Mayor’s Awards in the Arts

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About the Mayor's Awards in the Arts

Held each fall, the Ogden City Mayor's Awards in the Arts program was created to provide an opportunity to shine the light of recognition on individual artists and arts organizations that are making a difference in our community through the arts.

Each year we invite the public to take a moment to nominate a deserving artist, art advocate or organization for the Ogden City Mayor's Awards in the Arts.

Nominations are open year round

Nominations are open year round. The deadline for the 2021 Awards is August 27, 2021. Any nominations received after that date will be considered for the 2022 Awards Ceremony. 

*Please click here for nomination form

Mayor's Awards in the Arts 2020 Honorees


Brad Wheeler - Lifetime Achievement Honoree

“If you play a harmonica and study archeology, you might be an old soul.”

Mayor Caldwell is proud to honor the achievements of Brad Wheeler in the category of Lifetime Achievement for the 2020 Mayor’s Awards in the Arts. Since he was a teenager, this Artist, known as “Bad” Brad Wheeler, has been performing on stage, telling stories, and hosting or playing on the airwaves. Wheeler is an accomplished harmonica player as well as a WSU graduate with an emphasis in Archeology, Anthropology and Art. He arrived in Utah when he turned eight and has been playing the Harmonica since the age of 19.

"The harmonica is this weird instrument. The fact that I chose the harmonica meant I wasn't going to hang out with young people. I had to hang out with older people. People who wanted to talk about paying their dues. I guess the anthropology background was a factor too,” Wheeler continues, “If you play a harmonica and study archeology, you might be an old soul.”

Wheeler has shared the stage and long relationships with many Ogden legends, including Joe McQueen and Roby Kap.

"My son!" Roby Kap had exclaimed, one fateful evening, his hands still grasping Brad Wheeler's ears in the wake of a kiss. "I knew you were coming. I had heard of you. Who else plays harmonica like us? We were bound to find each other." It was in this moment that Wheeler knew he was on the right path in life.


Augustine Akada - Emerging Artist Honoree

Augustine has always enjoyed music. As a young boy he and his brothers were always singing and writing new lyrics; a tradition he has continued with his own children.

Mayor Caldwell is proud to honor the achievements of Augustine Eden Akada in the category of Emerging Artist for the 2020 Mayor’s Awards in the Arts. Augustine is a Local Musician residing in Ogden with his wife and 3 boys. Known as Awegust the Great, Akada performs on countless stages and for many different charity events.

Awegust the Great’s music has a special focus on uplifting others and an array of topics including educating people on social justice and about disparities that are a reality in the world we live in today. When he performs, he does not just perform his music; he makes sure everyone in the audience has an entertaining and educational experience. Something he likes to refer to as Edutainment. He uses his musical gifts to inspire youth in schools and detention centers, as well as recovering addicts giving them hope that their shortcomings in life do not define them.


Joseph Blake - Performing Arts Honoree

Mayor Caldwell is excited to honor the achievements of Joseph Blake in the category of Performing Arts for the 2020 Mayor’s Awards in the Arts. Performer, choreographer, and educator, Joseph "Jo" Blake earned his M.F.A. from the University of Washington (2017) and BFA from the University of Utah (2003).

Blake’s interest in educational theory, community-based engagement, and social justice have led him to work with community outreach projects such as Yoga Behind Bars and Mark Morris's Dance for Parkinson's Disease. From 2017-2018, Blake spent eight months traveling the world immersing himself in culture on UW Bonderman Travel Fellowship providing inter-/intra-personal research benefitting his mission of equity and inclusivity in the arts, as well as education.

He is the director of joBdance., a conceptual site-specific multidisciplinary dance company. The company's premiere (dis)connect 2019, with an evening-length duet that included live-feed interface and multi-screen video projections. He continues to create, produce, and perform in project-based productions throughout the country, as well as an instructor with the Weber State University Department of Performing Arts.


Daniel Matthews - Media Arts Honoree

“We are the unofficial magazine of the Ogden community. We are steered purely on our love for the city we live in and the community we are representing.”

Daniel Matthews, quoted above, is to be honored Mayor Caldwell in the category of Media Arts for the 2020 Mayor’s Awards in the Arts. Matthews serves as editor in Chief for the Indie Ogden Magazine, seen on local news stands around town. Dedication, a passion for storytelling, and sheer stubbornness keeps this magazine circulating, according to Matthews. “Our goal is to shine light on members and groups within our community that make a positive impact on the place we call home. In my opinion, we best represent Media Arts by being fiercely independent and marching to our own drum line. With our connections to the Ogden community, we are able to draw on stories and inspirations directly from them.”

Visit Indie Ogden Here.

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Laura Stott - Literary Arts Honoree

“Beneath all our feet, beneath arms waving, cheers and screams, the water opens wide, down there, a whale’s massive tail disappears into the blue, its eye blinks, its body rolls,” an excerpt from Laura Stott, Beneath.

