Nevada Arts Council Announces FY2012 Nevada Heritage Award Print

July 1, 2011

Carson City, Nevada.  The Nevada Arts Council is proud to honor cowboy poet Bruce “Waddie” Mitchell, of Spring Creek, with the 2012 Nevada Heritage Award. Nevada Heritage awardees are among our state’s living cultural treasures. They embody the highest level of artistic achievement in their work and the highest levels of service in their communities and in their commitment to ensuring that their traditions stay strong.

Mitchell was nominated by the Western Folklife Center and supported by letters from his community of Elko, as well as the community of 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,” wrote Charlie Seemann, director of the Western Folklife Center.

The Nevada Heritage Award honors Nevada folk artists and tradition bearers who are the finest and most influential masters of their particular art form(s) and who have had a significant impact on the people and communities of the state.

Waddie Mitchell is a popular and respected cowboy poet and exponent of western heritage and Buckaroo traditions; a gifted performer and teacher of cowboy poetry and oral traditions; a veteran cowboy and rancher; and a skilled interpreter of the history and environment of the Great Basin from the perspective of the cowboy/rancher.

The award carries a fellowship grant in the amount of $3,500 for the recipient. The NAC commemorates the honor with a cobalt blue glass plate with a silver dichroic map of Nevada, created by Carson City glass artist Jarill Ristine.

Date, time, and place of the award presentation will be announced later. It will likely occur during the annual National Cowboy Poetry Gathering in Elko during the last week of January 2012.

Created in 2010, the Nevada Heritage Award honors and recognizes Nevada master folk and traditional artists who, at the highest level of excellence and authenticity, carry forward the folk traditions of their families and communities through practice and teaching.

The Nevada Arts Council is a division of the Nevada Department of Cultural Affairs. The Department serves Nevada’s citizens and visitors through culture and information management, presentation and promotion of cultural resources, and education.  The Department also includes the State Office of Historic Preservation, the Nevada State Library and Archives, and the Nevada Arts Council. For more information, please visit the department’s web site at

July 1, 2011
Contact: Susan Boskoff or Pat Atkinson 775-687-6680