It’s been said that a prophet has no honor in his own country. When it comes to professional appreciation, artists can experience a similar problem. Familiarity can encourage complacency and neglect, at least on the home front. That’s one reason why it makes good sense to establish a countervailing force in the community, celebrating the accomplishments of native daughters and sons.

Cleveland Arts Prize, now nearing its 60th year as a significant civic organization, continues to articulate a powerful vision of the greatness of American artistic achievements, focusing on the arts and artists of Cleveland, Ohio, and their roles in the wider national and international cultural dialogue.

Through its jurors, the Arts Prize speaks from the heart of American life to reward locally-based arts heroes, evaluated against the backdrop of more than a century of outstanding artistic innovation and achievement in the region. Cleveland-based artists in all mediums have woven their own genius into America’s arts and letters, contributing vital color to the deep fabric of the nation’s culture. It was for this specific purpose that the Cleveland Arts Prize was founded: Each year it recognizes and honors home-grown creators of original work in the fields of the visual arts, music, literature, theatre and dance, and design—along with the visionary individuals and organizations that have supported especially notable accomplishments in these areas.

—Douglas Max Utter (CAP 2013)

It is with great pleasure that we congratulate the 2019 Cleveland Arts Prize Winners:

Emerging: Kisha Nicole Foster (Literature), Dominic Moore-Dunson (Theatre & Dance)

Mid-Career: Mary Biddinger (Literature), Victoria Bussert (Theatre & Dance)

Lifetime Achievement: Janice Lessman-Moss (Visual Arts)

Robert P. Bergman: Terri Pontremoli

Martha Joseph: The Print Club of Cleveland

Barbara S. Robinson: Tony F. Sias

Special Honoree: Art Falco (CAP 2006)

2019 CAP Verge Fellows:  Brittany Benton (Music), Ephraim Butler (Literature), Archie Green ll (Music), Lexy Lattimore (Theatre & Dance), Samuel McIntosh (Theatre & Dance), Ryan Ramer (Music), Na-Te` Sturdivant (Visual Arts), Antwoine Washington (Visual Arts), Mariama Whyte (Music), and McKinley Wiley (Visual Arts).

The 2019 Annual Awards Ceremony will be held on Wednesday, September 25, at the Cleveland Museum of Art. For tickets, sponsorships, and advertising opportunities please visit: