About the Peter Capell Award for Midwestern Creativity & Entrepreneurship
In honor of Peter Capell’s contributions to Arts Midwest and Midwestern creativity, the Peter Capell Award for Midwestern Creativity & Entrepreneurship has been established as a time-limited award, running for nine years beginning in 2022. The award recognizes Midwesterners working in the creative sector who demonstrate entrepreneurial thinking and business acumen.
Peter Capell served on the Arts Midwest Board of Directors for 23 years and served as Board Chair from 2012 until 2021. During his time as Chair, he led Arts Midwest through the creation and launch of new national programs like Creating Connection; the development of Arts Midwest’s first major giving campaign; and a founder leadership transition. Before retiring, Peter held a number of national and global leadership positions at General Mills in Minneapolis from 1985 to 2012. His work and travels fueled his strong business acumen and entrepreneurial mindset, both of which he brought to his role at Arts Midwest. He is a passionate advocate for creativity and entrepreneurialism, a markedly generous philanthropist, and is deeply committed to strengthening and celebrating the Midwest creative sector.
Over the course of its operation, the award will recognize an individual located in each of Arts Midwest’s nine member states. The award will be open to nominees from one state each year, beginning with Illinois in 2022. Arts Midwest is working with the Wisconsin Arts Board for the 2023 award.
Applications for candidates from Wisconsin are now closed. The next cycle of the Peter Capell Award will open in 2024.
How to Apply
This $2,500 award recognizes Midwesterners whose work demonstrates entrepreneurial thinking and business acumen. Over nine years, the award will recognize an individual located in each of Arts Midwest’s nine member states. The 2022 award went to Tyrone Phillips from Illinois.
The 2023 award will be open to nominees in Wisconsin. Applications are due by September 18, 2023.
Candidates’ work must involve creative or cultural programming, and they must demonstrate entrepreneurial thinking and business acumen in expanding access to arts and creativity in their communities. Examples of these traits include, but are not limited to:
- The identification and pursuit of innovative solutions to issues or problems.
- A passion for seeking out new opportunities that drive organizational success.
- Cross-sector partnerships that advance creativity and build communities.
- Projects, actions, and leadership that lead to strong community impact and align with Arts Midwest’s core values of equity, integrity, and learning.
- Projects, actions, and leadership that serve communities and populations that have faced marginalization and inequitable access to resources, and that work to break down barriers to access for under-represented and/or under-resourced communities and populations.
To be eligible for the 2023 award, an individual must:
- Live and/or work within Wisconsin or Native Nations sharing that same geography. Their primary impact should be within that geographic region.
- Be employed by an organization that offers creative or cultural programming as a manager, director, or similar position. Organizations may be nonprofit or for-profit.
- Have a demonstrated history of engaging in partnerships and collegiality within the community in which they work.
- Have at least 10 years’ experience in their field.
Arts Midwest welcomes nominations for creative leaders that are diverse across lines of identity, including but not limited to race, ethnicity, nationality, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, appearance, religion, age, geographic location, expertise, education, socioeconomic background, and professional level.
We strongly encourage the nomination of leaders who identify as Black, Indigenous, Latina/Latino/Latinx, Persons of Color, LGBTQIA+, Persons with Disabilities, Persons whose primary language is not English, and/or from rural and remote communities.
The following individuals are not eligible for the award:
- Current Arts Midwest Board and staff members, and their families.
- Elected officials.
Applications are accepted in our grants portal system, SmartSimple. Other means of applying (Word document, taking information over the phone, etc.) can be accommodated with advance notice. Please submit accessibility requests here.
Anyone may submit a nomination that meets the eligibility criteria noted above. Self-nominations are allowed. Applications are due September 18, 2023.
Individuals will be asked to answer:
- Eligibility questions
- Optional demographic information
- Narrative: In 500 words or fewer, please explain why the applicant/nominee is an exceptional candidate for this award based on their Entrepreneurial Thinking, Creative Accomplishments, and Community Commitment.
- Supporting documentation: Please upload one file that showcases the applicant/nominee’s Entrepreneurial Thinking, Creative Accomplishments, and Community Commitment. Examples include: a two-page document (press releases, media article, brochure, resume, portfolio) OR an audio or video file of no more than 5 minutes in length.
Submit applications or nominations at the following URL: https://artsmidwest.us-1.smartsimple.com/
First time users of this portal will need to register in the category of Individuals. Refer to this video walkthrough for registration assistance.
Arts Midwest staff members will review nominations for eligibility and will recommend a group of finalists to a committee of Arts Midwest Board members. This committee will recommend a winner to Mr. Capell for his approval.
Staff and board will use the following review criteria to assess nominations:
- Entrepreneurial thinking: Does the applicant/nominee demonstrate entrepreneurial thinking, business acumen, and innovation in their work and accomplishments?
- Creative accomplishments: Does the applicant/nominee’s work include notable accomplishments in creativity, arts, and/or cultural programming? Has the applicant/nominee showcased projects and/or leadership that led to strong community impact and align with Arts Midwest’s core values of equity, integrity, and learning?
- Community commitment: Does the applicant/nominee demonstrate a commitment to their community, in terms of equitable practices that increase access to the arts, creativity, and/or cultural programming for under-resourced communities? Has the applicant/nominee fostered cross-sector partnerships that advance creativity and build communities?
Arts Midwest staff will notify the awardee in October 2023. The award recipient will receive a $2,500 unrestricted cash award.
- August 21, 2023: Nominations open
- September 18, 2023: Nominations close
- October 2023: Staff and Board conduct review
- Late October 2023: Awardee announced
Applications are accepted in our grants portal system, SmartSimple. Click the link below to submit your applications or nominations.
Peter Capell Award Stories and Updates
Brenda DeVita receives 2023 Peter Capell Award for Midwestern Creativity & Entrepreneurship
October 25 2023
Arts Midwest is thrilled to announce that Brenda DeVita, artistic director of American Players Theater, has won the 2023 Peter Capell Award for Midwestern Creativity & Entrepreneurship.
Applications are now open for the 2023 Peter Capell Award for Midwestern Creativity & Entrepreneurship
August 21 2023
The 2023 award will honor a Wisconsinite who has made a significant impact on their arts community.
Tyrone Phillips receives inaugural Peter Capell Award for Midwestern Creativity & Entrepreneurship
November 15 2022
Arts Midwest is thrilled to announce that Tyrone Phillips, founding artistic director at Definition Theatre in Chicago, Illinois, has won the inaugural Peter Capell Award for Midwestern Creativity & Entrepreneurship.
Questions about the Peter Capell Award?
If you have questions about the Peter Capell Award for Midwestern Creativity & Entrepreneurship, please reach out.Email us