Orange County Arts Awards

The biggest annual "red carpet" event in our arts and culture community, celebrating the legacies and achievements of our brightest stars


Samueli Theater, Segerstrom Center for the Arts, Costa Mesa

The Annual OC Arts Awards is a benefit evening that recognizes & celebrates the arts organizations, artists, and arts patrons in the OC community whose significant contributions during the past year, or over the course of a lifetime, have notably impacted the arts in Orange County.  This celebratory event brings together the entire arts community for an uplifting evening that includes an honoree and sponsor reception and dinner, an awards ceremony and an after-party for all guests.

Past Arts Awards Honorees

Since 2000, we've honored an incredible array of organizations and individuals who have had a legacy-level impact on the artistic and cultural landscape of Orange County

(Listed in Alphabetical Order)

Allen Adham, Michael Morhaime, and Frank Pearce (Artistic Visionary, 2010)
Wylie & Bette Aitken (Arts Patrons, 2015)
John Alexander (Artistic Visionary, 2003)
Jonelle Allen (Artist, 2021)
Roger Armstrong (Artist, 2003)
Bob Bassett (Artistic Visionary, 2006)
Martin Benson & David Emmes (Artistic Visionary, 2000)
Peter Blake (Artistic Visionary, 2013)
Rex Brandt (Artist, 2000)
Beth Burns (Artistic Visionary, 2004)
Mark Chamberlain (Artistic Visionary, 2014)
Arlene Cheng (Community Visionary, 2005)
Dean Corey (Artistic Visionary, 2011)
Sophie and Larry Cripe (Arts Patrons, 2022)
Dick Dale (Artist, 2010)
Claudia de la Cruz (Visionary Artist, 2023)
Tony DeLap (Artist, 2000)
Richard Doyle (Artist, 2009)
John Forsyte (Arts Visionary, 2016)
Robert Garfias (Artistic Visionary, 2022)
Rod Gilfry (Artist, 2011)
William Gillespie (Community Visionary, 2006)
Marie Gray (Artistic Visionary, 2009)
William Hall (Artist, 2005)
Don Ed Hardy (Artist, 2014)
Ramya Harishankar (Artist, 2007)
Mark and Janet Hilbert (Art Collectors, 2018)
Hans & Valerie Imhof (Patron, 2014)
Chuck Jones (Artist, 2001)
Damien and Yvonne Jordan (Arts Philanthropists, 2016)
Peter Keller (Artistic Visionary, 2013)
Dorothy & Donald Kennedy (Community Visionary, 2004)
Cherie Kerr (Artistic Visionary, 2019)
John Koshak (Artistic Visionary, 2008)
Don Laffoon & Victoria Bryan (Artistic Visionary, 2001)
Laguna Art Museum (Arts Organization, 2018)
Laguna Playhouse (Arts Organization, 2021)
Hal Landon Jr. (Artist, 2009)
James Luna (Artist, 2017)
Molly Lynch (Arts Visionary, 2017)
Phil & Mary Lyons (Community Visionary, 2008)
Greg MacGillvray (Artist, 2008)
Jerry Mandel (Visionary Arts Leader, 2019)
Eric Marienthal (Artist, 2010)
Mike McGee (Arts Visionary, 2016)
Donald McKayle (Artist, 2002)
Mission San Juan Capistrano (Community Visionary, 2011)
Judith O’Dea Morr (Artistic Visionary, 2002)
Marcelina Arroues Mulville (Community Visionary, 2000)
Marybelle & S. Paul Musco (Arts Philanthropist, 2013)
Mary Muth (Community Visionary, 2001)
Founders of the Newport Harbor Art Museum - Joan Irving Brandt, Thelma Chastain, Em Crary, Dorothe Curtis, Kay Farwell, Allene Hays, Judy Hurndall, Gloria Irvine, Jane Lawson, Betty Mickle, Flo Stoddard, Dottie Ahmanson Sullivan, and Betty Winckler (Community Visionary, 2000)
Tom & Marilyn Nielsen (Community Visionary, 2003)
Dwight Richard Odle (Artist, 2006)
Ralph Opacic (Artistic Visionary, 2007)
Orange County Community Foundation (Community Visionary, 2010)
Orange County Museum of Art (Longtime Southern California leader in presenting and preserving the art of our time, 2022)
Orange County Musicians Union Local 7, American Federation of Musicians (Visionary Arts Organization, 2023)
Douglas C. Rankin (Artistic Visionary, 2012)
Elaine Redfield (Community Visionary, 2000)
Relámpago del Cielo (Arts Organization, 2015)
Cathy Rigby (Artist, 2015)
Salwa Rizkalla (Artistic Visionary, 2014)
William & Barbara Roberts (Community Visionary, 2012)
Carol Saindon (Artist, 2018)
Jerry Samuelson (Community Visionary, 2009)
Floss Schumacher (Community Visionary, 2000)
Henry Segerstrom (Community Visionary, 2000)
Helen & Edward Shanbrom (Community Visionary, 2004)
Gordon Shaw (Community Visionary, 2005)
Joan Irvine Smith (Community Visionary, 2007)
Carl St.Clair (Artistic Visionary, 2009)
John & Elizabeth Stahr (Community Visionary, 2002)
The Harry & Grace Steele Foundation (Community Visionary, 2001)
Beulah Strickler (Community Visionary, 2013)
Tom Titus (Arts Journalist, 2021)
Paula Tomei (Community Visionary, 2018)
Elizabeth Turk (Artist, 2012)
Ernesto and Socorro Vasquez (Visionary Arts Patrons, 2019)
Carol Wilken (Community Visionary, 2010)
Jane Fujishige Yada (Visionary Arts Patron, 2023)
David Young (Community Visionary, 2004)
James Young (Artist, 2005)
Charlie & Ling Zhang (Arts Philanthropists, 2017)
Gloria Zigner (Community Visionary, 2012)

