The CINTAS Foundation Lifetime Achievement Award recognizes artists, architects, composers and creative writers of Cuban descent who have made creative contributions of outstanding significance to their fields.

The award recognizes the individual’s whole of a career, rather than, or in addition to, a single contribution. The award is presented to living artists whose work spans a lifetime and push boundaries. Lifetime Achievement Award winners are credited with changing their world and inspiring others to do the same. Only in the most rare and exceptional cases is an award granted posthumously. More than one individual may receive the award for a particular discipline in a single year. Not all disciplines are awarded each time. Institutions, organizations and students are not eligible for the award.

The candidates should have:

  • Made a positive impact on their respective field of architecture, composition, creative writing and visual arts.

  • Many years of a creative body of work

  • Earned recognition by other entities in their discipline, awards, citations, etc.

  • Earned the respect of their peers

  • Been generally acknowledged as having reached the pinnacle of their discipline

  • Demonstrated over their lifetime innovation and originality, creativity and mastery in their discipline at a national or international level

The CINTAS Foundation Lifetime Achievement Award was launched in 1988 when it was awarded to Lydia Cabrera and Enrique Riverón. Eleven CINTAS Foundation Lifetime Achievement Awards have been granted since then.

After careful deliberation of the merit and quality of the body of work of the nominees, the Board of Directors of the CINTAS Foundation selects the honoree.

The award is highly selective and is not automatically granted annually but rather from time to time.

The recipients receive a commemorative award, an honorarium and designation on the CINTAS website with links to their body of work. They are honored at a reception.

The commemorative award is a Cuban peso, the official currency of Cuba. The Cuban one-peso Star silver coin was first issued in 1915, the first year that Cuba issued coins. It was issued until 1934. A new silver peso showing a woman representing the Cuban Republic was issued from 1934 to 1939. Known as the ABC coins, they symbolized the establishment of a politically and economically independent nation.

The Lifetime Achievement Award for music composition was renamed in 2009 as the CINTAS Foundation William B. Warren Lifetime Achievement Award in Music Composition in honor of William B. Warren, president of the CINTAS Foundation from 1985 to 2004.

The Lifetime Achievement Awards are announced in anticipation of the ceremony to honor the recipients and is usually associated with the annual CINTAS Fellowships awards presented on October 10th.

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