Community Arts Award

Since 1985, the Arts Council of Greater Kalamazoo has been proud to recognize the exceptional artists, arts organizations, and arts supporters in the Kalamazoo area through the Community Arts Awards (CAA). Their talents and skills deepen the artistic richness of our community.

We are now accepting nominations for 2023!
Do you know someone who is a leader in the arts, volunteers their time in the arts, or is a talented youth with a promising future in the arts, or building an exceptional body of work? Or perhaps you know of a local business that consistently supports or advocates for our local arts scene? If so please nominate them for a 2023 Community Arts Award. Read the full list of the Award categories and descriptions below.

For a list of previous CAA winners, please click here (PDF)

Gilmore Foundation Dorothy U Dalton Foundation

make a 2023 nomination


Join Us at the Celebration!
gull lake center for fine arts

Be sure and save the date! The 2023 Community Arts Award Ceremony will take place on Tuesday, December 5, 2023 at 7:00 pm at the Gull Lake Center for the Fine Arts. The event is free to attend, but RSVPs are appreciated. We will update this page with more information as the event gets closer.


2023 Community Arts Award Descriptions

Community Medal of Arts

The CMA recognizes an artist who has a significant body of creative activity, is a leader in their field, has received local and/or national acclaim, and has impacted our community through art. This award is given out to an artist only once in an artist’s career. This award encompasses all art forms, including but not limited to visual, musical, theatrical, literary, performing, multi-media, architecture, or design.

Theodore C. Cooper Award for Distinguished Volunteer Service

The recipient is to be a person, persons or group whose lives exemplify a broad range of service to the arts community that is not related to their professional occupation.

Adam F. Carter Young Artist Award

This award recognizes and encourages the next generation of artists in our community. Named after a young artist whose life was cut short, but whose contribution to the arts community of Kalamazoo provided an example that age doesn’t matter when making a difference in the arts. This recipient should be a rising high school senior (although rising juniors and college freshmen will also be considered), who has had an impact in both their artistic field of study and in our community. The recipient of this award will receive a monetary scholarship to be used to further their artistic study.

Business Arts Award

This award is presented to honor businesses in our community for their leadership, commitment, and vision in developing exemplary alliances with artists and arts organizations. The award recognizes a business for creating outstanding initiatives with artists and arts organizations, furthering the educational development of youth, enhancing the economic vitality of the community, and enriching the quality of life in our community.

Epic Award

This award recognizes an organization or program in our community that is of high artistic quality and serves to enhance the life in our community through the arts. The award pays special attention to both long-standing programs and organizations that have played a consistent role in the community and new organizations and programs that meet a previously unmet community need or focus area.

Gayle Hoogstraten Arts Leadership Award

Named after the first full-time Executive Director of the Arts Council of Greater Kalamazoo, this award recognizes leaders in our community in two categories: Arts Education and Arts Administration. The recipients of this award will have shown a proven track record of strong impact on the community and participants in art far beyond their job description. The recipients will also have established positive and productive relationships in the community outside of their institution.