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Arts Award

Submit a 2024 Arts Award nomination.

The City of Highland Park Arts award recognizes outstanding achievements or contributions to the arts in Highland Park. Individuals may nominate a deserving person or organization for the Award. The Arts Award is not limited to any one artistic discipline. Previous winners have included individuals and organizations representing arts education, visual arts, literary arts, performing arts, architecture, and digital media/graphic design.

Individuals may be recognized for artistic excellence, significant contributions to their artistic discipline or to the local arts community, arts leadership, or volunteerism for the arts. Individuals do not need to reside in Highland Park to be eligible for the Award. Regardless of residency, the nominator must demonstrate the individual's impact on the arts as part of the individual's nomination.

Organizations may be recognized for making a substantial impact on the cultural development of the community as demonstrated through exceptional artistic achievement, outstanding programming, or significant commitment to the arts. Arts entities, nonprofit organizations, and businesses supporting the arts are all eligible to be nominated for the Award.

Any person (or person representing an organization) may submit a nomination for the Award. Please note that self-nominations are not accepted.

Nominators are encouraged to review the list of prior winners available below. A previous winner may be nominated for the Award. However, the nominator must detail new accomplishments or achievements as part of the nomination.

Nominations must be submitted via the online nomination form. All fields marked with a red asterisk are required. Please be as detailed as possible in your responses so that nominations may be carefully reviewed.

Arts Award nominations are reviewed by the Cultural Arts Advisory Group, with winners selected by the City Council. The City reserves the right not to select a winner.

For more details, contact Amanda Bennett, Staff Liaison to the Cultural Arts Advisory Group, at 847.926.1043 or

Past Winners

Year Winner
Rhoda Pierce
The Art Center
Ravinia Festival
no award given due to COVID-19

Chloe Schneider
Highland Park Poetry  
Gabrielle Rousso
2016 Susanna Calkins
2015 Jonathan Plotkin 
2014 Sandra Lewis
2013 Highland Park Public Library
2012 Irina Makkai Classical Ballet and Dance School 
2011 East on Central
2010 Highland Park High School Band under the direction of Dr. James Hile
2009 Carol Honigberg
2008 Amy Amdur
2007 Jack Blane
2006 Sumner Garte
2005 Raymond Geraci
2004 FOCUS ON THE ARTS – 20th anniversary
2003 Joan Kathyrn Weaver
2002 Highland Park Strings
2001 Mortimer Scheff 
2000 Joan Arenberg
1999 none – not enough nominations submitted
1998 Eileen Boevers
1997 Zarin Mehta
1996 Highland Park Players
1995 Ann Slavick
1994 Ann Rosen
1993 Larry Block
1992 Apple Tree Theatre
1991 Leonard Abrahamson, Sylvia Delman, Ruth Esserman
1990 Cortesi Family  and Delores Weinberg