Ann Holtschlag honored with the CMA’s Craft Leadership Award

March 2, 2023

The Columbia Museum of Art is proud to have presented the 2022 John Richard Craft Leadership Award to Ann Holtschlag. A committed volunteer and community advocate, Holtschlag epitomizes the values the CMA recognizes each year with the Craft Award. CMA Board President Cathy Love and CMA Executive Director Della Watkins presented the award to Holtschlag at an elegant appreciation dinner celebrating her service on Wednesday, March 1. The Craft Award, named for the museum’s first director, is the highest honor the CMA bestows.

2022 Craft Award recipient Ann Holtschlag (left) and CMA Executive Director Della Watkins (right). Photo courtesy Victor Johnson / Columbia Museum of Art.

“Ann’s leadership, resourcefulness, and dedication to the CMA are amazing gifts, enriching programming and the lives of many, and we celebrate her tremendous volunteer spirit,” says Watkins.

Holtschlag has been a staunch supporter of the CMA for over 20 years, helping to form the museum’s group of highly trained volunteer guides known as the Docent Corps into what it is today, supporting exhibitions as a docent, and serving on numerous CMA committees. She is especially proud of and integral to Art Blossoms — the annual exhibition fundraiser now in its third year — reaching out to South Carolina gardening communities and opening the doors of the museum for new interactions. A native of Seattle, Holtschlag also enjoys sharing her enthusiastic approach to all things Columbia through her volunteerism with Historic Columbia, the SC State Museum, and Columbia Green.

“Being a docent at the CMA is a gift I have given myself, and it’s a gift that keeps on giving with every new exhibition, installation, and event,” says Holtschlag. “Many docents have become my dear friends, and a talented and dedicated staff has enriched my life beyond measure.”

The visitor also motivates her volunteer service — Holtschlag enjoys seeing how guests engage in each work of art and loves those “aha!” moments when a visitor joins the conversation with an insight or comment.

“Art enriches our lives and is like food for the soul,” says Holtschlag. “It sends a message every time you look at it.”


About the CMA   

The Columbia Museum of Art is a charitable nonprofit organization dedicated to lifelong learning and community enrichment for all. Located in the heart of downtown Columbia, S.C., the CMA ranks among the leading art institutions in the country and is distinguished by its innovative exhibitions and creative educational programs. At the heart of the CMA and its programs is its collection, which encompasses 7,000 works and spans 5,000 years of art history. Established in 1950, the CMA now welcomes more than 150,000 visitors annually and is a catalyst for community creativity and education, engaging people of all ages and backgrounds. It is the recipient of a National Medal from the Institute of Museum and Library Services, a National Art Education Association award for its contributions to arts education, a National Park Foundation Award, and two Governor’s Awards for the Arts for outstanding contributions to the arts in South Carolina. In order to serve even more audiences, the CMA underwent a transformation. Funded by a successful capital campaign, the two-year renovation project garnered new collection galleries with a progressive thematic layout, new studios for artmaking, cutting-edge program and event spaces, and an entrance on Main Street. Overall, more than 15,000 square feet of functional space were added to the building’s existing footprint. To learn more, visit