“Arts In The Community” Awards 2016

Arts Wisconsin presents eighth annual Arts in the Community Awards
presented in partnership with the League of Wisconsin Municipalities

Arts Wisconsin announces the eighth annual Arts in the Community Awards.  These awards, presented by Arts Wisconsin in partnership with the League of Wisconsin Municipalities and made possible with generous support from Heid Music, Redevelopment Resources, and Vierbicher Associates, honor civic leaders and communities throughout the state for championing the arts as integral to economic, educational and community vitality.

The 2016 award winners are

  • Creative Downtown Appleton, led by Josh Dukelow, community activist, and Paula Vandehey, Director of the City of Appleton Public Works, which enriches downtown Appleton’s urban design, public spaces, accessibility and walkability; creates a diverse, inclusive and more livable downtown, and engages the arts and culture in all aspects of community placemaking
  • Alan Nugent, business and cultural tourism leader and a founder of the Widespot Performing Arts Center in Stockholm.

Award winners for 2016 were selected by a panel of civic leaders from a highly competitive statewide pool of nominees.

The award winners will be recognized at the League of Municipalities’ annual conference on Thursday, October 20, 2016, at the Holiday Inn Hotel and Conference Center in Stevens Point. The awardees will also participate in a conference panel discussion on the benefits, impact and value of the arts and creative economy in and for Wisconsin communities.

How to apply:

Applications must be submitted to Arts Wisconsin by email (info@artswisconsin.org) by 5 pm on Friday, August 19, 2016.

Award assessment criteria:  Awards are given on the basis of the following criteria:

o    Demonstrable, ongoing commitment to the arts by local and regional business and government leaders, agencies and organizations

o    Leadership on and championing of a program or project which demonstrates innovative and creative approaches to integrating the arts with civic strategies that has received broad and diverse community support.

Nomination procedure:  Organizations and government agencies may nominate an internal candidate. Additionally, individuals, nonprofit organizations, agencies or businesses may also nominate an elected official or a civic leader.

Each application must contain the following information:

o    Contact information for nominee and nominator (name, title, address, telephone number, email)

o    In a narrative of no more than 1000 words:

  • description of the program or project, including a discussion of its objectives, goals, outcomes, and supporters
  • an explanation of how the individual nominated, and the community, program or project, addresses each of the criteria outlined above.
  • Support materials are strongly encouraged to make the most competitive nomination possible.  These can be attached to the email nomination.:
    — Up to three letters of endorsement
    — Print, online, and/or social media promotion/recognition (maximum five examples)
    — Additional program-related materials (maximum five examples)

Selection process:  Arts Wisconsin staff will screen for eligibility based on criteria above. A review committee convened by Arts Wisconsin will be responsible for the final selection.

Please submit nomination info via email to Arts Wisconsin at info@artswisconsin.org by 5 pm on Friday, August 19, 2016.  Awardees will be announced via Arts Wisconsin’s website, social media outlets, and press releases, by Monday, September 19, 2016.  Awardees will be recognized and will participate in a panel on the arts and creative economy in Wisconsin, at the League’s annual conference on October 20, 2016 in Stevens Point.

Previous Arts in the Community award winners are:


  • Waunakee Creative Economy Initiative
  • City of West Bend


  • Circuit Court Judge Joseph Boles and Pierce County Criminal Justice Coordinating Council, based in Ellsworth, WI, for the development and implementation of a civic strategy to improve law enforcement training in de-escalating mental health crisis calls, using a variety of arts disciplines as teaching tools.
  • 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. 


  • Rice Lake Main Street Program, Rice Lake
  • Sheboygan Performing Arts Foundation, Sheboygan


  • State Sen. Sheila Harsdorf, River Falls
  • State Sen. Bob Jauch, Poplar
  • Marlene Doerr Kreilkamp, Founder and former Director, SHARP Literacy, Milwaukee
  • Anastasia Shartin, Visual Arts Director, The Phipps Center for the Arts, Hudson


  • Bill Schierl, President, Arts Alliance of Portage County, Stevens Point
  • Jeff Scrima, former Mayor, Waukesha


  • 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
  • The Hometown Gazette newspaper, Clayton


  • Carol Kratchowill, Vice President,, Sauk County Art Association, Merrimac
  • Menomonie Mayor Dennis Cropp and former Dunn County Board member B. Jane Hoyt, on behalf of the Mabel Tainter Center for the Arts, Menomonie

For more information, contact Anne Katz at Arts Wisconsin, 608 255 8316 | akatz@artswisconsin.org.