- The Magazine
- Current Issue
- Events & Shows
- Web Extras
- Yellow Pages
Photo: Waddie Mitchell of Spring Creek
The Nevada Arts Council is proud to honor cowboy poet Bruce “Waddie” Mitchell, from Spring Creek, with the 2012 Nevada Heritage Award. Nevada Heritage awardees are among our state’s living cultural treasures. They embody the highest level of artistic achievement in their work and the highest levels of service in their communities and in their commitment to ensuring that their traditions stay strong.
Mitchell was nominated by the Western Folklife Center and supported by letters from his community of Elko, as well as the community of cowboy and western poets. “Waddie Mitchell has become an icon of Nevada, of buckaroo culture (cowboys of the Great Basin), and of cowboy poetry itself,” writes Charlie Seemann, director of the Western Folklife Center.
Mitchell is a popular and respected cowboy poet and exponent of western heritage and Buckaroo traditions; a gifted performer and teacher of cowboy poetry and oral traditions; a veteran cowboy and rancher; and a skilled interpreter of the history and environment of the Great Basin from the perspective of the cowboy/rancher.
Claudia Vecchio, Nevada Department of Tourism and Cultural Affairs director, will present the award at 9:45 a.m. on Thursday, February 2 before the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering’s keynote address at the Elko Convention Center Auditorium. A December 1987 issue of Nevada Magazine—with Mitchell on the cover and signed by the man himself—will be up for auction during this year’s Gathering, January 30-February 4. The award carries a fellowship grant in the amount of $3,500 for the recipient. The NAC commemorates the honor with a cobalt blue glass plate with a silver dichroic map of Nevada, created by Carson City glass artist Jarill Ristine.
Mitchell was also inducted into the Nevada Writers Hall of Fame in November.