Joanne Riley

2010 Honoree - Michael Newton Award


Americans for the Arts presents the 2010 Michael Newton Award to Joanne Riley, president of the Cultural Alliance of York County. The award will be presented on June 27 at the Americans for the Arts Half-Century Summit in Baltimore. Given annually since 1991, the Michael Newton Award recognizes exemplary leadership skills and extraordinary dedication to supporting the arts through a united arts fund, which is a combined effort to raise money on behalf of multiple arts institutions in the community.

Joanne Riley has served as president of the Cultural Alliance of York County since its incorporation in 1999. The Cultural Alliance is dedicated to improve the quality of life in York County, PA through the following:

  • leading an arts and culture process, in collaboration with others, that enhances our community; 
  • investing increasing funds in the creative community to increase its economic impact;
  • making arts and culture an essential part of life through education and artistic excellence;
  • strengthening the cultural sector; and
  • building a regionally recognized cultural destination and brand.

Riley's leadership of the Cultural Alliance of York County has made it a formidable United Arts Fund. Last year, it raised $1.25 million for the arts in the county. The Cultural Alliance’s fundraising campaign reaches more than 1,200 individual donors and companies annually and more than half of them support the Cultural Alliance and its partner organizations.

"Her determination to succeed allowed the Alliance to increase its allocations every year but 2009 and create both an endowment and an investment fund," wrote Frederick B. Callahan, board chair of the Cultural Alliance of York County in a nominating letter.

"In a time when financial support for the arts is hurting across all disciplines, Joanne Riley's continued commitment is truly admirable. Her outstanding leadership and extraordinary work as a fundraiser has benefited thousands of people working in and participating in the arts throughout York County and the entire state of Pennsylvania.