Arts and Culture

Announcing the 2018 M List: Innovation in the Arts

31 forward-thinking artists and programs chosen

Madison Magazine is pleased to announce the selection of 31 forward-thinking artists and organizations for the 2018 M List, which this year spotlights innovation in the arts. Among these local innovators are musicians, directors, dancers and other artists whose contributions to Madison’s art scene have been original and exceptional.

“This year's M List recognizes innovation and creativity in the arts, and as such enchants us, challenges us and inspires us,” says Madison Magazine and WISC-TV Editorial Director Neil Heinen.

From works that explore social justice and gender issues to projects that spark creativity and imagination, the individuals and programs on this list have etched their own marks on Madison. They’ve created spaces for communities, connected people to ideas and created calls to action in order to evoke change locally and beyond. 

This marks the sixth year of Madison Magazine’s M List. In past years, the prestigious award has honored professionals in the fields of health care, education, social innovation, food and technology.

“M List honorees are dreamers and doers, innovators and creators,” says Heinen, who led the M List selection committee this year. The committee also included Karen Lincoln Michel, interim publisher and editor-in-chief of Madison Magazine; Brennan Nardi, communications director of Madison Community Foundation and former editor of Madison Magazine; Katie Vaughn, senior university relations specialist at the University of Wisconsin-Madison College of Letters and Science and former arts editor of Madison Magazine; Mark Fraire, Dane County director of cultural affairs and Dane Arts director; Brenda Baker, director of exhibits of Madison Children’s Museum; and Karin Wolf, program administrator of Madison Arts Program.

Below are this year’s 2018 M List honorees:

Alex Haunty, founder, Alex Haunty’s Theater & Arts Fund, Inc.
“Genetic Reflections” public art installation, Angela Johnson and Dr. Ahna Skop, co-collaborators
Arts + Literature Laboratory, Jolynne Roorda and Rita Mae Reese, co-founders
Noteworthy programs under the A+LL umbrella include:

  • ArtWrite Collective educational programs (Alaura Borealis, director)
  • CSArt Madison (Noted artists who were involved with CSArt include: Dakota Mace, independent weaver and Faisal Abdu’allah of Teen Bubbler)

Bethany Jurewicz, founder and curator, Visual Edible Audible
Chris Walker, artist director, First Wave Hip Hop Theater Ensemble at UW–Madison
UW–Madison Center for the Humanities, Sara Guyer, director
Specific programs recognized are HEX-U, Humanities Without Boundaries and Humanities NOW
Dana Maya, independent poet
Emida and Steve Roller family, artists and writers
Real Life Library (Garrett Lee, Jennifer Smith, Jordan Biagomala and Robert Chantigian)
Jenie Gao, public artist and creative director, Jenie Gao Studio
Jessica Lanius, artistic director and co-founder, Theatre LILA
Metta Monday Creative, Jet Waller and Megan Monday, co-founders
Johannes Wallman, musician and director, UW–Madison Jazz Studies
Johnny and Marie Justice, founders and co-owners, Justice Media
Jojin Van Winkle, filmmaker and former artist-in-residence, Madison Children’s Museum
Josh Cohen, musician and composer of solo electric bass music
Kelly Parks Snider, co-founder and social justice artist, Art in Action Inc.
Leticia Castillo, independent visual artist
Mark Weller, independent photographer
Melanie Cain, artistic director, Fresco Opera Theatre
Mike Ford, creator, The Hip Hop Architecture Camp
Rhea Ewing, artist and graphic novelist, “FINE: A Comic about Gender”
Simone Doing and Max Puchalsky, visual artists and community organizers
Spooky Boobs Collective (Amy Cannestra, Myszka Lewis and Maggie Snyder), conceptual artist collective focused on women’s experiences
Tandem Press, printmaking studio and gallery, UW–Madison School of Education
Timothy Yu, poet and professor, UW–Madison English and Asian American Studies
Ting-Li Lin, co-founder and principal photographer, Snowforest production studio
Tom Jones, professor of photography at UW-Madison
Wendy Schneider, founder, director and independent producer, Coney Island Studios

Madison Magazine will publish a story in the November issue spotlighting this year’s M List artists and organizations. The issue will hit newsstands on Oct. 31.


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