The Virginia Commission for the Arts presents
50 for 50 Arts Inspiration Awards

For fifty years, the Virginia Commission for the Arts has supported and celebrated the vibrant arts culture that is critical to living, learning, and thriving economically in the Commonwealth of Virginia.
The 50 for 50 Arts Inspiration Awards are designed to recognize programs, individuals and organizations critical to the arts in Virginia.  These Inspirations may have played a critical role in the past 50 years, they may serve as today’s leaders and exemplars, or they may be today’s visionaries, leading the way to a bright future.

Who / What are Arts Inspirations?

  • Outstanding Artists, using their talents to benefit the citizens of Virginia
  • Exemplary Programs and Pinnacle Events, demonstrating national or statewide leadership
  • Bedrock Institutions, essential to quality of life in their communities and to the reputation of Virginia
  • Emerging Artists and Arts Organizations, leading the way toward a creative economy in Virginia
  • Arts Leaders and Supporters, creating partnerships for a better Virginia

What Does the Awardee Receive?

The awardees will receive statewide recognition in Virginia Commission for the Arts and Virginians for the Arts media, including print and on-line publications.  All winners will be honored at a Governor’s Reception in the fall of 2017 and be recognized at a special program during the General Assembly session in 2018.

Nomination Submission Guidelines:

Nominees must be:

  1. Virginia-based organizations (not limited to 501c3 nonprofits), programs, or
  2. Current or former residents of Virginia

Nominators may submit nominations for more than one individual or organization.
Self-nomination is allowed, or nominations may be submitted by others for you.

Note: For questions that request a narrative, please compose your response in a word document limiting answers to 500 words or 1 page using 12 pt. type.

APPLICATION DEADLINE June 2, 2017

How Will the Awardees Be Selected?

A selection committee comprised of former members of the Virginia Commission for the Arts will recommend 50 awardees to the Board of the Virginia Commission for the Arts, which will have the final vote.  Nominations will be reviewed based on each nominee’s eligibility and the nominee's contribution to the advancement of the arts and/or their particular specialty area. There may be multiple awardees in each category, and the committee has discretion to reassign the nominee to a different category.  The winner will exhibit the benchmarks of success described in each award’s criteria.

People’s Choice Award

Once all honorees are announced in September, a social media campaign will determine a People’s Choice Award in each category.  The People’s Choice Awardees will be chosen by the public from among the 50 for 50 Arts Inspiration honorees, and will receive special recognition on the VCA website, at the Governor’s Reception and during the January celebration.

Award Criteria:

Outstanding Artists

  1. Individuals practicing currently or in the past with a stellar body of work (posthumous awards will be considered)
  2. Artistic excellence
  3. Service to community
  4. Recognition that the individual’s work has brought to Virginia

 

Exemplary Performances, Programs and Pinnacle Events

  1. Occurring in the present or over the past 50 years.
  2. Artistic excellence
  3. Celebration of Virginia’s diversity
  4. Benefit to economic health and/or tourism in the community
  5. Recognition that the event or program has brought to Virginia
  6. Outreach to underserved populations
  7. Engagement of community partners
  8. Visionary approach and embrace of innovation

 

Bedrock Institutions:

  1. In existence more than 10 years
  2. Artistic excellence
  3. Celebration of Virginia’s diversity
  4. Benefit to economic health and/or tourism in the community
  5. Recognition that the event or program has brought to Virginia
  6. Outreach to underserved populations
  7. Engagement of community partners
  8. Visionary approach and embrace of innovation

 

Emerging Artists and Arts Organizations

Organizations:

  1. In existence fewer than 10 years 
  2. Artistic excellence
  3. Celebration of Virginia’s diversity
  4. Benefit to economic health and/or tourism in the community
  5. Recognition that the organization brings to Virginia
  6. Outreach to underserved populations
  7. Visionary approach and embrace of innovation

 

Individuals:

  1. Practicing professionally for fewer than 10 years
  2. Service to community
  3. Recognition that the artist’s work brings to Virginia
  4. Visionary approach and embrace of innovation

 

Arts Leaders and Supporters:

  1. Serious, sustained leadership that has made a difference to their community through the arts
  2. Contribution of funds, time, and/or talent to make a substantive change in arts organizations within the community
  3. Encouragement of others to make their own contributions to an organization or art form
  4. Encouragement of decision makers to create a sustaining environment for artists and arts organizations
  5. Encouragement of artists and arts organizations to make a difference in their community
  6. Encouragement of broad recognition of the role that the arts play within their community
  7. Original approach to arts leadership

 

For any questions regarding your 50 for 50 Art Inspiration Awards Nomination please contact Burnette S. Sales by phone at 804.225.3132 or via email at burnette.sales@vca.virginia.gov.

Virginia Commission for the Arts
Main Street Centre
600 East Main Street, Suite 330
Richmond, Virginia  23219
www.arts.virginia.gov