2018 Mayor's Arts Awards Now Accepting Nominations

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Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton speaks during a pervious Mayor's Arts Awards ceremony,
Nominations are now open for the 2018 Mayor’s Arts Awards.

Nominations are being accepted for culinary, dance, literary, music, theater, and visual artists, as well as innovative arts organizations and young artists.

The deadline to submit nominations is Friday, May 4. Forms are available on the Phoenix Center for the Arts website.

The awards were founded in 2012 because Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton wanted to honor innovative artists living and working in the city. And the mayor’s office presents the awards, in partnership with Phoenix Center for the Arts.

They’ve made some changes to the awards for 2018, including adding the culinary and young artist categories.

“It’s our first foray into culinary arts,” says Lauren Henschen, deputy director for Phoenix Center for the Arts, who adds that they’ll be adding culinary arts to programming at the center in the near future.

Adding the young-artist category is a way to involve more youth in arts and culture. “We want to activate and integrate them into the arts scene now, so they’re part of the arts community moving forward,” Henschen says.

This year, organizers are bringing back two categories that were not included in 2017: theater artist and literary artist. Also, artists are allowed to self-nominate.

Organizers have also made significant changes in how the nomination process works.

“We simplified the online form, which will make it easier for people to nominate artists,” she says. Basically, it calls for an answer to the following question, in 100 words or less: “Why are you nominating this artist?”

“We’re focused on getting as many nominations as possible, so we’re requiring less information up front,” Henschen says.

Once the nomination process closes, they’ll contact nominated artists, and have them submit additional material for consideration, such as bios and samples of their work.

“We want to have a wide variety of folks to choose from,” Henschen says.

Nominees will be judges based on three criteria: innovation, impact, and collaboration.

Winners will be selected by a panel that includes representatives from the mayor’s office, Phoenix Office of Arts and Culture, Phoenix Center for the Arts, and past award winners. They'll be recognized during an awards ceremony, but event details have yet to be announced.

The current selection panel includes Julie Akerly, Scott Spenner, Annie Lopez, Regina Nixon, Dwayne Allen, Nicole Pasteur, Teniqua Broughton, and Ashley Hare.

The 2017 Mayor’s Arts Awards went to Akerly (dance), Spenner (music), Lopez (visual art), and Phoenix Conservatory of Music (innovative arts organization). The panel also honored Jack Lytle, former executive director for Theater Works in Peoria, with a community innovator award.