results.
  3. The nominee's work should include novel, creative and innovative concepts.
  4. The nominee's work is reproducible by others.

Submit a Nomination

Nominations Close at 11:59 p.m. EST on March 13, 2017

View the award Rules and Regulations.

Arts Education Award

Presented each year in conjunction with Americans for the Arts Annual Convention, the Arts Education Leadership Award is given annually to honor transformational leadership in arts education. The award brings visibility and national recognition to our field’s highest caliber leaders and the organizations and communities they serve.

The award is presented by Americans for the Arts’ Arts Education Network, which is designed to provide services to the diverse range of professionals working in the field of arts education and to develop strategies and tools to improve education through the arts for students of all ages.

Criteria

The Arts Education Leadership Award is presented to an individual* who advances arts education in either an in-school or community-based capacity for students of all ages and can demonstrate the following:

  1. recognizes a need or opportunity for arts education in the community;
  2. creates a shared vision for arts education in the community and enlists partners to achieve it;
  3. transfers the vision into planning, implementation, and evaluation with high and measurable expectations; and
  4. plans for adaptability and leadership transition within the task, project, program, or organization.

Nominators: please address these specific criteria points in the statement of nomination section of the application. Please be as specific and descriptive as possible.

Rules and Regulations

Nominations Close at 11:59 p.m. EST on March 13, 2017

* Please note that in 2013, the award was changed to honor individuals instead of organizations. Leaders of organizations who have previously won the award are not eligible to win. Additionally, public officials with a role in education (mayors, school boards, district leaders, teachers, etc.) are also not eligible to win this award. The Arts Education Network seeks to honor individuals from the community (artists, parents, funders, and leaders of community or arts organizations, etc.) who demonstrate leadership in arts education.

For questions about the award and criteria, please contact Jeff Poulin, Arts Education Program Coordinator.

Submit a Nomination

Emerging Leaders Award

 

2016 Annual Leadership Awards
Emerging Leaders Award Nomination Form
 

 

 

Since 2006, Americans for the Arts has awarded the Emerging Leaders Award to an exceptional young arts professional who demonstrates exemplary leadership and a commitment to advancing the arts in their local, state, or national communities.

We are pleased to announce that the American Express Foundation is sponsoring the 2017 Emerging Leaders Award. Thanks to this support, the awardee will receive roundtrip travel to San Francisco and four nights stay in the Convention hotel.

The 2016 American Express Emerging Leaders Award will be awarded to an individual who demonstrates visionary leadership expressed through an ability to imagine what the arts community could look like and the steps for getting there; effective leadership that leads to impact within the community; authentic leadership that shows a strong sense of purpose, as well as true engagement with the community; and transformational leadership inspired by innovate thinking and a willingness to take risks to achieve results.

CRITERIA

Nominees must be either 35 years or younger or been in the field five years or less.

When submitting a nomination, please address the following in the Statement of Nomination:

  • How has the nominee impacted the local, state, or national community s/he is involved with?
  • How is the nominee engaging with the community and demonstrating a strong sense of purpose?
  • How has the nominee demonstrated innovative thinking and risk taking to achieve results?
  • What is the nominee’s vision for arts in their community and how are they realizing this goal?

Submit a Nomination

Nominations Close at 11:59 p.m. EST on March 13, 2017

View the award Rules and Regulations.

Michael Newton Award

The Michael Newton Award is given to an individual, staff member, or volunteer in recognition of his or her innovation in developing private sector partnerships for the arts and/or long-term achievement in effective and creative fundraising techniques.

Michael Newton came to the United States from England in the late 1960s and soon after began serving as director of the Arts and Sciences Council of Greater St. Louis. He also served as president of the Los Angeles Music Center and the American Council for the Arts. This award honors his distinguished career in the united arts fund field, advancement of consolidated fundraising strategies on the behalf of multiple arts institutions in the community, and exemplary management and leadership skills.

Criteria
Statement of Nomination should clearly illuminate how the individual has:

  • Excelled in innovative or unprecedented fundraising techniques
  • Developed innovative partnerships with the private sector beyond fundraising

Submit a Nomination

Nominations Close at 11:59 p.m. EST on March 13, 2017

View the award Rules and Regulations.

