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Silver Lining Awards honor 20 local individuals and organizations excelling in creative endeavors during the pandemic

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Oscar Mireles is the founder of Latinos Organizing for Understanding and Development (LOUD).

Friends of Madison Arts Commission celebrated the creativity and honored the dedication and perseverance that brought silver linings to Madison during the Covid-19 pandemic as they honored 20 individuals and organizations with Silver Lining Awards on Thursday night at Garver Feed Mill on Madison’s near east side.

Nominations were received for one or more individuals or organizations who excelled in creative endeavors and/or the hospitality industry, large and small, during the pandemic, bringing a silver lining to the community in 2020/2021. ​Nominations were accepted in three categories: Arts, Hospitality, and Community.

Thursday night’s cocktail hour for the Silver Lining Awards featured performances by Yid Vicious and Cycropia Aerial Dance and a “Defending Black Girlhood” mural display by Lilada Gee. The emcees of the event were Cooper Talbot and Kia Karlen.

Oscar Mireles, the founder of LOUD (Latinos Organized for Understanding and Development) was presented a Silver Lining Award for Agility in successfully holding the 2021 Wisconsin Conference on Latinx Art & Culture. Mireles has been an ongoing presence in the arts in Madison – as Madison Poet Laureate, editor of the two volumes “I Didn’t Know There Were Latinos in Wisconsin,” mentoring Chicanx and Latinx writers, and advocating for the inclusion of Black and Brown artists in the local art scene.

“I want to thank the Friends of the Madison Arts Commission for this special recognition and it is a special honor to be recognized by my peers,” Mireles tells Madison365. “For the past three decades, I have had a chance to serve on the board of directors of the Overture Center for the Arts, Madison Symphony Orchestra and MMOCA and this experience has given me an opportunity to connect these larger organizations with the Latinx community in Dane County.
“We are excited as we make plans for the 2022 Wisconsin Conference on Latinx Arts and Culture and look to expand our partnerships with local cultural and arts organizations who are interested in supporting Latinx arts, artists and cultural workers in Wisconsin,” Mireles added.
The Friends of the Madison Arts Commission (FOMAC) also presented 2022 Silver Lining Awards to:
  • LunART,
  • Rob Dz/Mad Lit,
  • Monroe Street Arts Center,
  • Blue Stem Jazz,
  • Dane Arts,
  • Celia Klehr/Forward Theatre Company,
  • Lilada Gee/Defending Black Girlhood,
  • Rowan Childs/Madison Reading Project,
  • Healthy Kids Collaborative,
  • Leopold-Arbor Hills Neighborhood Resource Team,
  • Rodney Alexander/The Umbrella Transition Program,
  • Jazzman Brown/Feeding the Youth,
  • Chef Dave Heide/Little John’s Kitchen,
  • Wisconsin Latino Chamber of Commerce,
  • Brewer Stouffer/The Roman Candle,
  • WORT FM,
  • Alejandro Miranda Cruz and Noel Miranda/Bravebird Productions,
  • Dane Arts Mural Arts,
  • Tamsie Ringler/Winter is Alive
Winners took home a statue designed by Madison artist TetraPAKMAN.
The Friends of the Madison Arts Commission is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization established in 2020 to support the Madison Arts Commissions (MAC)’s efforts to encourage artistic activities and initiate cultural programs that integrate, support and advance arts and culture as an essential part of life in Madison.