nominations Indy Awards“Yeah, what did ever happen to those Indy Awards that I nominated people for last year?”

Let me tell you a little story all about how my life got flip turned upside down…wait, wrong story. Though, that is a good one.

This is a much simpler tale.

At the Indy one of our main goals is to promote and celebrate the arts in southern Utah. When I came on board as managing editor, I couldn’t believe we weren’t already doing some kind of yearly awards for the arts. So, I got to work implementing them.

We created categories and subcategories, dozens upon dozens of awards. We covered everything from the most vegan friendly restaurant to the best book of poetry by a southern Utah writer. By the time we were done we planned to recognize the arts of education and coaching.

We may have gotten a bit carried away.

Some severe technical issues with the software we picked to run the voting — and a good bit of human error (my error, I’m the human) — left us months behind schedule and forced us to decide if we should scrap the whole thing. Well, I’m a stubborn old bald dude, and no amount of challenges could stop me.

Except, evidently, they could.

Because another two months of trying to get the things back on schedule left me looking at announcing the 2016 Indy awards sometime in April of 2017, if everything went right. I had to accept defeat. The 2016 Indy Awards were a failure.

Call it social conditioning, but I hate failing.

We learned a lot through that failure though. We learned about the logistical challenges of running a massive award system where the public can both nominate and vote for whoever or whatever they want.

Honestly, if I got another “Best Local Restaurant” nomination for a chain restaurant that doesn’t even exist in southern Utah, I might have gone mad.

We learned what awards people were really passionate about and what awards couldn’t draw a single nomination. Most importantly, we learned to keep things simple.

So, here we are a year later giving things another go because like any artist, we aren’t going to let a failure stop us from creating something we’re passionate about.

The 2017 Indy Awards will open up for nomination in just a few weeks. The process for submitting nomination will be similar but simpler. The same goes for the voting.

You’ll notice we have focused in on the arts much more tightly. There are about a tenth of the categories from last year. Nominations will be open for six weeks, after which voting will be open for four weeks. Again, we plan to award both a people’s choice — the ones you all nominate and vote for — and an editors’ choice award for each category. The editors’ choice will be researched, discussed, and selected by a panel of five members of the Indy team.

We are excited to give this another go, and we want to thank all of you who participated in the process last year.

Together we can recognize and celebrate what is best in southern Utah!

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