Rockford Area Arts Awards

The Rockford Area Arts Awards are a celebration of individuals and organizations who have contributed to the enrichment of our Rockford community. The categories listed are open for the nomination of individual artists, young artists, and arts and culture organizations that demonstrated an innovative, imaginative, outstanding achievement in the arts in 2019 and 2020. The application process closes on March 15, midnight.

The Rockford Area Arts Awards live streaming on Thursday, May 27, 2021

Taking place in spring 2021! 

Lifetime Achievement or In Memorial: This award is given by the Rockford Area Arts Award Committee; the committee is composed of various Rockford artists and arts/culture organizations. 

City of Rockford Distinguished Artist of the Year: This individual is recognized as distinguished in his/her field and makes a significant contribution to the Rockford community through the arts. This is an honorary position for one year, during which the individual will serve  as an arts ambassador for the City of Rockford. 

 Young Arts Ambassador: Youth counterpart to City of Rockford Distinguished Artist; to serve as a youth ambassador of the arts to the community of Rockford for one year. 

Visual Artist of the Year: Recognizes individual artist who demonstrated significant achievement in, or contribution to, the visual arts field in Rockford.  

Performing Artist of the Year: Recognizes individual artist or ensemble who demonstrated significant achievement in, or contribution to, the performing arts field in Rockford.  

New Media Artist of the Year: Recognizes an individual artist or ensemble who demonstrated significant achievement in, or contribution to, the field of New Media in Rockford. 

Public Art of the Year: Awarded to individual, business, or organization that sponsored a significant contribution to public art in Rockford. 

Film of the Year: Awarded to an individual, business, or organization that produced the best, local, film of the year. 

Arts Innovator or Innovation in the Arts Award: Individual, business, or organization that demonstrated exceptional innovation in the arts. 

Arts Educator of the Year: Educator who demonstrated exceptional leadership and mentorship in the Rockford Area. 

Excellence in Service to the Arts Award: Recognizes an individual, business, or organization who made a significant contribution in support of the arts in the Rockford Area. 

Placemaking/Spacemaking: Recognizes an individual, business, organization, or event that enhances life, for Rockford residents, through the arts.