The Michigan Heritage Awards honor individuals who continue their family and community folk traditions with excellence through practice and teaching, or to individuals who are recognized as outstanding community leaders in the maintenance, documentation, or presentation of traditional arts. The program was established in 1985 to call attention to Michigan's exceptional tradition bearers and supporters of traditional culture whose contributions to our state's heritage had not been recognized previously. Awards are annually presented in three categories: material culture, performance, and community leadership. Material culture includes traditions that can be touched. Performance includes traditions of music, song, dance, and storytelling. A community leader should be someone who promotes, supports, and helps to maintain a community's folk traditions. These individuals need not be artists themselves but in a few instances they have been.
A panel of invited specialists reviews the applications in early January. They look for strong evidence of community or family support, excellence of contribution or artistry, mastery of art form, a description of the tradition, and an explanation of the meaning and value of the tradition to the particular family or community.
Announcements of the awardees are made in February. Awards are conferred at special ceremonies in the awardees' home communities.
For more information about the Michigan Heritage Award Program.
Contact by phone (517-353-5526) or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
The Michigan Heritage Awards are administered by the Michigan Traditional Arts Program with support from the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs.