Click to Home
Go To Search
Office of Cultural Affairs
San Jose Home
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.

Award Categories 

  • Cornerstone of the Arts - An individual or individuals 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 or individuals 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 demonstrated strong support of the arts community in San Jose.    


For more information about the eligibility and criteria for please see the nomination guidelines. We will be soliciting for nominations in Spring 2018.

2016 Cornerstone of the Arts Event 

Sculptural Award designed by Ken Matsumoto. 

Ken Matsumoto sculpture design.jpg
                                                             Photo by: Daniel Garcia

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.

Cornerstone of the Arts Award Recipients 

Congratulations to the recipients for the 2016 Cornerstone of the Arts Awards! 

Roy and PJ Hirabayashi, founders of San Jose Taiko

Roy PJ  Hirabayashi 2.jpg
                                                                                          Photo courtesy of San Jose Taiko

Business Support for the Arts Award Recipient

Steve Borkenhagen, owner of Cafe Stritch 

        Photo SB and stritch Ron Orlando 2.jpg        
                              Photo courtesy of Steve Borkenhagen 

Creative Impact Award Recipient

Anne and Mark's Art Party 

 Li_Ma_Installation_300dpi 2.jpg 
Photo Courtesy of Anne and Mark's Art Party
                                              "633 Hours of Intergalactic"

                                                                Photo by: Jim Gensheimer