CONTACT:  Anne Katz, Executive Director
MADISON, WI-Arts Wisconsin, Wisconsin’s statewide community cultural development organization, presented the ninth annual Arts in the Community Awards on Thursday, October 19, 2017, during the League of Wisconsin Municipalities’ 119th annual conference, at the Radisson Paper Valley Hotel in Appleton, WI.
These awards, presented by Arts Wisconsin in partnership with the League of Municipalities, honor communities and civic leaders around the state for championing the arts as integral to economic, educational and community vitality and success.   The awards are unique works of glass art designed and created by Matthew Heindl of Maatwerk Studios in Blue Mounds, WI.
 “The Arts in the Community Awards celebrate visionary leadership in and committed advocacy for the arts in all corners of the state,” says Arts Wisconsin Board President Ann Huntoon. “We’re proud to partner with the League of Municipalities to present these awards, and appreciative of the sponsors who make the awards possible.”
2017 awardees are:

Mark Elliott, Executive Director, Northwest Passage, Webster, WI 

Mark Elliott has led Northwest Passage, which provides innovative residential mental health services to at-risk youth ages 12-17 and their families through innovative mental health services, since 2000.   NWP’s cornerstone therapeutic arts program is In a New Light, using photography as a medium for expression and healing.  Since 2012, photography art by NWP youth has been supported by the National Park Service and other national, state and
local funders, and has been exhibited in more than 40 locations locally and nationally.
The In a New Light Gallery in Webster showcases NWP students’ artwork  to the public, giving youth a platform upon which to use their art to rewrite society’s narrative about themselves and other vulnerable youth like them. The gallery has filled a decade-old arts and culture void in the area and is one of the few art galleries in Burnett County.

Stephanie Samarripa, Anti-Graffiti Program Coordinator, City of Milwaukee Department of Neighborhood Services, Milwaukee, WI  

Since 2012, the City of Milwaukee’s Department of Neighborhood Services has been committed to ensuring that public art is created in neighborhoods with, by, and for the residents of that neighborhood, reclaiming public space through art as sources of pride for residents and the community.The Department of Neighborhood Services has historically been involved in fighting blight through correction of building code violations.  The outreach beautification efforts leverage building knowledge and community connections to support a multi-faceted outreach section that partners with community groups, artist collectives, and residents to create public art that is reflective of Milwaukee’s rich diversity and heritage.

Generous sponsors of the 2017 awards are:
  • Heid Music, of Appleton, Green Bay, Madison, Oshkosh and Wisconsin Rapids, WI, providing musical instruments and quality music instruction throughout the state
  • Redevelopment Resources of Wausau and Madison, WI, providing customized economic development and strategic planning solutions for the development and redevelopment of communities
  • Vierbicher Associates of Madison, Pewaukee, Prairie du Chien, and Reedsburg, WI, providing consulting services to guide and deliver quality land and community development.
Previous Arts in the Community award winners are: 
  • 2016:  Creative Downtown Appleton, led by Josh Dukelow, community activist, and Paula Vandehey, City of Appleton Public Works Director, engaging the arts and culture in all aspects of community placemaking;; and Alan Nugent, business and cultural tourism leader and a founder of the Widespot Performing Arts Center in Stockholm
  • 2015:  the City of West Bend, for long-term commitment to promote the visual and performing arts in West Bend; and the Waunakee Creative Economy Initiative, a village-led, ongoing effort to grow Waunakee’s creative economy.
  • 2014:  Circuit Court Judge Joseph Boles and Pierce County Criminal Justice Coordinating Council, based in Ellsworth, WI, for using the arts to improve law enforcement training in de-escalating mental health crisis calls; and Reedsburg Mayor Dave Estes, Reedsburg City Administrator Ken Witt, and Reedsburg Chamber of Commerce Director Kristine Koenecke for support of Fermentation Fest – A Live Culture Convergence and the Farm/Art DTour. 
  • 2013:  Rice Lake Main Street Program, Rice Lake; and the Sheboygan Performing Arts Association, Sheboygan
  • 2012:  State Sen. Sheila Harsdorf, River Falls; State Sen. Bob Jauch, Poplar; Marlene Doerr Kreilkamp, Founder/former Director, SHARP Literacy, Milwaukee; and Anastasia Shartin, Visual Arts Director, Phipps Center for the Arts, Hudson
  • 2011:  Bill Schierl, President, Arts Alliance of Portage County, Stevens Point; and former Mayor Jeff Scrima, Waukesha
  • 2010: Lois Smith, founder of “Walls of Wittenberg,” Wittenberg; Julia Taylor, President, Greater Milwaukee Committee, Milwaukee; the Green Bay Neighborhood Leadership Council’s Beautification Committee, Green Bay; and the The Hometown Gazette newspaper, Clayton
  • 2009:  Carol Kratchowill, Vice President, Sauk County Art Association, Merrimac; and Former Menomonie Mayor Dennis Cropp and former Dunn County Board member B. Jane Hoyt, for the Mabel Tainter Center for the Arts, Menomonie.
About the presenting organizations:
Arts Wisconsin is Wisconsin’s community cultural development organization.  Celebrating 25 years in 2017,  Arts Wisconsin works to ensure that everyone, everywhere in the state has the opportunity to participate in the arts, speaks up and advocates for,and advances the arts, creativity and culture throughout Wisconsin, and connects and serves the wide-ranging, diverse, creative people, organizations, businesses and communities making the arts come alive in every corner of the state.

The League of Wisconsin Municipalities is a nonprofit and nonpartisan association of

cities and villages that acts as an information clearinghouse, lobbying organization, technical assistance provider, and legal resource throughout Wisconsin.
For more information on the Arts in the Community Awards, the arts in Wisconsin, and Arts Wisconsin, contact Anne Katz, 608 255 8316 |
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