IAPD Press Release

Arts Alliance Illinois congratulates the following winners of the Helen Doria Arts in the Park Award:


Chicago Park District, City of Chicago and The Trust for Public Land for The 606

Community Park District of LaGrange Park

Washington Park District


They continue to be impressed with the wonderful things our park districts are doing to promote and support the arts.  I would like to thank all of our applicants this year!   

2015 Gala Winners


The Arts in the Park Award is named in memory of Helen Doria, who dedicated her career to creating a space for the arts in Chicago's parks. From her early work as a cultural programmer developing cultural festivals for the Chicago Park District, to her appointment by Mayor Richard M. Daley as Millennium Park's first executive director, Helen envisioned parks as democratic spaces that can provide access to arts and culture for everyone. She was a judge for this award since its inception in 2009 until her passing in 2012, and her leadership was instrumental in its development.

This award recognizes agencies (park districts, forest preserves, conservation, recreation, and special recreation agencies) that support the arts and partner with artists and arts organizations to enhance the quality of life in their communities. Applicants are encouraged to discuss the full scope of arts activities they support, however, outstanding individual programs or events will also be considered. Application narrative should address the following:

  • How your agency actively and intentionally demonstrates its commitment to the arts
  • How your agency integrates the arts into overall strategies to strengthen the community and address community needs
  • How your agency partners with artists and arts organizations to implement its initiatives

Applications will be evaluated according to the following criteria:

  • Equity of access to arts programming among all citizens
  • Variety of artistic opportunities and experiences across multiple disciplines (i.e. dance, performance, visual art, media, music, etc.)
  • Evidence of collaboration with a broad range of partners, including teaching artists and organizations
  • Integration of the arts in non-arts programs
  • Diversity of ethnic and cultural programming represented
  • Long-term commitment to arts in the community
  • Development of new relationships with arts providers and experimentation with innovative program offerings
  • Sustained relationships with existing arts partners
  • Community impact and engagement
  • Press coverage highlights the importance of the arts in the community

Helen Doria Arts in the Park Nomination