American Folklore Theatre Wins 2012 Wisconsin Tourism Award for Arts, Culture and Heritage

The American Folklore Theatre can now add “Award Winning” to their long list of accolades. American Folklore Theatre was awarded the inaugural Wisconsin Department of Tourism Award for Arts, Culture and Heritage at this week’s Wisconsin Governor’s Conference on Tourism (WIGCOT) in Green Bay, WI. This award is presented to a business or destination that showcases the arts, culture, or heritage for the enhancement and economic wellbeing of a community.

WIGCOT AwardSponsored by the Governor’s Council on Tourism, the Governor’s Awards acknowledge leadership, commitment, and innovation among the people and organizations that propel the tourism industry forward.

The awards were presented Tuesday evening at the Governor’s Dinner with approximately 1,000 tourism professionals and Wisconsin business owners in attendance. George Tzougros, Executive Director of the Wisconsin Arts Board, began by reading a summary of AFT’s nomination and then turned the microphone over to Governor Walker to present the award.

“I was shocked. When they started describing the winning organization, we knew immediately that we had won, but I just couldn’t believe it,” commented AFT’s Manager of Marketing and Audience Development, Holly Feldman. “We were nominated with several really amazing organizations.” The Arts, Culture and Heritage category was by far the largest category represented at the conference with nine nominees, including American Players Theatre, Door County Visitor Bureau, Driftless Market, Madison Children’s Museum, Marquette County “Barn Quilt and Hidden History Mural Trail,” Peninsula Players Theatre, The Pfister Hotel, and Shake Rag Alley Center for the Arts.

Video of reaction to award:

Each year, Wisconsin honors five Tourism Awards recipients at the conference. Nominees are recognized for their dedication, creativity, and excellence within the industry. “These recipients exemplify the best of the state’s tourism industry and they set the bar high for their peers,” said Governor Walker.  “Their contributions guarantee travelers have a memorable and fun vacation experience when they visit Wisconsin and the tourism economy in the state continues to grow.”

“This year’s five honorees should truly be proud that they were selected from a pool of 28 outstanding nominations,” said Tourism Secretary Stephanie Klett.  “Each year we are in awe of the achievements of each and every nominee submitted for these awards.”

Link to full nomination:

“We knew our nomination was strong. Our submission was the product of a very collaborative process and we felt that it was a nearly perfect depiction of our company,” stated Managing Director, Dave Maier. “We are so pleased to be honored in this way and we share this award with our entire company of writers, performers, volunteers, our board, and our patrons who keep coming out to support us year after year.”

Tickets for AFT’s summer and fall season will go on sale April 16th in the AFT box office at the Green Gables shops in north Ephraim, via phone at (920) 854-6117, and online at

American Folklore Theatre is a non-profit professional theatre organization that produces original musical shows in repertory from June through August.  AFT continues its performances into the fall with shows at the Door Community Auditorium and town halls September through October and over the Christmas holiday.  American Folklore Theatre is a member of Theatre Wisconsin and the Theatre Communications Group (TCG), organizations that promote non-profit theatre groups.

03/09/2012 – American Folklore Theatre Receives Innaugural Tourism Award
03/06/2012 – Governor Walker Recognizes Tourism Award Recipients

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Productions are supported in part by a grant from the Wisconsin Arts Board with funds from the State of Wisconsin and the National Endowment for the Arts.