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About the Event

Each year, on the first Tuesday in December, the Arts Council brings together Lansing’s growing arts community to kick off the holiday season at its annual Holiday Glitter & Applause Awards. This popular event brings together area artists and their supporters in celebration of the arts scene in the Metro Lansing area. 

Held at the University Club of MSU, Holiday Glitter & Applause Awards traditionally welcomes more than 200 guests and serves as a celebration of the arts. It also provides the Arts Council the opportunity to honor artists, supporters and leaders in the Capital Region with our annual Applause Awards.

The aim of the Applause Awards is to recognize individuals, businesses, organizations and other advocates who have made significant contributions to the arts in the Capital Region through their leadership, commitment, vision and support.

Award Categories

All awards are by nomination and will open again in October 2018.

Ted Sondag Individual Leadership Award

The Individual Leadership Award recognizes an individual in the Capital Region who has made significant contributions to the arts or to the mission of the Arts Council through their leadership, commitment, vision and support.

2017 winner: Tom Ferris

Business Leadership Award

The Business Leadership Award recognizes a business or corporation for their leadership, commitment and vision in support of the arts or to the mission of the Arts Council through contributed know-how, significant financial or in-kind support or development of exemplary alliances that have provided valuable support to artists and/or arts and cultural organizations in the capital region.

2017 winner: Friedland Industries

Civic Leadership Award

The Civic Leadership Award recognizes the significant contributions of an elected or appointed individual within a city, village, township, county or downtown development authority through their leadership, commitment, vision and support of arts and culture in the capital region.

2017 winner: City of Lansing, Virg Bernero

Individual Artist Award

The Individual Artist Award recognizes an individual who lives in the tri-counties who exemplifies leadership, quality and an expansive work portfolio/resume in any of the following mediums: visual arts, performing arts, literary arts, and/or the design field, who has received local, statewide, and /or national acclaim and has made significant impact on our community through the practice and production of his/her art form.

2017 winner: Brian Whitfield

Arts and Cultural Organization Award

The Arts & Cultural Organization Award recognizes non-profit and public organizations and/or programs within the Capital Region that are of high artistic quality and serve to enhance life in our community through the arts, culture or creativity. The award pays special attention to both long-standing programs and organizations that have played a consistent role in the community and new organizations and programs that meet a previously unmet community need or focus area.

2017 winner: Wharton Center for Performing Arts

Arts Educator Award

The Arts Educator Award recognizes the work and dedication of an arts educator (elementary, secondary, college/university, and/or community instructor) in helping and mentoring organizations and individuals (youth and/or adults) to uncover a greater capacity to create, connect and deepen artistic pursuits and relationships with their community.

2017 winner: Jeff Croley

Creative Community Award

The Creative Community Award recognizes significant achievements and projects that exemplify best practices in creative placemaking by any of the following or a combination of the following: individuals, nonprofit organizations, corporations, local municipalities, neighborhood associations, commercial associations, school and/or any other entity.  Award winners will have contributed to the making of great places where ideas, leadership and persistence play a vital role in creating vibrant, thriving and livable places in our region.

2017 winner: CharlotteRising

Nominations  are now closed.

Past Award Recipients


Creative Community Award Allen Neighborhood Center

Arts Educator Award Laura Weber

Arts & Cultural Organization Award Keys to Creativity

Individual Artist Award Chad Badgero

Business Leadership Award Greater Lansing Convention and Visitors Bureau

Civic Leadership Award East Lansing Arts Commission

Ted Sondag Individual Leadership Award Julie Pingston


Creative Community Award REO Town Commercial Association

Arts Educator Award Tina Newhauser

Arts & Cultural Organization Award Impression 5 Science Center

Individual Artist Award Craig Mitchell Smith

Business Leadership Award Lansing Economic Area Partnership (LEAP)

Civic Leadership Award Ingham County Board of Commissioners

Ted Sondag Individual Leadership Award John Loose


Business Leadership Award Lansing Community College Dr. Brent Knight

Civic Leadership Award Nathan Triplett Mayor of East Lansing

Individual Leadership Award Nancy & Gary McRay 


Business Leadership Award City Pulse

Individual Leadership Award Joan & Jerry Mattson


Business Leadership Award Warmels & Comstock, PLLC

Individual Leadership Award Nancy Austin Dixon


Business Leadership Award Peckham, Inc.

Individual Leadership Award John & Beverly O'Malia


Business Leadership Award Jackson National Life

Individual Leadership Award Selma & Stanley Hollander


Business Leadership Award Sutton Advisors

Individual Leadership Award Walt Sorg


Business Leadership Award MSU Federal Credit Union

Individual Leadership Award Kevin & Lauri Draggoo


Business Leadership Award Thomas M. Cooley Law School

Individual Award Chuck Hillary


Business Leadership Award Lansing Community College

Individual Award Suzanne B. Mills


Business Leadership Award CATA

Individual Award J. Irv Nichols


Business Leadership Award Keystone Design Group

Individual Award Basement 5 Plus


Business Leadership Award City of Lansing and Lansing Board of Water and Light

Individual Award Pat Munshaw


Business Leadership Award General Motors Lansing Operations

Individual Award Bob Mellor


Business Leadership Award Parish Corporation


Business Leadership Award Saper Galleries

Individual Award Mary West