Public Services Administration

Golden Paintbrush Awards

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Submission deadline:

​April 30, 2021​

AAPAC Golden Paintbrush Logo.pngThe Golden Paintbrush Award recognizes adults, children and organizations who have encouraged creativity in Ann Arbor's publicly visible spaces. Awards will be given for art which demonstrates collaboration and excellence, and which adds a bit of magic to our daily life.  Visual, music and other arts, including online, are eligible.

Anyone can submit a nomination.  

Judging criteria

A panel of three to five judges will be assembled representing local residents and leaders in the arts, education and business communities. 

The judging criteria will be:
  • Creativity/skill​ – 50% (is the project unique, impactful and well executed)
  • Civic Engagement – 25% (how the project has involved members of our community)
  • Visible and Sustainable –25% (is it easy to see and can​ be easily maintained) 
To encourage flexibility, the judges will collectively define how they use each of the criteria. The award is to recognize and promote creative civic achievement as well as appreciation of the variety of public art in Ann Arbor.

Four awards will be presented. The judges will determine how many certificates to give for each project, to recognize individuals who were instrumental in its creation.

The chair of the Public Art Commission will facilitate judging but will ​not vote.

AAPAC will recommend awards be presented by the Mayor at a City Council meeting.​

Frequently asked questions

  1. What is the Golden Paintbrush Award?

    The Award is given to those individuals or organizations whose involvement in public art exemplify excellence, collaboration, and add a bit of magic to life in Ann Arbor.

  1. Is the Award for visual art only?

    No, all and any of the arts are eligible for nomination. Categories are: General; Virtual/Online; and K-12. There will also be an uncategorized People's Choice award.
  2. Is the Award given to people or projects?

    A project is selected by the judges, but people are awarded for their role in the project.
  3. Who can submit a nomination for the award?

    Anyone.  You do not have to be an Ann Arbor resident, but the nominee has to be located within the city and the project is not have been completed more than 36 months prior to the deadline.
  4. How do I submit a nomination?

    Nominations will be accepted on via the for through April 30, 2021 with the intention that winners for that year will be awarded in late spring, followed by recognition at a City Council meeting. 
  5. Who is eligible to receive the Award?

    A project or organization is given the award but those individuals who create, work on, finance, or otherwise support a creative project will receive a certificate of their achievement. The awardees do not have to be residents of Ann Arbor.
  6. Can I nominate myself?

    Yes, you can nominate a project you created or worked on as long as the project is located within the city.
  7. How many Golden Paintbrush Awards will be awarded each year?

    Up to four projects each year will be recongized. The number of certificates awarded per project will be determined by the judges.
  8. Who judges the nominations?

    A panel of up to five judges will be appointed by the Ann Arbor Public Art Commission to represent local residents and leaders in the arts, education and business communities.

  9. How will the nominations be judged?

    Nominations will be judged on craftsmanship, visibility, creativity, impact, civic engagement, and sustainability (including ease of maintenance if relevant).

    The People's Choice Award will be judged by voting on the Ann Arbor Public Art Commission website.
  10. What will I receive if my project is awarded a Golden Paintbrush?

    You will receive a certificate and a specially commissioned tile at a City Council meeting. ​

  11. Can I receive more than one Golden Paintbrush award?

    The award is for a creative project, so, if you were involved in more than one creative project, yes, you may receive more than one certificate – even in the same year.​