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Every year, the Mayor acknowledges the contributions of artists and/or arts organizations to our city.  A call for nominations are requested from the community-at-large for the Mayor to then choose recipient(s).  These awards are given at the annual Bright Night for the Arts event in November.  The event is a celebration of the arts in Evanston and includes local art and performances.


Bright Night for the Arts

Join us for
Bright Night for the Arts 2023!

Bright Night for the Arts

Wednesday, November 15, at 6 p.m.

Theo Ubique Cabaret Theater

721 Howard St., Evanston


Hosted by Mayor Daniel Biss, this celebration is free and open to the community. Due to capacity limitations, reservations are required. Community members must RSVP to attend. 


2022 Mayor's Award for the Arts Recipients

  • Vernon Clark and the Heirs of Joy, who have inspired intergenerational music lovers in Evanston for more than thirty years with their holistic African American Gospel Music.

  • Evanston Dance Ensemble, which has brought dance into the lives of young people and to audiences across the city for over twenty-five years.

  • Evanston Mural Arts Program, the public art arm of Art Encounter, has brightened walls across the city, creating approximately twenty-five murals in the past five years.

Anniversaries Recognized:

  • Theo 25th anniversary

  • Piven Theater Workshop 50th anniversary

​“The arts are fundamentally important to the vibrancy of our city. I am delighted to recognize the work of these three outstanding groups and the joy they have brought through song, dance and murals.”

Mayor Biss

Previous Awards

2021 Awardees

  • Identity Performing Arts, Ginny Chung-Lin Lo

  • Tim Rhoze

  • Doug Haight

Anniversaries Recognized:

  • Evanston Children’s Choir 20th anniversary

  • Evanston Dance Ensemble 25th anniversary

  • Funkadesi 25th anniversary

  • Evanston Symphony Orchestra 75th anniversary

  • Music Institute of Chicago 90th anniversary

2020 Awardees

Equity-Based Art Projects and Distributing Kids' Art Kits:

  • ETHS basketball team and their BLM street painting at the High School

  • Side/Lot and their BLM painting on the Evanston Arts Center lot

  • Dawes school mural

  • Kids Create Change  

  • YEA

  • Open Studio Project

  • Makers Outpost

  • Evanston Made

  • Art Encounter


  • Evanston Made

  • Fran Joy


  • Harvey Pranian

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