Ray Hanley Innovation Award
The (USUAF) established the Ray Hanley Innovation Award in 2007 to recognize outstanding individual contributions to arts and culture in American cities.
From the time he was hired as president of the Greater Columbus Arts Council (GCAC) in 1985 until his untimely death in 2006, Ray Hanley was the driving force behind cultural development in Columbus, OH. He pushed artists, cultural organizations, arts educators, arts audiences, and the city itself to embrace the diversity and quality of the Columbus cultural community. Because of his work, Columbus is enriched with a cultural community that other cities envy, that impresses visitors, and that community residents are proud to claim as their own.
Recipients of the Ray Hanley Innovation Award should meet the following criteria:
- Current or former Member of USUAF
- Innovator in the field in the area of public policy, programming, outreach, arts education, fundraising, and other special initiatives
- Risk-taking and pioneering
- Created innovative programs capable of duplication in other cities
- Recognized for their body of work and/or lifetime achievement
Past Ray Hanley Innovation Recipients
2013 Eloise Damrosch
Eloise Damrosch became executive director of the Regional Arts & Culture Council in Portland, OR, in 2004 after serving as Director of Public Art for 17 years. She continues to lead the Public Art Program and helped RACC launch its successful workplace giving program, tri-county arts education initiative, and had a leadership role in the November 2012 passage of a ballot measure creating the Arts Education and Access Fund which will raise through a modest income tax over $12 million new dollars to restore art and music teachers to every Portland elementary school; strengthen arts organizations; and provide arts education and access grants to schools and non-profits.
2012 Bill Bulick
Bill’s 30 year career in cultural and community development includes roles as a musician; founder and producer of multicultural arts festivals and concerts; founding Program Director of Pioneer Courthouse Square, a nationally recognized urban public plaza; director of one of the nation’s leading local arts agencies in Portland; board member of Americans for the Arts; chair of several NEA panels; and president of the USUAF.
2011 Victoria Hamilton
Victoria Hamilton is the director of arts and community development at the Jacobs Center for Neighborhood Innovation. She had been the executive director of the City of San Diego Commission for Arts and Culture since its inception in 1988. Ms. Hamilton oversees the City's $8 million arts and culture program including the design and development of the arts and culture organizational support program, neighborhood arts and festivals programs, public art in public and private development, and services to artists and arts organizations.
2010 Jill McGuire
Jill McGuire is founder and executive director of the Regional Arts Commission (RAC), the largest arts agency in the St. Louis region since it was created in 1985. Under her leadership, RAC has awarded more than 5,000 grants, totaling $65 million. In 2005, McGuire received the Selina Roberts Ottum Award and the 2005 Missouri Arts Award in the category for Leadership in the Arts and the Grand Center Visionary Award for Outstanding Arts Professional.
2009 Mary Becht
Mary Becht is the former director of the Broward County Cultural Division in Fort Lauderdale, FL. The Broward County Cultural Division is dedicated to enhancing the cultural environment of Broward County through the development of the arts. The Division director since 1984, Mary has built many path-breaking and award winning programs in public art, cultural development, and leadership training, among others.
2008 Peggy Amsterdam
Peggy Amsterdam, was president of the Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance, and received the first Ray Hanley Innovation Award. The Cultural Alliance is the Philadelphia region's leading nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing the cultural sector, serving as a vital resource to more than 350 nonprofit member organizations and the broader cultural community. Since joining the Alliance in 2000, Ms. Amsterdam has earned wide praise for her visibility, accessibility, and responsiveness to cultural groups.