The Michigan Traditional Arts Program Announces the 2022 Cohort of Michigan Heritage Awardees

March 3, 2022

Press Release from Michigan Traditional Arts Program

The Michigan Traditional Arts Program of Michigan State University announces the 2022 Michigan Heritage Awards honorees in the annual statewide program recognizing artists, practitioners, and community organizers working in the folk and traditional arts and everyday culture in Michigan.The Michigan Heritage Award (MHA) is the state's highest distinction to honor individuals and groups who have dedicated themselves to the teaching, preservation, presentation, and growth of their traditional
art form. This includes familial, cultural, ethnic, religious, occupational, and regional traditions. The awardees were selected after a review of nominations by an independent panel of traditional arts
specialists and practitioners.

"The Michigan Heritage Awards are modeled after the National Heritage Fellowships awarded by the
National Endowment for the Arts. Similar programs exist in most states, serving to reflect and celebrate
the diversity of cultural expressions found in the United States. Since 1985, over 130 Michigan artists and
cultural organizations have received Michigan Heritage Awards," explains Micah Ling, public programs
coordinator for the Michigan Traditional Arts Program.

Receiving a 2022 Michigan Heritage Award for their traditional arts achievements are:

  1. Alfred Bruce Bradley of Flint (Genesee County), for community leadership in tap dance
  2. Drs. William (1933-2017) and Yvonne Lockwood of Chelsea (Washtenaw County), for
    documentation, preservation, and publication of Michigan traditional art, folklife, and culture
  3. Ara Topouzian of Bloomfield Hills (Oakland County), for traditional Armenian music
  4. **Ukrainian Bandurist Chorus of the Detroit Metro Area (Wayne County), for community organizing, supporting, and promoting Ukrainian bandura music Ling notes, "We receive nominations both from groups with whom we have existing relationships, like past participants in our apprenticeship program or fieldwork documentation projects, and from new connections. It is always exciting to see which Michiganders and traditions will be nominated and selected." Michigan Traditional Arts Program director Marsha MacDowell recognizes that “the program widens public awareness about the breadth and depth of traditional arts and culture in the state.” A virtual celebration will be held later in the summer via the Zoom platform, details to follow, and in-person celebrations will be announced at a later date.

The Michigan Traditional Arts Program is a statewide program “to advance cross-cultural understanding
and equity in a diverse society through the documentation, preservation, and presentation of traditional
arts, folklife, and everyday culture in Michigan.” MTAP is headquartered at MSU’s Residential College
in the Arts and Humanities and is supported by MATRIX: Center for Digital Humanities and Social
Sciences, MSU’s Office of University Outreach and Engagement, and the Michigan State University

Learn more here: or by contacting the
Michigan Traditional Arts Program at or (517) 353-5526.

**As we celebrate the award to the Ukrainian Bandurist Chorus, we are conscious that the Ukrainian and
Ukrainian American communities in Michigan are watching a tragedy unfold in their home country.
Ukrainian Michiganders are encouraging people to support humanitarian aid by donating to the Ukrainian
Congress Committee of America, United Ukrainian American Relief Committee, and Razom Emergency
Fund, or to organizations on the list linked here.


The Residential College in the Arts and Humanities at Michigan State University is a unique living-learning community offering the advantages of a small college liberal arts education and the opportunities of a Big Ten research university. Students prepare for meaningful careers by examining critical issues through the lens of culture, the visual and performing arts, community engagement, literature, philosophy, history, writing, and social justice. RCAH’s 99 percent placement rate for graduates over the past eight years is the best at MSU. Visit, email, or call 517-355-0210.