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The 2017 UCDA Foundation Krider Prize for Creativity was awarded to Samantha Robison, founder and executive director of Awareness and Prevention Through Art (aptART). aptArt is an organization of artists and activists who aim to share with conflict affected and marginalized youth an artistic experience alongside the opportunity to express themselves. They create outlets to build awareness and promote prevention about the issues affecting people’s lives. Samantha is out doing good in the world through art. 


Richard Jividen, UCDA Foundation President and Barbara Esmark, UCDA Foundation Krider Prize for Creativity chair presented the award. Barbara said, “Samantha Robison embodies creative thinking and action. Fearless and independent from an early age, according to her parents, Samantha has always had a sense of human value and has treated all people with a unique openness and equanimity. From children, for whom according to her mother, Kathy, she is a magnet, to heads of state and tribal leaders, Samantha allows them a voice, rather than projecting her own. Her father, Lee, said, “It was hard to pinpoint exactly when, maybe while she was still in college, that I realized that Samantha was one of my heroes. It was an odd moment realizing that about your own daughter.”  In turn, when I first spoke to Samantha about her accomplishments, she credited her parents for imbuing in her the idea that she could do whatever she wanted to do if she had the desire and determination.

“Samantha also credits Lewis and Clark College in Portland, for allowing her to chart her own course,” Barbara continued. “She chose to study Art and Political Science, a path on which she walked to the intersection of some of the world’s most volatile and troubling areas, from which she has brought forth expression, hope and a sense of shared humanity.”

Samantha Robison accepted the award at the UCDA Design Conference in Baltimore, Maryland, October 7, 2017.