(Listed in Alphabetical Order)

Roberta & Howard Ahmanson (Patron, 2010)
John Alexander (Artist, 2000)
The All-American Boys Chorus (Arts Organization, 2011)
Anaheim Ballet (Organization, 2008)
Darrel Anderson (Volunteer, 2003)
Marsha Anderson (Volunteer, 2008)
Art & Creativity for Healing (Educator, 2003)
Arts & Learning Conservatory (Organization, 2014)
Assistance League of Irvine (Volunteer, 2007)
Backhausdance (Organization, 2012)
Ballet Pacifica (Organization, 2001, 2000)
Donald & Joan Beall (Patron, 2001)
Robert Becker (Artist, 2009)
Phyllis Berenbeim (Educator, 2000)
Suki Berg (Artist, 2008)
The Boeing Company (Patron, 2006)
Troy Botello (Educator, 2002)
Bowers Museum of Cultural Art (Organization, 2007, 2001)
City of Brea (Patron, 2008)
Brea, Blackstone 2017 (Outstanding Contribution to the Built Environment, 2018)
Brethren Christian Junior & Senior High School (Arts Organization, 2011)
Laurie Brown (Artist, 2002)
Austin Buffum (Educator, 2006)
Jerry Burchfield (Artist, 2001)
California State University, Fullerton Performing Arts Center (Built Environment, 2006)
William Camarago (Emerging Artist/Arts Leader, 2022)
Capistrano Unified School District (Educator, 2003)
Casa Romantica Cultural Center and Gardens, San Clemente (Arts Organization, 2017)
Beverly Chaffee (Educator, 2002)
The Chance Theater (Organization, 2009, 2004)
Child Creativity Lab (Arts Organization, 2023)
Children’s Museum at La Habra (Educator, 2001)
Joshua Colover (Artist, 2004)
Vesta Curry (Volunteer, 2002)
John & Sandy Daniels (Patron, 2002)
James Dinh (Artist/Arts Leader, 2019)
Jane & Jim Driscoll (Patron, 2008)
Leslie Feibleman (Volunteer, 2006)
Eliot Feld/Ballet Tech (Artist, 2000)
Festival Ballet Theatre (Organization, 2002)
Festival of Arts Laguna Beach (Organization, 2008)
FLIGHT at Tustin Legacy Murals (Public Art, 2021)
Paul Folino (Patron, 2003)
Robin Follman (Artist, 2008)
Robert Frelly (Artist, 2011)
JoAnn Fuerbringer (Educator, 2004)
Fullerton Museum Center (Organization, 2003)
Fullerton School District Foundation For the Arts (Volunteer, 2000)
Fulton Middle School (Educator, 2000)
Sarah Rafael Garcia (Emerging Arts Leader, 2018)
Garden Grove Unified School District (Educator, 2000)
Michael & Eleanor Gordon (Patron, 2005)
Grand Central Art Center (Organization, 2019, 2000)
Guilds of the Orange County Performing Arts Center (Volunteer, 2005)
Ramya Harishankar (Artist, 2003)
Kathleen Harris (Educator, 2005)
Martin Hubbard (Volunteer, 2001)
Huntington Beach Art Center (Organization, 2006)
Irvine Barclay Theatre (Organization, 2006, 2002)
Irvine Unified School District (Educator, 2008)
Janice Johnson (Volunteer, 2004)
Richard Kaufman (Artist, 2006)
Raymond Kobler (Artist, 2003)
Laguna Art Museum (Organization, 2002)
City of Laguna Beach (Patron, 2002)
Laguna College of Art & Design (Organization, 2013)
Laguna Dance Festival (Organization, 2015)
Laguna Playhouse (Organization, 2008, 2000)
Timothy Landauer (Artist, 2005)
Jan Landstrom (Volunteer, 2007)
The Legacy Project (Artist, 2007)
Chantrell M. Lewis (Emerging Artist/Arts Leader, 2023)
Phil & Mary Lyons (Patron, 2000)
Lyric Opera of Orange County (Emerging Arts Organization, 2022)
Madison Elementary School (Educator, 2003)
Jim & Suzanne Mellor (Patron, 2006)
Yevgeniya Mikhailik (Emerging Artist, 2016)
Todd Miller (Artist, 2010)
Mission Viejo High School (Educator, 2001)
Allen Moon (Impresario, 2016)
The Muckenthaler Cultural Center (Organization, 2010)
Paul & Marybelle Musco (Patron, 2006)
MUZEO (Built Environment, 2008)
National Choreographers Initiative (Organization, 2007)
City of Newport Beach (Public Art Program, 2014)
Newport Beach Film Festival (Organization, 2001)
