Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Cleveland Art Prize Winner Amy Casey

As we all know, we can't learn much from Cleveland, a city that seems to have taken the elitist, backroom deals that have so damaged Pittsburgh to a new level; tilting most investments away from local residents and towards a select projects meant to demonstrate Cleveland is a "great city".

And then there's an old endowment funded by local donors and foundations for scholarships and awards to local artists. Just the kind of thing they should be doing more of.

"In 1960, the Women’s City Club sponsored a series of talks to assess the cultural scene in Cleveland. In the final lecture of the series, composer Klaus George Roy suggested that Cleveland begin a tradition of identifying and honoring its own outstanding artists on an annual basis. Martha Joseph accepted Roy’s challenge and assembled the first Cleveland Arts Prize committee.

For 30 years, Martha Joseph guided the Arts Prize within the Women’s City Club and led a drive to establish an endowment. Under the tenure of Mary Louise Hahn (Chair, 1990 – 2000), the Arts Prize commissioned an Arts Prize medal, launched a scholarship program, and established the tradition of holding an annual awards event in cultural venues throughout the city. Led by Diana Tittle (Chair 2000-2004 and Arts Prize recipient 1997) the Arts Prize codified and published the selection criteria and became an independent non-profit organization. In 2005, Terri Pontremoli led the organization until Marcie Bergman became the Executive Director in 2006. Under Marcie’s direction the Cleveland Arts Prize began the tradition of holding a fundraiser in addition to the annual awards event.

The oldest award of its kind in the United States, the Arts Prize is a testament to the standard of excellence and quality of artists in Northeast Ohio. In addition to artists, the Arts Prize honors individuals who have expanded the community’s participation in the arts and helped make the region more hospitable to creative artistic — expression."

Above is a video about last Year's winner Amy Casey.

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