Lifetime Achievement in the Arts: a person who has made a significant impact on the St. Louis region’s arts community over the course of their lifetime or career.

Excellence in Philanthropy: a person or organization who has given transformative support to the arts and cultural community in the St. Louis region.

Corporate Support of the Arts: a corporation that has a history of demonstrating the arts are a pillar of their community engagement commitment through their philanthropic support in the St. Louis region.

Excellence in the Arts: an established artist, arts executive or arts organization that has raised the bar among the St. Louis arts community in regards to artistic quality, community commitment or business approach.

Art Educator of the Year: a full-time K-12 teacher or administrator who has made a significant impact as an arts educator. Nominees should also meet the following criteria:

  •  Full-time teacher or administrator at the K-12 level
  •  At time of nomination, currently employed by a public, private, parochial or charter school in the St. Louis metropolitan area (Missouri or Illinois)
  •  Minimum of 5 years full-time teaching experience
  •  Offering education within theater, dance, music, literary, visual or multidisciplinary arts

Arts Innovator: a person or arts organization whose innovative approach has challenged established thinking about the business of the arts, arts programming or community engagement through the arts.

Arts Collaboration: a person or arts organization that has convened two or more entities to form a partnership that increase access to the arts in unexpected ways or in ways otherwise not possible.

Champion for the Arts: a person or organization that has served or currently serves as an advocate, ambassador or volunteer for artists and arts organizations and the important role they play in the community.

Emerging Artist of the Year: a person at the early stage of their artistic career who has garnered early critical acclaim but is not yet considered to be an established artist by the community-at-large or has broad name or work recognition at the time of nomination. Age is not a factor in determining an artist’s qualification for this award category.

Arts Startup of the Year: an arts organization that has launched its formal artistic programming within the past two years at the time of nomination and has demonstrated potential to become an established arts organization.

Student Artist of the Year: a person 18 or under who has demonstrated exceptional talent and accomplishment in any art medium. The student may be nominated by a parent, guardian, school teacher, principal or instructor working with the student at an arts organization. Letters of support and examples demonstrating the students’ talent (photos of artwork, videos of performances, writing samples, etc.) should accompany the nomination.

National Artist of the Year: a person with strong ties to the St. Louis bi-state region who has achieved national prominence in their artistic field and demonstrates continued investment in the St. Louis community. An artist with strong ties to the region may include someone who was born in the region, someone who moved to the region as a child and spent the majority of their young adult life here, or a national artist who currently calls the metropolitan region home.

Other: nominators may enter an award category not listed above.