Culture Currents writer-creator Kevin Lynch receives top prize for arts criticism from Milwaukee Press Club

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Edward S. Curtis “Winter Apsaroke from the MWA exhibit reviewed in the award-winning “Edward Curtis preserved America’s vanishing race for posterity.”

Photograph by Edward S Curtis.

Good news. The nation’s oldest state journalist organization, The Milwaukee Press Club, has awarded its 2013 gold prize to Kevernacular and the Culture Currents blog for “Best Critical Review of the Arts.” We received the honor for the blog “Edward Curtis preserved America’s vanishing race for posterity.” It is a review of the remarkable exhibit of Wisconsin-born photographer and anthropologist Edward S. Curtis, who documented with a heroic obsession the gradual death of our Native American culture and lifestyle in the early 20th-century. The exhibit ran at the Wisconsin Museum of Art in West Bend last fall and winter.

The awards are judged by a panel of out-of-state journalism professionals.The silver award in the criticism category went to Erik Gunn for “The New Old Guard,” in Milwaukee Magazine, and the bronze went to my friend Michael Muckian for “Beethoven goes Bollywood” in Wisconsin Gazette. The awards dinner, at the Intercontinental Hotel, was a lively occasion to celebrate and see plenty of my fellow journalists.

I also met some I haven’t until now, including personable Milwaukee historian and table mate John Gurda, who regaled my date and I with arcane historical tidbits, and who won a Gold Award for “best column” for his Crossroads history column in The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. 

The Curtis review appeared originally in The Shepherd Express on August 19, and then in expanded form in Culture Currents. Here’s the link to it: https://kevernacular.com/?p=2133 Muckian also writes for Shepherd Express. I want to thank all Culture Currents readers for your support and interest. Without you, the this blog wouldn’t mean much at all. photo (4) Kevernacular (Kevin Lynch) received a “gold award” plaque for the Culture Currents blog Friday at the Milwaukee Press Club awards dinner. To quote Sen. Elizabeth Warren, “I never dreamed I would be a blond.” Photo by Ann K. Peterson

Noted author, pundit and journalist Jonathan Alter was the Sacred Cat Award winner and spoke to the crowd about the schizophrenic quality of Wisconsin politics. He also reiterated the fundamental values of journalism in an era in which blogging can lead to facile posturing and information.

That means actual research and reporting, “which means getting on the phone and talking to people, not just e-mailing,” said Alter, who is also currently an executive producer of “Alpha House,” a political comedy created by Gary Trudeau and starring John Goodman. In an era of chaotic upheaval in the profession, journalism must continue to strive for balanced representation, but not simply to balance out perceive polarities, rather to strive for the truth, Alter said.

He also predicted that Scott Walker would not get Republican nomination for president, because he doesn’t seem to have the right stuff, even though Republicans are longing for a governor as a presidential nominee.

Alter, who has covered the last nine presidential elections, also predicted that Hillary Clinton would win the presidency in 2016. However he said, as many have predicted, Republicans should make big gains in 2014 midterm elections, largely because base and widespead Democratic constituencies still fail to get out to vote enough in non-presidential elections.

Kevin Lynch has received Milwaukee Press Club awards in the “best critical arts review” category twice before, while writing for The Capital Times in Madison, Wisconsin.

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