Cleveland Arts Prize promotes creativity in northeast Ohio by honoring artists for artistic excellence and recognizes community leaders who help regional arts flourish.


The Cleveland Arts Prize (CAP) was established by the Women’s City Club in 1960. In its earliest years, the group commissioned the Arts Prize medal, launched a scholarship program and established an endowment that secured the traditional annual awarding of prizes. That strong focus on incremental growth, and leveraging limited resources toward having an outsized community impact,  laid the groundwork for the CAP of today – the nation’s oldest municipal arts award and an ongoing platform for celebrating northeast Ohio’s exceptional arts community.

For nearly six decades, the organization has celebrated the contributions of more than 350 exceptional artists, cultural leaders and organizations.

CAP continues to steward this proud tradition, while also continuously adapting to the changing needs of a revitalizing 21st century city. Staff and board work has resulted in increased transparency and community engagement in award decision-making.  Online infrastructure makes it easier for the community to submit nominations and to learn more about recipients.

The Arts Prize selection process culminates each year with a formal awards presentation at the Cleveland Museum of Art.  Five monetary prizes of $10,000 each are awarded to artists for exemplary work in arts disciplines that include Design, Literature, Theatre & Dance, Music, and Visual Arts. In addition, the organization awards three Special Prizes of honor for  arts advocacy, community service and leadership in the arts.  In addition, to ensure educational access to the arts, CAP continues to offer scholarships in Literature, Visual Arts, Dance, and Music for outstanding academic achievement in those fields.



Recognizing a need to nurture the next generation of artistic excellence, CAP launched a new fellowship program in partnership with the Cleveland Foundation and funding from Cuyahoga Arts and Culture.  The Verge Fellowship provides a $2,500 stipend to each of 10 promising emerging artists across multiple disciplines . Like the Cleveland Arts Prize awards, the Verge Fellowship rewards practicing artists in the Literary Arts, Visual Arts, Dance & Theatre, Music, and Design.


Cleveland Arts Prize is committed to enhancing the quality of life in the region by supporting, cultivating, and honoring artistic excellence which can be accessed by all.



Board of Trustees:


Howard J. Freedman, Chair

Michael Belkin, Vice- Chair

Deborah Glosserman, Secretary

Kathy Futey, Treasurer

Brian Caine

Kimberly J. Chapman

Pam Gill

Daniel Gray-Kontar

Kurt Karakul

Cindy Katzenmeyer

Aseelah Shareef

Meg Harris Stanton

Eftihia Tsengas

John Voso, Jr.

Thomas M. Welsh

H. Scott Westover




Alenka Banco, Executive Director

Erin C.  Jesson, Assistant Director


Emeritus Trustees:


Barbara S. Robinson (CAP 2001), Chair

Dennis Dooley (CAP 1986)

Mary Louise Hahn (CAP 2010)

Kathryn Karipides (CAP 1974)

Robert P. Madison, FAIA (CAP 2000)

Robert Maschke, FAIA (CAP 2011)

Peter van Dijk, FAIA, (CAP 1969) (

Paul Westlake Jr., FAIA (CAP 1995)

Leadership Council:


Dennis Barrie (CAP 2013)

Fred Bidwell (CAP 2003)

William Griswold, PhD (CAP 2017)

Greg Harris

Harlan Miller

Grafton Nunes (CAP 2017) 

Dee Perry (CAP 2016)

Tony Sias (CAP 2019)

Jill Snyder (CAP 2013)

R. Thomas Stanton, Esq.

Paul Weisinger, CPA