New Swan Theater, UCI - Claire Trevor School of the Arts (Outstanding Contribution to the Built Environment, 2013)
Oanh Nguyen (Artist, 2007)
Noelle Corporate Communications (Patron, 2005)
Northwood High School Performing Arts Department (Educator, 2005)
Orange County Board of Supervisors (Special Award, 2021)
Orange County Center for Contemporary Art (Organization, 2001)
Orange County High School of the Arts Foundation (Volunteer, 2001)
Orange County Museum of Art (Organization, 2005)
Orange County Performing Arts Center (Built Environment, 2007)
Orange County Register (Patron, 2000)
Orange County Women's Chorus (Organziation, 2014)
Orange County Youth Symphony (Educator, 2005)
Pacific Chorale (Organization, 2002)
Pacific Symphony League (Volunteer, 2008)
Pacific Life Foundation (Patron, 2001)
Pacific Symphony (Organization, 2004, 2002, 2001)
PBS SoCal (Organization, 2016)
Brian Peterson (Emerging Artist, 2018)
Philharmonic Society of Orange County (Organization, 2000)
Committees of the Philharmonic Society (Volunteer, 2002)
Maurizzio Hector Pineda (Emerging Artist, 2021)
Placentia-Yorba Linda Unified School District (Educator, 2001)
Patricia Poss (Patron, 2011)
Teri Ralston (Artist, 2002)
Jerry Rothman (Artist, 2004)
Marytza Rubio (Emerging Artist/Arts Leader, 2022)
Rude Guerrilla Productions (Organization, 2002)
Susan & Henry Samueli (Patron, 2004)
City of Santa Ana (Patron, 2002, 2000)
David Schramm (Volunteer, 2006)
Gregg Schwenk (Volunteer, 2004)
The Hal & Jeanette Segerstrom Family (Patron, 2009)
Helen Seigel (Educator, 2002)
Shakespeare Orange County (Organization, 2005)
Anne Shih (Volunteer, 2001)
Doris Shields (Volunteer, 2000)
Kevin Staniec (Emerging Arts Leader, 2017)
Soka Performing Arts Center (Built Environment, 2012)
South Coast Repertory (Organization, 2003)
South Coast Plaza (Patron, 2009)
South Orange County High School of the Arts (Educator, 2007)
STAGEStheatre (Organization, 2002)
Carl St.Clair (Special Recognition, 2019; Artist, 2001)
STOP-GAP (Organization, 2001)
Alan Terricciano (Artist, 2006)
Jim Thomas (Educator, 2004)
Catherine Thyen (Volunteer, 2005)
Peter Tiner (Educator, 2004)
Tom Titus (Artist, 2005)
Trio Céleste (Emerging Artists, 2017)
Richard Turner (Artist, 2001)
University of California, Irvine Arts Plaza (Built Environment, 2006)
Sister Madeleva Williams, C.S.J. (Artist, 2011)
Wells Fargo Bank (Patron, 2007)
Kurt Weston (Artist, 2010)
The Wooden Floor (Educator, 2010)
Andre Woodward (Artist, 2013)

Look Back at Our 2023 Awards


Jane Fujishige Yada
Visionary Arts Patron

Jane Fujishige Yada

Visionary Arts Patron
Chair of the Board, Segerstrom Center for the Arts, the first Asian American woman and only the second woman to ever hold the position, Jane Fujishige Yada has served on the Board for 22 years. In 2023, she Co-Chaired the Philharmonic Society of Orange County Gala and the Pacific Symphony Gala. Born in Orange County, Jane grew up in a farming family that proudly tended to a 56-acre strawberry farm in Anaheim. Her father was a decorated World War II veteran, serving his county honorably while many relatives were incarcerated in internment camps back home. Nominated by Philharmonic Society of Orange County, Segerstrom Center for the Arts, and Pacific Symphony.
Claudia de la Cruz_Modjeska_Award

Claudia de la Cruz

Visionary Artist
Flamenco dancer and choreographer, born in Monterrey, Mexico with Andalusian blood originating from Jerez, Spain, Claudia de la Cruz studied flamenco in Mexico, Madrid and Seville, Spain, and around the globe. In 1999, she founded her flamenco school in Santa Ana and in 2003 formed “Tierra Flamenca,” her professional dance company.

