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Alan W. Cooper served as Executive Director of Mid Atlantic Arts for twenty-three years, from 1994 to 2017. Under Cooper’s Leadership, Mid Atlantic Arts established a reputation for excellence, integrity, and innovative programs and services that extend beyond the mid-Atlantic region to national and international communities. Cooper nurtured a true partnership among the region’s State Arts Agencies and the nation’s Regional Arts Organizations. His belief in the importance of public-private partnerships and international cultural exchange was reflected in the programs he developed and fostered, and his commitment to diverse creative expression and belief in the arts as an agent of change made him a champion of the arts throughout his career.
Established in 2017, the Alan Cooper Leadership in the Arts Award celebrates leaders who continue Cooper’s legacy of creating responsive and innovative opportunities for artists, arts organizations, and audiences.