FARM Excellence Awards

“…you guys have created something wonderful … down in Kansas City I walked into a big room full of genuinely friendly, supportive, and PHENOMENALLY talented people, all interested in creating a vibrant community and extending a helping hand to their fellow musicians.”

 – Rev. Judi Hendricks,
FARMette 2017 attendee

We had so much fun and we were just truly blown away by the supportive and friendly FARM community.”

– The Yellow Bellied Sapsuckers, 2016 Official Showcase Artist

“We are America’s Heartland, and our conference exudes a certain relaxed, charming, and simple approach to Folk and roots music …This community comes together once a year and it is a treasured time. Come back ! OR, join us as a first-timer. Either way, I think you’ll be recharged in ways that will surprise you.”

–  Tim Grimm, Songwriter, Performer, Actor
2014 Key Note Speaker

“FARM made me see and feel that I’m part of a songwriting community. This was such an exciting and a happy realization. I came away with renewed energy and resolve for my own work, and who doesn’t need that?”

– Michael P. Smith, Songwriter, Actor, 2011 Key Note Speaker

Each year at our annual conference FARM presents two awards, the Lantern Bearer Award and the Folk Tradition in the Midwest Lifetime Award. The FARM Board of Directors makes the choice for, and awards, the Lantern Bearer Award. The FARM membership nominates individuals for the Folk Tradition in the Midwest Lifetime Award.

Information about the FARM awards is below and includes the names of those who have received these awards in the past.

Please join us in congratulating this year’s worthy award recipients!~

2018 Folk Tradition in the Midwest Lifetime Achievement Awardee -DAVE SIGLIN

Best known for his role as Program Director at one the country’s most venerable folk clubs, The Ark in Ann Arbor, Dave was a musician & folksinger first. Raised in Detroit until college brought him to Ann Arbor, where he found himself a gig at a small ‘house concert’ located at 1421 Hill St (the original Ark). It wasn’t long after that when he was offered the job of resident manager. Dave, Linda along with newborn, Anya moved in and the rest, as they say is history. You can read much more about the Ark and Dave’s role in its history at

The Ark’s current managing director Marianne James has called Siglin “the heartbeat of The Ark for 40 years” and said “We should all be so lucky if our life’s work could mean so much to so many people.

2018 Lantern Bearer Awardee – CHUCK MITCHELL

Chuck grew up near Detroit Michigan, sang in the folk clubs in the 60’s and married a gal named Joni. In his one-man show, Mitchell combines seasoned skills as an actor, singer and guitarist with a broad and sophisticated selection of material. Mitchell’s credits include A Prairie Home Companion and repertory theater in the US and the UK.  He has played Harold Hill in The Music Man, Woody in Woody Guthrie’s American Song, and Stephen Foster in Mr. Foster & Mr. Twain. 

Awardees will both be honored on Friday October 26th at the Annual FARM conference in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Folk Tradition in the Midwest Lifetime Achievement Award

The Annual Folk Tradition in the Midwest Lifetime Award is awarded at the annual FARM Gathering to a living individual who resides in the Midwest and whose involvement in the Midwest folk music and dance community: 1) has been of significant duration, 25 years or more; 2) has been of significant intensity; 3) has involved significant service to the Midwest folk community; 4) has reached, and reaches, beyond a single sector, such as concert performance, into the wider community; and 5) has extended folk music and/or dance outward, into the wider community. The FARM Board has standardized nomination and selection procedures for this award, which is growing in meaning and prestige and which serves not only to honor one person, but to increase awareness of and strengthen ties within and beyond the Midwest folk music and dance community.

Past recipients of the Folk Tradition in the Midwest Lifetime Award include:

Dave Moore (2017) Sally Potter (2016), Ann & Will Schmid (2015), Eric Peltoniemi (2014), Jim Blum (2013), Cathy Barton and Dave Para (2012), Bob Blackman (2011), Maggie Ferguson (2009), David Tamulevich (2008), Juel Ulven (2007), Margaret Nelson (2006), Dave Humphreys (2005), Glen & Judi Morningstar (2004), Stan Werbin (2003), Rich Warren (2002), Larry Bruner (2001), Art Thieme (2000)

If you’d like to nominate someone for this award for 2018 Click the button to download the Nomination Form and instructions.

Lantern Bearer Award

The Lantern Bearer Recognition is given to an individual who has contributed locally and regionally to folk performance arts and the folk music and dance community for 25 years or more. The person recognized is selected by—and at the discretion of—the FARM Board of Directors.

Past recipients of the Lantern Bearer Award include: Andy Cohen (2017), Sue Kessell (2016), Matt Watroba (2015), Mark Dvorak (2013), Andrew Calhoun (2012), Lou & Peter Berryman (2011), Susan Urban and Phil Cooper (2009), Chris McIntosh & Alvin McGovern (2008), Joel Mabus (2006)