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Celebrating Marcelle Polednik: Women of Influence Award Winner

Marcelle Polednik, Donna and Donald Baumgartner Director, receives Women of Influence Award from the Milwaukee Business Journal.

MAM Director Marcele Polednik Receives Women of Influence Award

The Milwaukee Art Museum is thrilled to announce our very own Marcelle Polednik, Donna and Donald Baumgartner Director, has been honored with a Milwaukee Business Journal Women of Influence Award for her significant contributions to the arts and our community.

Every year, the Milwaukee Business Journal celebrates prominent female leaders from across the city with their annual Women of Influence Award. From the 150 nominations, 30 women were awarded.

“It is a tremendous honor to be in this group of very talented and very accomplished women. Being part of this wonderful cohort means being a standard-bearer for Milwaukee,” said Polednik.

Since becoming director in 2016, Polednik has broadened the Museum’s impact on the Milwaukee community by making the arts accessible to the broadest possible audience and helping reinforce the city’s reputation as a prominent player in the global art world.

“Over the past six years, I have worked to make the Museum an essential destination for the Milwaukee community—a place where people can find inspiration, joy, reflection, and connection. This award affirms that the challenges and the long days, and certainly the pleasures that come along with being director, have made an impact in the community.”

Prior to joining the Museum, Polednik worked as the director and chief curator of MOCA Jacksonville. She received her doctorate in art history from the Institute of Fine Arts at New York University in 2009. She says the arts offer unique leadership opportunities for women.

“It’s a career path that cultivates creativity and rewards passion-based leadership, where purpose drives decision-making, personally and institutionally,” said Polednik. “I look forward to seeing future generations of aspiring women in the arts continue to flourish.”

While Polednik is the award recipient, she credits all Museum employees for positively influencing the community.

“The entire staff is so passionate and dedicated to the work that we do. We have really committed ourselves to achieving at a very high level and to evolving and growing to meet the needs of those we serve.”

As for what comes next, Polednik wants art lovers in Milwaukee and around the world to know that the future of the Museum has never looked brighter.

“The next few years for the Museum are going to be incredibly dynamic. It’s a wonderful time to get engaged and involved. We are rewriting the book on how a museum communicates with its community, how it activates the works of art that it stewards, and the way it thinks about public programming and partnerships.”

“The arts are an incredibly important pillar of our community. Being engaged with the arts means you are in touch with your place in history. We are thrilled to be able to share the work that we’ve been doing behind the scenes over the next few years.” Read more and meet this year’s recipients here: Milwaukee Business Journal Women of Influence Award.

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