The Michigan State University Museum will soon announce the Michigan Heritage Awards (MHA) for 2007, the state's highest distinction to honor individuals who continue their family and community traditions with excellence and authenticity. This year's recipients will be honored at the Michigan Heritage Awards Ceremony, Saturday, August 11, on the Legacy Stage at the Great Lakes Folk Festival.
"The Michigan Heritage Awards are presented each year to honor master practitioners in Michigan who continue the folk traditions of their families and communities through practice and teaching," explains Yvonne Lockwood, curator of folklife at the MSU Museum and coordinator of the Michigan Heritage Awards program. Awards are also presented to outstanding community leaders who support and advocate traditional arts.
Since 1985, the MSU Museum's Michigan Traditional Arts Program (MTAP) has recognized the achievements of Michigan artists in material culture, performance and community leadership. The honorees have been drawn from all corners of the state and reflect the great diversity of skills, ethnicities and backgrounds of Michiganders. Some have also been honored as recipients of the National Heritage Fellowships awarded by the National Endowment for the Arts.
Honorees have come from many different Michigan traditions and all over the state. For more information about the Michigan Heritage Awards program, including nomination forms and short biographies of previous awardees, see http://museum.msu.edu/s-program/MH_awards/mha.html
2007 Michigan Heritage Awardees
William "Willy" McDonald, Delton (Barry County), waterfowl decoy carver
Earl Otchingwanigan, Crystal Falls (Iron County), Ojibwe culture specialist and tradition bearer
Ron Sherry, Clinton Township (Oakland County), iceboat builder
Interested in more information about the Michigan Heritage Awards?
Here is a list of past awardees- dating back to 1985.
If you'd like to nominate someone:
Link to Traditional Artist Form (pdf)
Link to Community Leader Form (pdf)