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IMMEDIATE RELEASE: February 19, 2024


MAB Accepting Public Nominations for Artists of the Year, Friends of the Arts Awards
Members of the public can submit nominations HERE through April 3, 2024

MILWAUKEE – The City of Milwaukee Arts Board (MAB) is accepting nominations from the public for the Mildred L. Harpole Artists of the Year award and the Friends of the Arts award. Recipients of these awards represent excellence and exceptional service in Milwaukee’s arts community.

“The award means the world to me because my world is Milwaukee,” Ben Tyjeski, 2023 Artist of the Year, said. “My work is rooted in the walls of this City, observing our parapets, doorways, chimneys, fireplaces, and all and being inspired to dig into the history of our clay decorations. When walls talk, they tell me to create more, and this honor encourages the same.”

"It is an honor to receive the Mildred L. Harpole Artist of the Year award,” Paul Druecke, 2023 Artist of the Year, said. “I'm proud to have a connection to Harpole’s powerful legacy of civic contributions. The award is significant to me given my work’s focus on the urban landscape. I’d love to organize a get-together with past and current recipients to continue the conversation."

Nominations must be submitted online HERE by 11:59 p.m. Wednesday, April 3, 2024. More information is below on the Mildred L. Harpole Artists of the Year and Friends of the Arts awards.

Mildred L. Harpole Artists of the Year Award: The Artists of the Year award was inaugurated in 1995 by former Alderman and MAB Chair Wayne Frank. The Artists of the Year Award was eventually renamed in 2020 to honor the late, beloved MAB member Mildred L. Harpole.

Nominees for Artist of the Year must be City of Milwaukee residents who have been working as an artist in the City of Milwaukee over the last 24 months. They may be an individual artist, or a band, or a collective, and must not be a current member of the Milwaukee Arts Board or a previous recipient of this award. Self-nominations are allowed and an artist can be nominated posthumously. This award is open to a variety of disciplines, including Arts Education, Culinary Arts, Dance, Design, Film & Media Arts, Folk & Traditional Arts, Literary Arts, Museums, Music, Musical Theater, Opera, Presenting & Multidisciplinary Works, Theater and Visual Arts. Each recipient receives a $1,500 cash award.

Friends of the Arts Award: Established in 2012, the Friends of the Arts Award is given to individuals who, often behind the scenes, have distinguished themselves through exceptional service to Milwaukee’s arts community.

Nominees for Friends of the Arts do not have to be City of Milwaukee residents, but must demonstrate exemplary support of Milwaukee’s arts community through at least one of the following requirements:

● Mentoring or teaching creatives and/or youth in Milwaukee
● Supporting arts locally through philanthropy and/or advocacy
● Building community around the arts in Milwaukee

Nominees can include individuals, organizations, and/or businesses. They may not be a current Milwaukee Arts Board member or a previous recipient of this award. Self-nominations are not allowed for this category, however, a nomination can be made posthumously.

Award Process: The Milwaukee Arts Board will review the nominations and select the award recipients during the MAB meeting on April 8, 2024. At this meeting, all completed nominations will be presented and MAB members will rank their top three choices in each category, which will be turned into scores. The two nominees in each category with the highest scores will be awarded.

More information about the Milwaukee Arts Board is available HERE.

Commissioner Lafayette L. Crump 

Lafayette L. Crump, Commissioner 


 809 North Broadway, Milwaukee, WI 53202 




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