The Cleveland Arts Prize will honor the recipients of its 2023 awards, recognizing achievements and contributions in a range of artistic disciplines. 

The awards will be presented during the annual awards event Oct. 26 at the Cleveland Museum of Art, according to a news release. The ceremony is from 8 to 9:30 p.m. in Gartner Auditorium. A VIP party will precede the ceremony from 6:30 to 7:45 p.m. in the atrium. 

Among award recipients, Susan Braham Koletsky was named the winner of the Robert P. Bergman Prize. Over her 25-year tenure as museum director at The Temple-Tifereth Israel in Beachwood, Braham Koletsky has contributed her talents as an artist, educator and advocate, according to the release. She has brought a relatively unknown collection of Judaica to a position of prominence within the North American Jewish art realm. Braham Koletsky has also engaged both Jews and non-Jews in robust conversations about Judaism, antisemitism and social responsibility, according to the release.

Susan Braham Koletsky. Photo / Robert Muller

Joseph P. and Nancy F. Keithley will be awarded the Barbara S. Robinson Prize for the Advancement of the Arts. In 2020, their gift to the Cleveland Museum of Art of 114 artworks – worth $100 million – served as a catalyst to elevate the museum’s impact and accessibility, the release said. In 2013, they established the Nancy and Joseph Keithley Institute for Art History at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, which provides resources to support curatorial and art scholarly education, and advances inclusive initiatives, artistic exploration and community engagement for University Circle institutions.

Janet Macoska will receive the award for lifetime achievement in visual art. Since 1974, Macoska has been capturing rock music’s greatest on film and now digitally. Her work has appeared in Rolling Stone, Jazz Times, People, Vogue, American Photo, Classic Rock, 16, Sports Illustrated, The New York Times, London Times and the Plain Dealer.

Richard S. Rogers will receive the Martha Joseph Prize for Distinguished Service to the Arts. According to the release, Rogers is a driving cultural force in Akron, and among his many artistic achievements are his collections of contemporary ceramics from Asia and the United States, and 20th century American and European design. In 2017, he created Curated Storefront, a nonprofit dedicated to transforming downtown Akron into a more vibrant community through the arts.

Dana Jessen and Jacinda N. Walker will be honored in the mid-career artists category in music and design, respectively. Hailed as a “bassoon virtuoso” by the Chicago Reader, Jessen is in high-demand as a soloist, chamber musician, improviser and new music specialist who is the recipient of a Fulbright Fellowship and a Huygens Fellowship, the release said. Walker is the founder and creative director of designExplorr, a social impact organization whose mission addresses the diversity gap within the design profession by exposing design education to African American and Latino youth and raising awareness for corporate organizations.

And, in the emerging artists category, Stephanie Ginese will be honored for literature and Atefeh Farajolahzadeh will be honored for visual art. An author, instructor and stand-up comedian from Lorain, Ginese has been published in zines, journals and anthologies throughout the country. Her debut collection of poetry, “Unto Dogs,” was released by Grieveland Publishing in July 2022, and focuses on themes of Puerto Rican nationalism, history, reproductive violence and spirituality, the release said. Iran-born Farajolahzadeh is a visual artist who employs photography, video and coding-involved installations in her practice. Her current works explore the idea of being elsewhere and the psychology of being in-between (the place of origin and her new place).

At the event, Kenny Crumpton of Fox8 News in the Morning will serve as the master of ceremonies. 

Tickets for the VIP reception are $275, with a reduced price of $150 for Cleveland Arts Prize winners, according to the release. Tickets for the awards event are $75 for gold circle seating, $45 general seating, and $20 for young adults 25 and under.

The Cleveland Arts Prize is an arts organization dedicated to recognizing, supporting and celebrating artistic excellence in the Greater Cleveland area, according to the release. Founded in 1960, it has honored more than 400 artists across disciplines.

“We are pleased to recognize and celebrate the remarkable achievements of these artists, whose creativity and dedication have enriched our lives and transformed the cultural landscape,” said Aseelah Shareef, board chair of the Cleveland Arts Prize, in the release. “Their work reminds us of the power of art to inspire, provoke thought and foster connection. We congratulate the winners for their exceptional contributions and invite the community to join us in celebrating their success and impact in October.”

For more information about the Cleveland Arts Prize, this year’s award winners and tickets to the annual award event, visit