Selina Roberts Ottum Award for Local Arts Leadership

The Selina Roberts Ottum Award—given annually at the Americans for the Arts Annual Convention—recognizes outstanding contributions in the local arts agency field. The award honors individuals working in the arts and in arts management who have made a meaningful contribution to their local communities, and who exemplify those leadership qualities that made Selina so special.

The Selina Roberts Ottum Award celebrates and commemorates the life of someone very dear to the arts community in the United States. Selina served as president of the National Assembly of Local Arts Agencies from 1984 to 1986 and as a board member from 1983 to 1988. She also served as executive director of the Metropolitan Arts Commission in Portland, OR, (now the Regional Arts & Culture Council) and deputy chair of the National Endowment for the Arts. Selina’s leadership skills were accompanied by her straight-forwardness, humor, honesty, caring, and ability to bring people together. Her work was always important to her, but making the community a better place to live was most essential. To encourage these qualities in those working in the arts, an endowment fund was established to create an annual award in her honor.

Submit a Nomination

Nominations Close at 11:59 p.m. EST on March 13, 2017

View the award Rules and Regulations.

View the list of Ottum Fund Endowment contributors.

Public Art Network Award

The Public Art Network Award is given annually in recognition and honor of innovative and creative contributions and/or exemplary commitment and leadership in the field of public art. It can be given to either an individual, including an artist, administrator, volunteer, designer, or government official, or an organization, including an arts council, public arts program, or private or public entity.

The award is presented by Americans for the Arts’ Public Art Network (PAN). PAN is designed to provide services to the diverse field of public art and to develop strategies and tools to improve communities through public art. Its key constituents are public art professionals, visual artists, design professionals, and communities and organizations planning public arts projects and programs. The PAN Council is a group of elected leaders who provide guidance and advice to Americans for the Arts on public art programs and services.

Submit a Nomination

Nominations Close at 11:59 p.m. EST on March 13, 2017

View the award Rules and Regulations.

Robert E. Gard Award

In the spirit of Robert Gard, one of the founding fathers of the local arts movement and a champion of the role of the arts in the creation and maintenance of healthy, vibrant, equitable communities, the Robert E. Gard Award—presented each year in conjunction with the Americans for the Arts Annual Convention—celebrates exemplary work at the intersection of the arts and community life.

The Gard Award aims to raise up projects from the last year by individuals or organizations working to cross the arts into other aspects of community life in meaningful, measurable ways. Those Gard Finalists, which should be projects conducted by individuals, organizations, or consortia who have worked that have come to fruition in the past year and have had specific social impacts on an American community, will be selected by a panel drawn from the field.

The Gard Finalists will then be presented for a vote from the membership of Americans for the Arts to select the winner of the Robert E. Gard Award, which will be announced at the 2017 Annual Convention.

Projects must have come to fruition in the previous calendar year, and nominations must include specific community-oriented goals and impacts.

Every field needs heroes and stories--the Gard Award aims to celebrate and raise up those heroes and stories to a national spotlight.

Criteria

The Robert E. Gard Award celebrates projects, not individuals or organization. At the time of nominating a project, up to 5 germane individuals, organizations, or consortia can be named as having made the project possible.  Those creators do not need to be members of Americans for the Arts, and can come from any part of the field or beyond, including government agencies, funders, individuals, producing organizations, and non-arts organizations.

The Gard Award celebrates the impact that the arts can have on the creation and maintenance of healthy, vibrant, equitable communities.  Projects must have been substantively completed in calendar year 2015, and must be able to show demonstrable impacts on the health, vibrancy, and/or equity of a community.  Projects are also expected to exist in the space between the arts and other contributors to community health, and are meant to be exemplars for others to see and replicate, so innovative partnerships, deep efforts to bridge divides, and the overall breadth of benefit will also be taken into account. 

Nominators: please address these specific criteria points in the statement of nomination section of the application. Please be as specific and descriptive as possible.

Rules and Regulations

Submit a Nomination

Nominations Close at 11:59 p.m. EST on March 13, 2017