ART & CRAFT FAIR/MAKERS MARKET

Milwaukee Makers Market

milwaukeemakersmarket.com

Milwaukee Makers Market champions local Milwaukee artists, creators, designers and seasoned crafters to celebrate the city’s small businesses. This one-stop-shop experience creates an inclusive environment for local Makers to showcase their talent and connect with the Milwaukee community. For more information, visit milwaukeemakersmarket.com, or follow Milwaukee Makers Market on Facebook or Instagram. (Sophia Hamdan)

Finalists:

  • Hovercraft
  • Milwaukee Night Market
  • re:Craft & Relic 

ART GALLERY (NON-MUSEUM)

Saint Kate – The Arts Hotel

139 E. Kilbourn Ave.

saintkatearts.com

Where else could you find a life-size horse made out of sticks and branches? And that’s just in the hotel lobby. There are various galleries to choose from at the St. Kate and some exhibits include interactive displays. Perfect for a staycation! (Harry Cherkinian)

Finalists:

  • MARN Art + Culture Hub
  • Sadler Gallery
  • Var Gallery

ART MUSEUM

Milwaukee Art Museum

700 N. Art Museum Drive

mam.org

In addition to a permanent collection spanning the ancient world through the post-moderns, MAM hosts major visiting exhibitions as well as eclectic and often multi-media programming. The soaring spikes of the museum’s Santiago Calatrava addition have become Milwaukee’s symbol—and you can’t beat that heated underground parking garage on cold and rainy days. (David Luhrssen)

Finalists:

  • Grohmann Museum
  • Haggerty Museum of Art
  • Warehouse Art Museum

CHORAL GROUP

Milwaukee Symphony Chorus

mso.org

The Milwaukee Symphony Chorus is known across the country for its technical ability and cohesion as an ensemble. The choir is composed of not only musicians, but teachers, lawyers, students and more. The 2023-24 season has included works from composers like Debussy, Handel, and Beethoven. (Elizabeth Lintonen)


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Finalists:

  • Bach Chamber Choir
  • Master Singers of Milwaukee
  • Sacra Nova Chorale

CLASSICAL MUSIC ENSEMBLE

Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra

mso.org

The MSO’s home in the Bradley Symphony Center, a grand artifact of the Art Deco era hidden away for decades like an urban mystery, transports the concert experience into an era of cultural splendor. This befits an organization that, by its nature, mines a cultural treasure trove of the past while attracting an audience distracted by myriad 21st century entertainment possibilities. (Kevin Lynch)

Finalists:

  • Bach Chamber Choir
  • Milwaukee Musaik
  • Wisconsin Philharmonic

COMEDIAN

Charlie Berens

charlieberens.com

Charlie Berens, the Midwest comedy king, his sets filled with tales of supper club cocktails and overuse of the word ‘ope,’ is also an award-winning journalist and New York Times bestselling author. Betweenhosting the Manitowoc Minute and writing his new book The Midwest Survival Guide, Berens stays busy as the cornerstone of Midwest humor. (Elizabeth Lintonen)

Finalists:

  • Carly Malison
  • Dana Ehrmann
  • David Louis

COMMUNITY FESTIVAL

Bay View Bash

bayviewbash.org

In the city of festivals, each year we try to stuff as much action into whatever passes for good weather as we can. Run entirely by volunteers, the Bay View Bash takes place on the third Saturday each September on Kinnickinnic Avenue, turning the neighborhood into a family friendly rollicking street party. On the handful of stages, you’ll hear local and national music artists. Jugglers, food trucks, acrobats, strongmen and vendors abound. (Blaine Schultz)

Finalists:

  • Bastille Days 
  • Franksville Food Truck Festival
  • Lakefront Maifest
  • Summerfest

DANCE COMPANY

Milwaukee Ballet

milwaukeeballet.org

Under the leadership of Artistic Director Michael Pink, Milwaukee Ballet has grown into a world-respected dance company on the strength of original productions such as Pink’s Dracula and his new reimagining of The Nutcracker. Featured in the second half of the current season are the winners of MB’s international choreography contest, “Genesis.” (David Luhrssen)

Finalists:

  • Danceworks, Inc.
  • Warped Studios
  • Water Street Dance Milwaukee

ETHNIC FESTIVAL

Irish Fest

irishfest.com

Visible during the BBC’s TV coverage of Shane MacGowan’s funeral was a busker’s guitar case with a Milwaukee Irish Fest sticker—just another testimony to the festival’s position as the world’s great gathering of Irish music. The 2024 fest runs Aug 15-18 on the Summerfest grounds. (David Luhrssen)

Finalists:

  • Black Arts Fest MKE
  • German Fest
  • Mexican Fiesta

ILLUSIONIST / MAGICIAN

Luka Live

lukalive.com

For over a decade, magician-mentalist-deception artist Luka has been combining his dry, sarcastic humor with modern magic. Praised by the likes of “Weird Al” Yankovic and Packer Hall of Famer Antonio Freeman, it’s no trick that Luka has pulled this award out of his hat. (Benjamin Drover)

Finalists:

  • Glen Gerard
  • Lonesome Bill Walker
  • Two Brothers One Mind

LAKEFRONT FESTIVAL

Summerfest

200 N. Harbor Drive

summerfest.com

Milwaukee’s premier music festival and outdoor venue puts the “summer” in the festival setting. The internationally known—and renowned—music fest features every type of music and entertainment possible under the sun, the moon and the stars. In fact, that’s the best way to enjoy it. (Harry Cherkinian)