Orange County Musicians Union Local 7, American Federation of Musicians

Visionary Arts Organization
The Orange County Musicians Union, a non-profit organization, has been representing professional musicians in the area since 1923. From the Disneyland Band to the Pacific Symphony, its membership of approximately 1,000 consists of instrumentalists and vocalists who perform live and in recording studios locally and internationally.



Child Creativity Lab

Since 2012, Child Creativity Lab has worked tirelessly to foster the next generation of critical thinkers, problem solvers, innovators and leaders through hands-on creativity-enhancing exploration in the form of STEAM programs such as its Makerspace-on-Wheels and Professional Development that teach teachers how to bring new ways of thinking to the classroom.


CLewis Headshot cropped

Chantrell M. Lewis

Executive Director and Founder, The Jar of Sunshine, a nonprofit organization that creates accessible programs in the arts, wellness and literacy. Chantrell is a Teaching Artist with Segerstrom Center for the Arts, and holds a MFA from University of California, Irvine – Claire Trevor School of the Arts.

And Our Hosts For the Evening...


Richard Stein

President & CEO, Arts Orange County

Diana Farrell

Founder and Artistic Director, Lyric Opera of Orange County

We Gratefully Acknowledge Our Arts Awards Sponsors

We gratefully acknowledge the sponsors whose support makes this celebration possible. Sponsorship opportunities are still available, see above!

VIP Reception Sponsor

Phil & Mary Lyons

After-Party Sponsors

Charlie & Ling Zhang

Maya Angelou Circle

The Fujishige/Yada Family

Frida Kahlo Circle

Steele Fund of Orange County Community Foundation


Isamu Noguchi Circle

C.J. Segerstrom & Sons

August Wilson Circle

Ramsey and Andrea Andrijevich
Ellen Breitman and Brien Amspoker
Michael and Eleanor Gordon
Susan K. Hori
James and Sheila Peterson
Judith Posnikoff
Tom Rogers and Sally Anderson
Tim Shaw
Ernesto and Socorro Vasquez

James Luna Circle

Anaheim Ballet
Arts and Learning Conservatory
Bowers Museum
Cal. State University, Fullerton
City of Costa Mesa
Sophie and Larry Cripe
Culture OC
Dance Discovery Foundation
Thúy Võ Đặng
Ektaa Center
Suzanne Ellingson
Gail Foor
The Frida Cinema
William and Bonnie Brittain Hall In memory of Carl Neiser and Richard Schweickert
Perri Selman Hamilton
Huntington Beach Art Center
Robert Klein
Laguna Art Museum
Laguna College of Art + Design
Laguna Playhouse
Joseph S. Lewis III
Lyric Opera of Orange County
Media Arts Santa Ana
Mission San Juan Capistrano
Harish Murthy and Ramya Harishankar
OC Musicians Union
Orange County Fair and Event Center
Orange County School of the Arts
Pacific Chorale
Pacific Symphony
Philharmonic Society of Orange County
Relámpago del Cielo Grupo Folklórico
Sandra Rosenfeld
Ryman Arts
Brianna Seamster
South Coast Repertory
South Coast Symphony
Laura Vasquez

Statuette Sponsors

Festival Ballet Theatre
Margaret Gates - In honor of Ellen Lee, biographer of Helena Modjeska
Susan K. Hori
Joseph S. Lewis III
Tim Shaw
Steven M. Sorenson, MD — In honor of Jane Fujishige Yada
Elizabeth Stahr

Other Gifts

Mike Anderson
Patricia Bustamente
Linda Call
Peter Chang
Sheri Coleman
Laura Cullen
Mimiko Cruz
Claudia de la Cruz
Feyintoluwa Ekisola
Laura Gnewchoc
Sara Guerrero
Rena Kamariotakis
Marissa Lewis
Alina Marinova
Maria Medina
Connie Morlett
Sherry Rubinstein
Arivsia Staton
Amanda Tirado
Oksana Vovk
Hailey Welbeck
Nisa Williams
Karen Wood

Enjoy These Images from All the Festivities!

Click on image to view full-size. All pictures by Tony Lattimore Photography.