Art Heroes Needed!

Missouri Arts Council
City of Hannibal, 2019 Creative Community honoree | represented by Mayor James R. Hark | photo, Lloyd Grotjan

The Missouri Arts Council needs your Art Heroes! Nominations open through August 26th, 2019.

Every year since 1983, through the annual Missouri Arts Awards, the Missouri Arts Council has honored our state’s arts heroes—people, organizations, and communities who have made profound contributions to the culture of Missouri. They recognized seven of those heroes on February 6, 2019 at their 37th Missouri Arts Awards ceremony at the Capitol in Jefferson City. Who should be next? 

Throw your arts hero’s hat into the ring for the 2020 Missouri Arts Awards by making a nomination any time from now through noon on Monday, August 26.

Honorees are selected from public nominations by an independent panel representing Missouri’s arts community throughout the state. The panel’s choices are approved at the Missouri Arts Council board meeting in late October and announced in November. The awards are presented in a ceremony at the Capitol the following February.


Arts Education | Individual or organization that has made significant contributions to arts education either through enhancing the education curriculum within the school system or through creating educational opportunities in the arts outside the school setting

Arts Organization | Outstanding organization actively producing, presenting, or serving the arts

Creative Community | Community (municipality, village or town, business district, tax district, neighborhood association, etc.) that uses the arts to promote economic growth and/or attract tourism, businesses, or residents

Individual Artist | Outstanding artist creating traditional/folk art, electronic media, literary, visual, or performing arts

Leadership in the Arts | Individual who has significantly influenced the arts as a leader

Philanthropy | Individual, organization, foundation, or business that has made significant donations to the arts



The total contribution or body of work of the nominee and the effect this effort has produced on the cultural climate of the city, region and/or state of Missouri are the primary criteria utilized in the selection of the award recipients.

Arts Education | Consider how the nominee is involved the arts in education, how they impact their students, how they influenced education in their area. Include relevant curriculum, programs, and projects. Demonstrate this with statements from educators, parents, students, administrators, and school board members.

Arts Organization | Consider the artistic quality of their work, how they achieve their artistic mission, how they influenced others in the field, how they collaborate with others, and advocate for the arts. Include examples of exhibitions or performances, statements from the field, and examples of community impact. Demonstrate artistic quality with documentation of their work, formal recognitions, or awards.

Creative Community | Consider the type of community including the nature of the community, size, governance, demographics, character, and market. Describe cultural assets, programs, initiatives, how the community utilizes the arts, how the community supports the arts, and how the arts support the community.

Individual Artist | Consider the artistic quality of their work, the scope of their work, and how they influenced others. Include examples of their work, critical reviews, testimonies, and formal recognition or awards. Demonstrate artistic quality with documentation of their work, its depth and complexity, recognitions or awards.

Leadership in the Arts | Consider the impact of their leadership, how the community benefited, and where they influenced the arts (whether on policies, issues, or growth). Include testimonies, documentation of their leadership, programs, initiatives, statements, and recognitions.

Philanthropy | Consider what arts disciplines they support, the impact of their support on the arts community, and the legacy of their philanthropy. Demonstrate this with examples of philanthropic support and statements.


Nominees must be current Missouri residents or a Missouri-based organization or community. Nominees in the Philanthropic category may be a non-Missouri residents but their philanthropy being honored must benefit a nonprofit Missouri arts organization. We welcome self-nominations.

Past Missouri Arts Awards recipients are not eligible to be nominated. Review the list of prior award recipients to make sure your nominee hasn’t already been honored. (Missouri Arts Council board members and staff and the selection committee and their families are also not eligible.)

Submit a Nomination

Nominations and support materials are submitted online.