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Cornerstone of the Arts Award

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Sculptural Award designed by Ken Matsumoto. The physical award is an original sculpture piece commissioned by the Office of Cultural Affairs and designed by renowned local sculptor Ken Matsumoto. The award is one of a set of five pieces designed specifically for this purpose. 

Congratulations to the recipients for the 2018 Cornerstone of the Arts Award!


  • Inaugurated in September 2013, the Cornerstone of the Arts Award honors individuals who have had a significant and long lasting impact on San Jose’s art and cultural landscape.  

  • The award is given annually to a person who has provided enduring leadership in the advancement of arts and culture in San Jose and increased the understanding of the value of the arts in creating a thriving community.

  • In 2016, the Cornerstone of the Arts Awards has expanded in two important ways. Community members may now submit nominations, and the awards have expanded to include two new categories, Business Support for the Arts Awards and Creative Impact Awards.

  • The Award is spear-headed by the Arts Commission with support of the Office of Cultural Affairs. 

  • For more information about the eligibility and criteria for please see the nomination guidelines. 

  • We are currently accepting nominations for the 2018 Cornerstone of the Arts. To submit a nomination, please review the 2018 nomination guidelines Submissions for the 2018 Cornerstone of the Arts are now closed. We will be soliciting for nominations in Spring 2019.

Award Categories 

  • Cornerstone of the Arts - An individual(s) or creative entrepreneur who have provided effective leadership and/or support over time, leading to the betterment of San Jose’s arts community and the quality of life for our citizens.

  • Creative Impact Award - An individual(s) or creative entrepreneur from either the nonprofit or business sector who have led a cultural or artistic project or special event that has made a significant impact on the community. 

  • Business Support for the Arts Award - Businesses that have made a significant impact in strengthening the vibrancy of San Jose through their leadership and support for the arts. It is envisioned that the selected honoree is a business that support the arts philanthropically or through a sponsorship.