Mayor's Arts Awards

2017 MoE by Lis J. Schwitters logo
Established in 2005, the Mayor's Arts Awards recognize the contributions to the cultural community by city residents, artists, educators, organizations and business leaders. The goal of this program is to help cultivate greater visibility and understanding of the value of the arts, as well as grow new leadership and new patrons of the arts.

The nomination period for 2017 is closed. Please check back in July 2018 for the next nomination period.


  • Arts Patron - a business or individual whose strong support of the arts has been ongoing through philanthropic and/or volunteer service;
  • Artist in the Community - an established individual artist (in any discipline) for artistic excellence and singular efforts in contributing to Ventura's cultural vitality;
  • Creative Entrepreneur - a locally owned for-profit business which exemplifies the impact and vitality of Ventura's creative economy
  • Arts Leader - a nonprofit arts professional who has demonstrated outstanding leadership, organizational stewardship and partnership within the local arts community.
  • Arts Educator - an individual or organization whose achievements and contributions to arts education have been significant and far reaching;
  • Emerging Artist - awarded to a working artist (in any discipline) under the age of 40 who has demonstrated outstanding promise and commitment to the Ventura arts community (students are ineligible); and
  • Student Artist - awarded to an active student artist (in any discipline) under the age of 19 who has demonstrated outstanding promise and commitment to the arts.


A panel of community members, including representatives from the arts and business worlds, will review applications based on:
  • The significance and magnitude of the nominee's contributions
  • Leadership in the arts community 
  • Commitment to service to the arts over a significant period of time
  • Benefit and impact of the nominee's contribution to the citizens of the City of Ventura
  • Potential contribution to the arts in the emerging artist category
The panel's selections will be presented to the Cultural Affairs Commissioners who will make recommendations for the Mayor to approve. The Mayor will announce the honorees in October and present the non-monetary awards at a reception in November.

Each recipient will receive a limited edition artwork created by artist Lis J. Schwitters entitled "Mark of Excellence." These awards are presented as a joint project of the city departments of City Manager's Office and Parks, Recreation and Community Partnerships.

Past Mayor's Arts Honoree Programs

For more information about the Mayor's Arts Awards, contact Kathryn Dippong Lawson at [email protected].