Cleveland Arts Prize 2017 Winners

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The 2017 Cleveland Arts Prize winners have been announced and they include a little-known Cleveland poet and playwright as well as a pair of visual artists.

This year's lifetime achievement winner is poet and playwright Russell Atkins a contemporary and colleague of legendary Cleveland poet Langston Hughes.  Known for his idiosyncratic style as a poet, Atkins created his own kind of poetry where the presentation of the words on the page was key.

Hear Russell Atkins's poem 'Idyll' read by Daniel Gray-Kontar:


Two visual art winners include Christi Birchfield, a Cleveland Institute of Art alumna, who's one of the emerging CAP winners, along with mid-career artist winner Sarah Kabot, who's on the CIA faculty.

Also winning an emerging artist award is novelist Kevin Keating whose books include The Natural Order of Things and The Captive Condition.

Jeannette Sorrell, the founding artistic director of Cleveland's Baroque Orchestra, Apollo's Fire, is another winner of the mid-career artist award.

Taking home the Robert P. Bergman Prize is Grafton Nunes, president of The Cleveland Institute of Art, while the Martha Joseph Prize goes to Albert Albano of the Cleveland art conservation group - ICA.

Finally, this year's special honoree goes to the winner of the Cleveland Arts Prize for dance in 1974 - Kathryn Karipides - longtime director of the dance program at Case Western Reserve University.

Since 19-60 the Cleveland Arts Prize has recognized, honored and financially rewarded Northeast Ohio artists for their achievements.

The Cleveland Arts Prize hosts its 57th annual award ceremony on Thursday, June 29 at 6:30 p.m. at the Cleveland Museum of Art.

Listen to Dan Polletta's interview with Cleveland Arts Prize trustee and jury member Daniel Gray-Kontar and CAP chair Robert Maschke Thursday May 4 during Here and Now featuring the Sound of Applause on 90.3.

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