Professor Laura Schwendinger Leads The List of Recipients for the 2024 Creative Arts Awards; Wisconsin Film Festival’s Artistic Director Earns Bartell Award 

MADISON – February 8, 2024 – The much anticipated 2024 Creative Arts Awardees have been announced by the University of Wisconsin–Madison Division of the Arts. Laura Schwendinger, Professor of Music Composition at University of Wisconsin–Madison, leads a distinguished list of faculty, staff and student recipients, who will be honored publicly at a special gala event on May 2, 2024 at the Hamel Music Center.

Professor Schwendinger will receive the Creative Arts Award, which recognizes and honors extraordinary artistic projects and endeavors of the highest quality carried out by tenured members of the UW–Madison arts faculty.  Schwendinger is the award-winning composer of Artemisia, winner of the 2023 American Academy of Arts and Letters Charles Ives Opera award, one of the largest such awards to composers of opera, was the first composer to win the Berlin Prize in 1999 and is a 2009 Guggenheim Fellow.  Staff member Hannah O’Hare Bennett, an artist and experimental papermaker based in Madison, WI is among the notable recipients this year and will receive the Edna Wiechers Arts in Wisconsin Award. She holds an MFA in Design Studies from the University of Wisconsin – Madison (2017). She is known for her innovative techniques with hand papermaking and natural pigments, and frequently teaches workshops on those topics at art centers around the United States. Currently she is the UW–Madison campus recruiter for the International Division and lectures in the Art Department. Kaleb B. Autman, senior and a double-major in Sociology and Legal Studies, began studying at UW–Madison in the fall of 2021 as a First Wave Scholar. Autman is a documentarian working through the mediums of photography, video, and spoken word, focused on Black and Indigenous resistance and survivance. His practice employs memory and ancestral ties in centering land stewardship, cultural stewardship, and social movements. He will receive the Lyman S.V. Judson and Ellen Mackechnie Judson Undergraduate Student Award in the Creative Arts and the Undergraduate Interdisciplinary Arts Award

Mike King, the visionary Artistic Director of the Wisconsin Film Festival (WFF), is this year’s recipient of the Joyce J. and Gerald A. Bartell Award in the Arts for his exceptional contributions to the arts community. Under King’s leadership, the Wisconsin Film Festival has become a beacon of cultural and community engagement, showcasing groundbreaking films that provoke thought, celebrate diversity, and connect people across the University of WisconsinMadison campus and beyond.  The Division of the Arts extends its sincere thanks to the Bartell Family for their deep and engaging contribution to the arts on UW’s campus and across the Madison arts community over many decades. The multiple points of access and engagement created by this synergy between the donor and the work is the Wisconsin Idea in action. 

PHOTO (Left to right):
Laura Schwendinger, Hannah O’Hare Bennett, Kaleb B. Autman & Mike King

“We’re proud of the diverse group of awardees from across UW–Madison faculty, staff and students this year, who are doing groundbreaking and innovative research intended to benefit the communities we serve.” says Christopher Walker, Director of the Division of the Arts. “There is a renaissance in the arts post COVID, and the Creative Arts Awards serves to recognize excellence and equip our talented recipients to lead the change and to go boldly with work that advances the Wisconsin Idea.”

Completing this year’s list of awardees are:

Emily Mead Baldwin Award in the Creative Arts
Anna Campbell, Associate Professor, Gender and Women’s Studies
Peter Dominguez, Professor of Double Bass and Jazz Studies, Mead Witter School of Music

David and Edith Sinaiko Frank Graduate Fellowship for a Woman in the Arts
Anamika Singh, MFA candidate, 4D, Art Department

Lyman S.V. Judson and Ellen Mackechnie Judson Graduate Student Award in the Creative Arts
Diego Alegria, PhD Candidate, Literary Studies, English
Gabriela Yepes-Rossel, PhD candidate, Interdisciplinary Theater Studies

Graduate Student Creative Arts Awards
Fatemeh Fani, MFA candidate, photography, Art Department
Matthew Ludak, MFA candidate, photography, Art Department
Veronica Pham, MFA candidate, fiber arts, Department of Design Studies
Magdalena Sas, PhD candidate, cello performance, Mead Witter School of Music
Caroyln Spears, MFA candidate, glassmaking, Art Department
Devon Stackonis, MFA candidate, printmaking, Art Department

Lyman S.V. Judson and Ellen Mackechnie Judson Undergraduate Student Award in the Creative Arts
Diya Abbas, Creative Writing & South Asian Studies
Kaleb Autman, Sociology & Legal Studies

Undergraduate Interdisciplinary Arts Award
Kaleb Autman, Sociology & Legal Studies
Dylan Hart, Wisconsin School of Business
Madelyn Mascotti, Art Department
Kiyem Obuseh, Electrical & Computer Engineering
Abby Sunde, Art Department
Isaac Yang, Department of Communication Arts

The 2024 Creative Arts Awards selection committee chaired by Chris Walker, and comprised Faisal Abdu’Allah, Anthony Di Sanza, Florence Hsia, Grant Nelsestuen, Jen Plants and Samara Frame (ex officio).

The Creative Arts Awards program enables the Arts Division to recognize and support research and outreach in all areas of the creative arts at UW–Madison. Eight awards are open to a variety of arts practitioners, researchers, students (both undergraduate and graduate), staff and faculty from arts academic departments, co-curricular arts units and programs. The gala awards ceremony, presented by the Division of Arts, is a celebration of diverse and groundbreaking creative arts research that spans disciplines and departments across UW–Madison.

This year’s event will hold even greater significance, as it will form part of the UW–Madison’s 175th Anniversary celebration. The gala will feature an extraordinary evening of performance and acknowledgement of some of UW–Madison’s most distinguished faculty, staff and students. The evening will also highlight notable transformative service contributions. 

About The University of Wisconsin–Madison Division of the Arts
The Division of the Arts advocates for, connects, and elevates the arts at UW–Madison. Our vision, The Arts for Everyone, Everywhere is one by which the arts at UW–Madison are: integral to research, teaching, learning and outreach; accessible to all at UW–Madison; and impactful both locally and globally. Through the Creative Arts Awards, the Arts Division provides research support to faculty, staff, and students in the arts. Awards are made possible by the Emily Mead Baldwin Professorship Fund, Joyce J. and Gerald A. Bartell Award for Arts Faculty and Staff Fund, Suzanne and Roberto Freund, Lyman S.V. Judson and Ellen Mackechnie Judson Award Fund, Emily Nissley, David and Edith Sinaiko Frank Fund, Edna Wiechers Arts in Wisconsin Fund, and the Division of the Arts.