Alan W. Cooper served as Executive Director of MAAF for 23 years, from 1994 to 2017. Under Cooper’s Leadership, MAAF established a reputation for excellence, integrity, and innovative programs and services that extends beyond the mid-Atlantic region to national and international communities. Cooper fostered 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, including USArtists International, the French-American Jazz Exchange, Southern Exposure: Performing Arts of Latin America, and the Living Legacy Jazz Award. Cooper’s commitment to diverse artistic expression and belief in the arts as an agent of change made him a champion of artists, arts organizations, and audiences throughout his career. His impact will be felt for many years to come.Established in 2017, the Alan Cooper Leadership in the Arts Award honors the legacy of an arts leader who has made outstanding contributions to the arts through extraordinary leadership. The Award seeks to recognize individuals who continue Cooper’s legacy of leadership in the arts sector.