Nominations for the 2021 Annual Leadership Awards Are Now Open!

Americans for the Arts is now accepting nominations of arts leaders from your community for the 2021 Annual Leadership Awards. These awards recognize the achievements of individuals, organizations, or programs committed to enriching their communities through the arts and will be acknowledged in conjunction with the Annual Convention happening virtually June 7-11, 2021. 

Award categories include the Alene Valkanas State Arts Advocacy Award, the Arts Education Award, the American Express Emerging Leaders Award, the Michael Newton Award, and the Selina Roberts Ottum Award.  

Each award has its own evaluation criteria. Be sure to review the rules and regulations for each award before submitting your nomination. Visit the Annual Awards page for more information or to submit a nomination. 

Nominations close Monday, March 29, 2021 at 9:00 a.m. ET. You must be a member of Americans for the Arts to submit nominations; nominees, however, are not required to be members of Americans for the Arts. Members must log in to their Americans for the Arts account to submit a nomination. Please note: Supporter/Digital-level members cannot nominate for leadership awards. In order to nominate, you must be a member at the $75 level or higher. For questions about your membership, please contact or call (202) 371-2830 for assistance.

Due to its focus on arts-based community development projects from the previous calendar year, and the significant impact of COVID-19 on the ability of cultural organizations to create new work in 2020, The Robert E. Gard Award for Arts and Community Life will not be awarded in 2021. We anticipate soliciting nominees for the 2022 Robert E. Gard Award in early 2022, with a focus on arts-based community development projects executed in 2021.

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