Mayor Bowser Opens Nominations for the 38th Annual Mayor’s Arts Awards

Friday, August 4, 2023

(Washington, DC) – Today, Mayor Muriel Bowser announced that nominations are now being accepted for the 38th Annual Mayor’s Arts Awards. The ceremony presents the most prestigious honors conferred by the District to local artists, arts educators, nonprofit organizations, creative and fashion industries, along with patrons of the arts and humanities. This year’s theme, Born Bold, embodies the spirit of empowerment, resilience, innovation, and fearlessness that defines DC’s rich artistic heritage and culture.

“If you know a creative in DC who makes our city more vibrant, who helps tell the story of DC, and who represents and supports our community – now is the time to nominate them for the Mayor’s Arts Awards,” said Mayor Bowser. “Our creative community embodies the spirit and cultural richness of DC, and we look forward to celebrating them not just at the Mayor’s Arts Awards, but throughout September.”

The Mayor’s Arts Awards features 14 distinct categories, and all nominations and awardees, with the exception of Distinguished Honor, will be chosen by the residents of the District across all eight wards. The nomination round is open now and ends on Thursday, August 17 at 5:00 p.m. During this round, District residents can submit DC creative nominations across categories.

The Mayor’s Arts Awards, produced by the award-winning Office of Cable Television, Film, Music, and Entertainment (OCTFME) in conjunction with DC’s Creative Affairs Office, will be a spectacular celebration with live performances and surprise guests.

“The artists and creatives who call Washington, DC their home are unparalleled,” said LaToya Foster, Director of the Office of Cable Television, Film, Music, and Entertainment (OCTFME). “It is so important to celebrate and acknowledge the remarkable achievements of our talented community. Through Mayor Muriel Bowser Presents the Mayor's Arts Awards, DC residents have the inclusive opportunity to participate in the nomination and voting process.”

Visit to nominate DC creatives in the various Mayor’s Arts Awards categories, listed below:


  • Award for Excellence in Arts Education
  • Award for Excellence as a Community Arts Advocate
  • Award for Excellence in the Creative Industries
  • Award for Excellence in Fashion and Beauty Industries
  • Award for Excellence in the Humanities
  • Award for Visionary Leadership
  • Award for Excellence in Media Arts
  • Award for Excellence in the Nightlife Economy
  • Award for Excellence in Performing Arts
  • Award for Excellence in Visual Arts
  • Award for Excellence in Youth Creativity
  • Emerging Creative Award
  • Larry Neal Writers’ Award

Nomination Round:

Nominations can be submitted now through Thursday, August 17, 2023 at 5 pm at

Voting Round:

Public voting will take place from Wednesday, September 6, 2023 at 10 am through Friday, September 15, 2023 at 5 pm at

Winners will be announced at the 38th Annual Mayor’s Arts Awards ceremony on Thursday, September 28, 2023. Residents are invited to attend this free annual event. For updates and details, please visit

In addition to the Mayor’s Arts Awards, September’s 202Creates Month features an array of events and activations honoring, celebrating and elevating DC’s creative community. Visit for information on other family-friendly arts and cultural events happening throughout the entire month.