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Midwest Culture Bearers Award FAQ

The Midwest Culture Bearers Award celebrates and financially supports the work of Midwest culture bearers and folk arts practitioners.

A hand reaches for violet leaves in a garden as the other hand holds a small handmade wooden basket with a rope-like handle.
Rachel Von Stroup / Arts Midwest

Frequently Asked Questions

Individuals who are deeply rooted in the practice and preservation of their cultural traditions. They may identify as folk and traditional artists, folk arts and culture practitioners, taproot artists, elder artists, ancestral knowledge bearers, or culture bearers.

While we honor the role of guests within lineages, this opportunity is intended for individuals and cultures that are from the cultural and heritage lineage that they practice.

No, only individuals are eligible for this award.


There are no expectations or requirements for how you spend the award, though we encourage awardees to use it toward furthering their career.

We recommend assisting the applicant in filling out the application if possible. But yes, nominations are also welcome. Please get consent from the person that you want to nominate. Fill out the application with the person’s information and indicate that it’s a nomination.

No match required.


Arts Midwest will make a public announcement of awardees in September 2024. Additionally, following a collaborative storytelling process, we will feature each awardee through Arts Midwest’s website and social media channels from December 2024 through April 2025.

In addition to the award money and storytelling work, awardees can take part in relationship building, group conversations, and other opportunities for connection and discussion. These opportunities are encouraged but not required. We anticipate gathering ideas from the group in fall 2024 and offering sessions virtually from February – April 2025.

Consult our Living FAQ

If you have additional questions not answered above, reference our living FAQ document. We’re updating this in real time based on questions and inquires that we receive.

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