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Nominations open for 2016 Mayor’s Arts Awards

Awards celebrate contributions of arts and culture community to Seattle;
Nomination deadline is May 31

emailwinnersIMG_1820SEATTLE (May 10, 2016)— Nominations are now being accepted for the 2016 Mayor’s Arts Awards via an online form available at The awards recognize the accomplishments of artists, arts and cultural organizations and community members committed to enriching their communities through the arts. There will be four awards presented this year in the following categories.

  • Cultural Ambassador: Awarded to an individual who has significantly contributed to Seattle’s arts and cultural community and raised the visibility of Seattle’s arts culture. May include exemplary work across disciplines (as an artist or as an administrator) as well as advocating for and promoting the value of arts and culture. Open to individuals.
  • Arts & Innovation: Awarded for originality, ingenuity, and resourcefulness within the creative sector. Can include organizations or individuals whose current projects weave arts and technology together. Open to individuals and organizations.
  • Philanthropy Award: Recognizing an individual or organization that has generously contributed to the arts and cultural field through grant making, donations or other investments. Open to individuals and organizations. New category.
  • Legacy Award: Recognizing an individual or organization with a rich and enlightening career in the arts. This individual or organization may be celebrating a milestone anniversary, or capping off a long career in the field, whose contributions have made for a more vibrant city. Open to individuals and organizations. New category.

“The arts reflect our society and our growing city,” said Mayor Murray. “There is so much here in Seattle that is made better by our creative community. Arts help us express our values, build bridges between communities and bring us together regardless of ethnicity, religion or economic status. I invite everybody to think about who exemplifies these categories and nominate them today.”

Mayor Murray will honor recipients of the 2016 Mayor’s Arts Awards at a public ceremony at Seattle Center, Friday, September 2. The event is free and open to the public.

The nomination deadline May 31. The nomination form is available online at For a print version of the form, contact (206) 684-7171 or

The Seattle Arts Commission will review public nominations and recommend recipients to the mayor for final selection. Last year more than 400 nominations were received.

The awards are presented in partnership with Bumbershoot®: Seattle’s Music & Arts Festival.
Presenting Partner: One Reel.
Media sponsor: City Arts magazine
Event sponsors Chihuly Garden & Glass & Boeing

Photo credit: Mayor with 2016 Arts Awards winners, photo by Marcus Donner

Previous recipients:

2015: Dr. Robin Wright, Akio Takamori, Densho, JazzED, Daniel Brown. 2014: Alan Chong Lau, MOHAI & Leonard Garfield, Path with Art, Snoqualmie Indian Tribe, Stephen Stubbs, Teen Tix.  2013: 826 Seattle, Preston Singletary, Seattle Repertory Theatre, Frye Art Museum, Pongo Teen Writing Project and Barbara Earl Thomas. 2012: Freehold Theatre Lab/Studio, KEXP 90.3 FM, Li Hengda, Lucia Neare’s Theatrical Wonders, Seattle Arts & Lectures, Buster Simpson, Three Dollar Bill Cinema, TilibSedeb (Singing Feet), The Vera Project, Olivier Wevers. 2011: Donald Byrd, Jack Straw Productions, Quinton Morris, On the Boards, Pratt Fine Arts Center and Tet in Seattle. 2010: Juan Alonso, Book-It Repertory Theatre, Dennis Coleman, Reel Grrls, Sergei Tschernisch, Velocity Dance Center. 2009: Artist Trust, Jesse Higman, Speight Jenkins, Northwest Tap Connection, Seattle Youth Symphony Orchestras. 2008: 14/48: the world’s quickest theater festival, Coyote Central and Marybeth Satterlee, Hugo Ludeña, Nonsequitur, Cathryn Vandenbrink, Wing Luke Asian Museum. 2007: Clarence Acox, John Gilbreath and Earshot Jazz, Jean Griffith, Longhouse Media’s Native Lens Program, Massive Monkees, Richard Hugo House,  Mimi Gardner Gates and Seattle Art Museum. 2006: Linda Hartzell and Seattle Children’s Theatre, Michael J. Herschensohn and Northwest Folklife, Rainier Vista Cambodian Youth Program, Gerard Schwarz, family of visual artists Michael Spafford, Elizabeth Sandvig and Spike Mafford, Reggie Watts. 2005: David Brewster and Town Hall, Peter F. Donnelly, Sara Liberty-Laylin and Adams Elementary School, Alden Mason, The Tsutakawa Family: Gerard, Deems, Marcus and Mayumi, Pastor Patrinell Wright and Total Experience Gospel Choir. 2004: Central District Forum for Arts & Ideas, The Seattle Foundation, Tim Summers, Sub Pop Records, Kent Stowell and Francia Russell. 2003: The Paul G. Allen Family Foundation, Arts Corps, Vinson Cole, Consolidated Works.