Sondheim Prize

Created by the Baltimore Office of Promotion & The Arts, the Janet & Walter Sondheim Artscape Prize competition awards a $25,000 fellowship to assist in furthering the career of a visual artist or visual artist collaborators living and working in the Baltimore-Washington metropolitan area.

The Sondheim Artscape Prize is held in conjunction with the annual Artscape festival each year. Due to COVID-19, Artscape has been cancelled for 2020 and the 15th annual Sondheim Artscape Prize will occur virtually in 2020.

Janet & Walter Sondheim Artscape Prize Timeline

The Virtual Finalists’ Exhibition launched on Monday, July 6, 2020 and will be live through August 31, 2020. View the galleries here.

The award ceremony, a special highlight for the arts community in Baltimore every summer, will also occur virtually this year. Join BOPA, the jurors, and the six finalists for the big reveal of the $25,000 prize winner on Saturday, July 25, 2020 at 7:00 PM on BOPA’s YouTube page.

Janet & Walter Sondheim Artscape Prize
The Artscape prize is named in honor of Janet and Walter Sondheim who have been instrumental in creating the Baltimore City that exists today.  Walter Sondheim, Jr. had been one of Baltimore’s most important civic leaders for over 50 years.  His accomplishments included oversight of the desegregation of the Baltimore City Public Schools in 1954 when he was president of the Board of School Commissioners of Baltimore City.  Later, he was deeply involved in the development of Charles Center and the Inner Harbor.  He continued to be active in civic and educational activities in the city and state and served as the senior advisor to the Greater Baltimore Committee until his death in February 2007.
Janet Sondheim danced with the pioneering Denishawn Dancers, a legendary dance troupe founded by Ruth St. Denis and Ted Shawn.  Later, she turned to teaching where she spent 15 years at the Children’s Guild working with severely emotionally disturbed children.  After retirement, she was a volunteer tutor at Highlandtown Elementary School.  She married Walter in 1934, and they were together until her death in 1992.

Artscape
Artscape is America’s largest free arts festival, attracting more than 350,000 attendees over three days. Artscape features 150-plus fine artists, fashion designers and craftspeople; visual art exhibits on and off-site, including exhibitions, outdoor sculpture, art cars, photography and the Janet & Walter Sondheim Prize; incredible live concerts on outdoor stages; a full schedule of performing arts including dance, opera, theater, film, experimental music and the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra; family events such as hands-on projects, demonstrations, competitions, children’s entertainers and street theater; and a delicious, international menu of food and beverages that is available throughout the festival site. Artscape’s total economic impact on Baltimore City is $25.97 million.

BOPA thanks presenting sponsor M&T Bank for the $2,500 M&T Bank Finalist Awards, presented to each Sondheim Artscape Prize finalist.

The 2020 Janet & Walter Sondheim Artscape Prize is made possible through the generous annual support of presenting sponsor M&T Bank. Additional funds come from an endowment established with the support of the Abell Foundation, Baltimore Community Foundation, Amy and Chuck Newhall, Brown Advisory, Caplan Family Foundation, Charlesmead Foundation, Ellen Sondheim Dankert, France-Merrick Foundation, Greater Baltimore Committee, Hecht-Levi Foundation, Legg Mason, Rollins-Luetkemeyer Foundation, Henry & Ruth Blaustein Rosenberg Foundation, Rosemore, Inc., Rouse Company Foundation, Sigmund & Barbara Shapiro Philanthropic Fund, John Sondheim, William G. Baker, Jr. Memorial Fund, Whiting-Turner Contracting Company, and Patricia and Mark Joseph/The Shelter Foundation. BOPA would additionally like to thank the more than 40 individuals who contributed to the Sondheim Prize Endowment Fund in 2017 in honor of former BOPA CEO Bill Gilmore.

For more information on the Janet & Walter Sondheim Artscape Prize, call 410-752-8632.

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