Living Treasure Award

About the award

This annual award honors those individuals who have, over a long period of time, made significant contributions to Northfield in, through, or on behalf of arts and culture, so as to enhance the reputation of the city and the quality of life of its residents and visitors. 

Culture, as defined in the 2019 Cultural Plan, encompasses the whole of the community’s intellectual and social formation, including its work, thoughts, behaviors, and beliefs as manifested through the arts, food, oral languages, dress, homes, recreation, history, landscape, rituals, traditions, celebrations and festivals.

Announcement of recipient

The recipient will be honored at the annual State of the City Address held on March 19, 2024.


Nominees may be either a practitioner in one or more of the arts, or an arts or cultural leader, supporter, or advocate. 

Award benefits

The award is one of recognition and has no financial value.

Criteria for nomination

  • The nominee must have amassed a body of work that demonstrates consistency of excellence.
  • The nominee must be an inspiration to others.
  • Personal admirable attributes that the nominee may possess include: kindness, courage, wisdom, grace, authenticity, humor, humility, respectfulness and generosity.
  • The nominee must be living and a Northfield area resident (within school district boundaries).
  • The nominee, in discussions with the Arts and Culture Commission, is encouraged to serve the community and share their expertise for a period of no less than twelve months from March through February during the year after receiving the award, to the extent they are able. Contributions might include offering a series of lectures, workshops or classes to students in the Northfield schools, FiftyNorth, and/or to the community as a whole, serving as spokesperson or advocate for arts and culture.

In addition to the criteria that a nominee must meet to be designated as a Living Treasure, the nomination process has three basic requirements:

  • The nomination must be approved by no less than three persons not related to the nominee.
  • The nominator must inform the nominee about the intent to pursue a nomination, and the nominee must agree to be nominated.
  • The nominator must work together with the nominee to complete the nomination form.

Deadline for nominations

5 p.m., Friday, November 20, 2023

Submitting nominations

Nominations forms can be submitted by paper, email or online.

Supporting documentation

Along with the nomination form, the following supporting documentation must be submitted:

  • A letter of support from each co-nominator (no more than 250 words or 1500 characters)
  •  Optional:  At least one but no more than three pieces of supporting documentation that highlights their artistic and/or cultural contributions to our community (i.e., portfolio, newspaper articles, photographs, video clips no longer than 3 minutes, etc.)

Paper submissions

Paper nomination forms are available at and may be returned to one of these locations: 

  • Circulation Desk at the Northfield Public Library, 210 Washington Street
  • FiftyNorth, 1651 Jefferson Parkway

Email submissions

Email the paper nomination form with attachments to

Online submissions

Submit a nomination

Award recipients

Year Name Major Works
2023 Wayne Kivell Vocal music teacher, found, director of choir ensembles
2020 - 2021 Mac Gimse Sculptor, poet and teacher
2019 Donna Paulsen Multi-talented musician and teacher
2018 Judy Code Gardening artist and photographer
2017 Judith Swanson Advocate, artist, designer, graphics designer
2016 Jan Shoger Artist - teacher​
2015 Theo & Dewayne Wee Musicians - teachers
2014 Patsy Dew Arts programmer- built arts programs at the Northfield Arts Guild and the Senior Center, photographer,
​community theater director, actress
2013 Paul Niemisto Musician - band director; founder of Vintage Band Festival
2012 Cora Schultz Musician - founder and long-time director of the Northfield Youth Choirs
2011 Myrna Johnson Theater - founder of the Northfield Arts Guild Theater, director and performer
2011 Raymond Jacobson Sculpture/visual arts - including major works at Bridge Square and the River Walk, Carleton College, the Northfield Public Library and many others