Finalists:

  • German Fest
  • Irish Fest
  • Polish Fest
  • PrideFest




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LOCAL RADIO PERSONALITY

Kenny Perez

Kenny Perez is a radio staple at Radio Milwaukee, known for versatile music sets and his eclectic DJ style. Perez has a palpable passion for the art of radio, and his appreciation of live music and contagious humor make him a community DJ like no other. (Elizabeth Lintonen)

Finalists:

  • Don Black
  • Chris Treater
  • Jayx

LOCAL TV PERSONALITY

Mark Baden

WISN-TV Chief Meteorologist Mark Baden has been providing weather forecasts at the ABC affiliate for the past 26 years. And in that time, he has amassed numerous local and regional awards including Emmys. But he’s also known for his charitable work with children’s organizations, including Children’s Hospital and Neighborhood House. (Harry Cherkinian)

Finalists:

  • Brian Kramp
  • Rob Haswell
  • Ted Perry

MILWAUKEE AUTHOR

John Gurda

For decades, John Gurda has provided Milwaukeeans with a tour of our city’s history through his books and PBS programs. Who knew that he also conducted actual tours of the city’s historic sites? His side gig as tour guide is the subject of his latest book, John Gurda’s Milwaukee. (David Luhrssen)

Finalists:

  • Christopher Chan
  • David Luhrssen
  • Wes Manko

MOVIE THEATER

Oriental Theatre

2230 N. Farwell Ave.

mkefilm.org

Milwaukee is fortunate in having two surviving movie palaces from Hollywood’s golden age. One of them, the Oriental, has long enjoyed special status among film buffs as the place to see indie films, foreign films and classics. The expensive renovations of the past years have restored the beautifully detailed orientalist interior. (David Luhrssen)

Finalists:

  • Avalon Atmospheric Theater
  • Landmark’s Downer Theatre
  • Marcus Majestic Cinema

MUSEUM (NON-ART)

Milwaukee Public Museum

800 W. Wells St.

mpm.edu

MPM’s familiar structure will be replaced by a five-story building with a green rooftop terrace that includes an enclosed butterfly garden. Five permanent galleries and related exhibits with distinctive themes are expected to incorporate several of the dioramas and collections visitors of the current museum are familiar with, in new and modern ways. (Susan Harpt Grimes)

Finalists:

  • America’s Black Holocaust Museum
  • Discovery World
  • Harley-Davidson Museum

MUSIC EDUCATION

Milwaukee Youth Symphony Orchestra

myso.org

The Milwaukee Youth Symphony is one of the largest youth orchestras in the country, with opportunities for young people to grow their musical skills at a high level. With a variety of ensembles available including jazz, steel pan bands, and symphony training, MYSO cultivates the growth of many young musicians from the Milwaukee area and beyond. (Elizabeth Lintonen)

Finalists:

  • Be Sound Music
  • Milwaukee Jazz Institute
  • Wisconsin Conservatory of Music

OUTDOOR MUSIC SERIES

Chill on the Hill

bayviewneighborhood.org/chill-on-the-hill

It’s not difficult to find outdoor music in Milwaukee when the weather is nice. Yet, Humboldt Park’s Chill on Hill seems to have a magnetic pull. Each week acts like Dick Satan Trio’s playboy instrumental rock, Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, folkie Joseph Huber or the rockabilly of The Grovelers take over the bandshell at Humboldt Park. The namesake hill becomes a place to gather, and I guess you’d say “chill.” Pack a picnic, head for the food trucks, grab a beer or glass of wine at the nearby Vine or dance to the music. (Blaine Schultz)

Finalists:

  • Franksville Craft Beer Garden
  • Jazz in the Park
  • SoLu Estate Winery & Meadery

RADIO STATION

88Nine Radio Milwaukee

radiomilwaukee.org

Radio Milwaukee champions Milwaukee’s art, music and cultural scene with emphasis on fostering inclusion and engagement in the community. In a celebration of all Milwaukee has to offer, the radio station promises to explore and unite the city’s diverse population in the latest stories, music, podcasts and more. (Sophia Hamdan)

Finalists:

  • 91.7 WMSE-FM
  • Jammin’ 98.3 WJMR-FM
  • 1130 WISN

STAGE ACTOR

Matt Daniels

Watching Matt Daniels perform on stage is watching a highly talented actor “disappear” into the role of whatever he’s playing. Be it the proper and very clever manservant Jeeves to that most infamous of misers Ebenezer Scrooge, Matt does it all—and infinitely more. Milwaukee theater goers heartily agree. (Harry Cherkinian)

Finalists:

  • Dimonte Henning
  • Rae Pare
  • Tommy Hahn

THEATER COMPANY

Milwaukee Repertory Theater

milwaukeerep.com

The Rep is recognized as a leading regional theater in the U.S. for the quality of its productions as well as its commitment to equity, diversity and new play development. The second half of the 2023-24 season includes adaptations of the classics (Little Women), entertaining comedies (Guys on Ice) and thought-provoking drama (What the Constitution Means to Me) (David Luhrssen)

Finalists:

  • First Stage
  • Next Act
  • Skylight Music Theatre


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