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 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.  In 2021, for the first time ever, we will be accepting applications for the discipline prizes.
Special Prizes will continue to require a nomination.


The Arts Prize selection process culminates each year with a formal awards presentation at the Cleveland Museum of Art.  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 stipend to 5 -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.


To ensure educational access to the arts, CAP also offers scholarships for outstanding academic achievement in art.


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:


Aseelah Shareef, Chair

Pam Gill, Vice-Chair

Deborah Glosserman, Secretary

Kathy Futey, Treasurer

Katie Altadonna

Adam Banks

Brian Caine

Parry Daiuto

Barbara Fazio

Roderick Ingram

Aisia Jones

Kurt Karakul

Cindy Katzenmeyer

Kelly Masters

Todd Mesek

Grafton Nunes (CAP 2017)

Sangeeta Prakash

Martin Reuben

Brian Sokol

Michael Weil

H. Scott Westover

Susan Paley Zak




Effie Tsengas, Interim Executive Director

Erin Jesson, Director of Operations


Emeritus Trustees:


Dennis Dooley (CAP 1986)

Howard Freedman

Mary Louise Hahn (CAP 2010)

Kathryn Karipides (CAP 1974)

Robert P. Madison, FAIA (CAP 2000)

Robert Maschke, FAIA (CAP 2011)

Meg Harris Stanton

Paul Westlake Jr., FAIA (CAP 1995)

Peter van Dijk, FAIA, (CAP 1969)

Barbara S. Robinson (CAP 2001), Chair

Leadership Council:


Dennis Barrie (CAP 2013)

Fred Bidwell (CAP 2003)

William Griswold, PhD (CAP 2017)

Greg Harris

Harlan Miller

Dee Perry (CAP 2016)

Tony Sias (CAP 2019)

Jill Snyder (CAP 2013)

R. Thomas Stanton, Esq.

Paul Weisinger, CPA