Mayor Caldwell is proud to honor the achievements of Laura Stott in the category of Literary Arts for the 2020 Mayor’s Awards in the Arts. Laura Stott is the author of two collections of poetry, Blue Nude Migration (Lynx House Press, 2020) and In the Museum of Coming and Going (New Issues Poetry & Prose, 2014). Her poems can be found or are forthcoming in various journals and magazines, including Barrow Street, Sugar House Review and Mid-American Review as a James Wright Poetry Award finalist.

Stott holds an M.F.A. from Eastern Washington University. She teaches creative writing and poetry at Weber State University where she is also the faculty sponsor for the English Honor Society, Sigma Tau Delta whose primary mission is fostering literacy and the language arts in the community.

Stott has served on the Weber Book Links Utah Humanities Book Festival committee in recent years helping plan book festival events locally. Stott has also helped forge community connections and events for the Lindquist College of Arts and Humanities Hurst Artist in Residence Program.

Visit Laura's website here.

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Lydia Gravis - Visual Arts Honoree

“A drawing inspired by the world doesn’t have to resemble it,” says Lydia Gravis, explaining the complexities of her art styles. “This realization seems liberating, and the responsive marks begin forming a new language to communicate with a universe in which I feel absolute smallness, yet undeniable belonging.” Gravis and her work have made her mark in Ogden City and Mayor Caldwell is excited to honor her in the category of Visual Arts for the 2020 Mayor’s Awards in the Arts.

Gravis earned her Bachelor of Arts in Painting and Drawing from Warren Wilson College in Asheville, N.C. in 2003 and her Master of Fine Arts in Visual Art from the Art Institute of Boston at Lesley University in 2013. Gravis has shown in numerous group and juried exhibitions in the United States, as well as many solo exhibitions, and has been awarded an artist residency for July 2021 at the Fremantle Art Center in Western Australia. She has worked as Gallery Director and Curator of the Mary Elizabeth Dee Shaw Gallery within the Department of Visual Art and Design at Weber State University since 2014, and lives and works in Ogden, Utah with her husband and two young children.

Click here to visit Lydia's website.

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Weber State University Art Learning Collaborative - Arts in Education Honoree

Mayor Caldwell is proud to honor the achievements of Weber State University Art Learning Collaborative in the category of Arts in Education for the 2020 Mayor’s Awards in the Arts. The WSU Arts Learning Collaborative leadership includes Director Tamara Goldbogen, Program Coordinator Kelly Bruce Glynn, and Program Assistant Erinne Garfield Roundy.

Through advocacy, research, partnerships, and professional development, the Arts Learning Collaborative provides resources and support for arts education throughout Utah. Since its inception, the Collaborative not only supports arts education in the elementary and high education sector, but also actively participates, organizes, and funds community art programs throughout Ogden City. Their most notable events include an annual Arts Integration Conference supporting over 150 local teachers, Artsbridge Community Project, and Arts Internships that support increased art education experiences for K-6 students in the Ogden area.


Jake McIntire - Arts Advocacy Honoree

Putting an Ogden touch on things is essential, that is why this group works closely with residents to guide progress and build community.

Mayor Caldwell is proud to honor the achievements of Jake McIntire from Union Creative Agency in the category of Arts Advocacy for the 2020 Mayor’s Awards in the Arts. Union Creative Agency is a stakeholder-centered design consultancy based in the Nine Rails Creative District. Through his work in arts-based community development and cultural-planning they infuse creativity, culture, and strategy into communities and organizations statewide. Union Creative Agency is among the most experienced cultural-planning organizations in the State of Utah with extensive experience and roots in Ogden.

Receiving the award on behalf of the organization, is founder Jake McIntire. He holds a Master of Fine Arts in Collaborative Design from the Pacific Northwest College of Art in Portland, Oregon, and a Bachelor of Fine Arts with Honors in Intermedia Sculpture from the University of Utah. Jake returned home in 2015 and has been working over the past 5 years to grow the local arts sector by working with local artists, government leaders, and community partners to ensure the arts are seen a vital part of Ogden's cultural and economic identity.


Project Success - Betty Sawyer - Folk Arts Honoree

“Keeping Hope Alive is our motto and we continue our strong commitment toward inspiring and supporting the dreams of youth and families in the greater Ogden Area.”

This is the motto for Project Success, an organization that Mayor Caldwell is proud to honor the achievements of in the category of Folk Arts for the 2020 Mayor’s Awards in the Arts. Project Success Coalition has proudly served Utah since 1989, providing after-school and summer academic programs, cultural arts and awareness, health prevention education and advocacy and community and economic development.

Receiving the award on behalf of the organization, is co-founder and director Betty Sawyer. Through her work with Project Success, Betty coordinates the Statewide Juneteenth, Black Independence Day, Festival and Holiday commemorations, now in its 31st year as a statewide celebration. Juneteenth, June 19th, honors the oldest celebration marking the end of slavery in the US. The event occurs over several days and is replete with live performances, great food, activities, and resource information.

Click here for more information on Project Success Coalition.