The Rabin Youth Arts awards are presented each year to an organization or individual that has made a significant contribution in the area of Youth Arts. This year’s award for Artistic Achievement (for making a significant contribution in an area such as teaching, program development, or leadership in performance) has been awarded by an illustrious panel of musicians and music faculty to the Shell Lake Arts Center.
For over 53 years, the Shell Lake Arts Center has provided music programs, master teachers, and unbounded inspiration to over 31,000 participants in its summer and school year programs. Each summer program alone hosts 600 plus students for eight weeks of fabulous camps and workshops. In the weekly concerts during the summer, students come in as beginners and by Friday night are performing in groups at a level that almost seems miraculous. Celebrity graduates who can trace their beginnings to experiences at the Shell Lake Art Center include Byron Stripling, Geoffrey Keezer, Justin Vernon (Bon Iver), Lyle Mays, Ethan Iverson, and Zach Halmstad (JAMF)!
Finding such tremendous honorees each year—and bestowing this award —is one way that WYSO honors Marvin Rabin, the founder of the Wisconsin Youth Symphony Orchestras. It is also a way to recognize and honor the good that is being done in the world by organizations and individuals such as the Shell Lake Arts Center, whose work truly represents Marvin Rabin’s vision of supporting youth in all facets of the performing arts.
Due to COVID-19, the official award ceremony has been postponed until Fall 2020. In the meantime, many Congratulations to the Shell Lake Arts Center in Shell Lake, Wisconsin!