awards for arts achievement
Alene Valkanas State Arts Advocacy Award
The Alene Valkanas State Arts Advocacy Award was created in 2006 to honor an individual at the state level who has dramatically affected the political landscape through their arts advocacy efforts. This award is presented annually at the Americans for the Arts Annual Convention to an individual who may be an artist, associated with a local arts agency, a local arts organization, or a statewide arts organization.
The award honors its namesake, Alene Valkanas, who retired after 20-plus years of tireless work as the executive director of the Illinois Arts Alliance (now Arts Alliance Illinois). She is widely seen as the preeminent authority on state arts advocacy by her peers. The award was presented to Alene in its inaugural year by Americans for the Arts, honoring her in front of her peers at the Illinois Arts Alliance’s annual gala in Chicago, November 2006.
The award is presented by the Americans for the Arts’ State Arts Action Network (SAAN) of which Alene was a founding member and co-chair. The SAAN serves as the meeting place for its members—statewide multidiscipline arts service or advocacy organizations—to gather and discuss common issues.