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Michigan Heritage Awards

Michigan Heritage Awards

Program Info

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 msu.mtap@gmail.com


Nominations are usually submitted by someone who knows the nominee well; family members, friends, community members, and even students of honorees have submitted nominations.

Nominations must include a completed nomination form, at least three letters of support from community members, a portrait-style photograph of the nominee, a description of the tradition bearer's skill, and a personal biography. Depending on the tradition, the nomination package must also include photographs or physical samples of the nominee's work and/or audio (CDs, Bandcamp or SoundCloud links, etc.) or video clips of their performances (YouTube, Vimeo, or other web links accepted).

Nominations and supporting materials must be postmarked or submitted digitally (msu.mtap@gmail.com) by December 1 each year.

For a pdf copy of the nomination form, please email Micah Ling at lingmica@msu.edu.


Click here for a MHA Nomination Form A: Arts Performance and Material Culture WORD

Click here for a MHA Nomination Form B: Community Leadership WORD

Michigan Heritage Awards

Michigan Heritage Awards

Michigan Heritage Awards

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