Mitchell to receive heritage award
Cowboy poet Waddie Mitchell, of Spring Creek, will be honored with the 2012 Nevada Heritage Award from the Nevada Arts Council during the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering. Mitchell will also be performing at the Genoa Cowboy Poetry & Music Festival on April 26-29.
Nevada Department of Tourism and Cultural Affairs director Claudia Vecchio will present the award at 9:45 a.m. Feb. 2 before the event’s keynote address at the Elko Convention Center Auditorium.
“Nevada Heritage awardees are among our state’s cultural treasures. They embody the highest level of artistic achievement and service in and to their communities,” Vecchio said. “This year’s recipient, Waddie Mitchell, is known worldwide for his extraordinary talents as a writer, compelling presenter and steward of the storied western American experience.”
The award carries a fellowship grant in the amount of $3,500 for the recipient. NAC commemorates the honor with a cobalt blue glass plate that incorporates a silver crystal map of Nevada, created by Carson City glass artist Jarill Ristine.
Created in 2010, the Nevada Heritage Award honors and recognizes Nevada master folk and traditional artists who carry forward, practice and teach the folk traditions of their families and communities with excellence and authenticity. Honorees are Nevada folk artists and tradition bearers, the finest and most influential masters of their particular art form who have had a significant impact on Nevadans.
Mitchell was nominated by the Western Folklife Center and supported by letters from his community of Elko and by fellow cowboy and western poets.
“Waddie Mitchell has become an icon of Nevada, of buckaroo culture, cowboys of the Great Basin and of cowboy poetry itself,” Charlie Seemann, director of the Western Folklife Center, said. Mitchell is a popular, respected and gifted performer and teacher of oral traditions, a veteran cowboy, rancher and a skilled interpreter of the history and environment of the Great Basin.