Ruth Arts Mary L. Nohl Alumni Award

The Ruth Arts Mary L. Nohl Alumni Award offers a new layer of support for former Nohl Fellows. It does this in two ways: by providing unrestricted funds to the selected artists and by working alongside artists to develop a network of career-sustaining opportunities to respond to their needs. It is awarded annually to four artists: three living in the four-county area (Milwaukee, Ozaukee, Washington, Waukesha) and one currently living outside this area.

The original Greater Milwaukee Foundation’s Mary L. Nohl Fellowships for Individual Artists program, which launched in 2003, was designed to encourage artists to stay in greater Milwaukee, to evolve as artistic practitioners, and to contribute to our community through the creation of art. In 2022, with funding from Joy Engine, we were able to deepen the support we offer to artists.

Over the course of twenty years working with Nohl Fellows and Suitcase Fund awardees across many career stages, we have developed a better understanding of the issues faced by post-fellowship artists, particularly those who want to remain in the area: a lack of career-sustaining networks and opportunities outside greater Milwaukee.

In the spirit of the Nohl Fellowship--and Mary Nohl, who built the world she wanted to inhabit as an artist by creating her own clubs, convenings, and newsletters outside of established institutions and formalized spaces—we will work with Nohl alumni to create a program that centers artist self-determination and supports artist-defined forms of success.

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