Celina Zisman Named Inaugural Recipient of the Oliver Franklin Award

by Jessica Fuentes November 6, 2022

Big Medium, an Austin-based nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting artists, in partnership with the Friends of the Elisabet Ney Museum has announced Celina Zisman as the recipient of the first annual Oliver Franklin Award.

A photograph of Celina Zisman in front of a pastel pink backdrop.

Celina Zisman. Photo by Lucero Valle.

Named for the curator/director of the Elisabet Ney Museum who died earlier this year, the award celebrates women leaders in the arts. The award includes an unrestricted grant of $5,000, which is intended to encourage the recipient to continue their own work of supporting Austin artists.

Ms. Zisman, the inaugural awardee, has been active in the Austin art community for fourteen years. In that time, she has worked in nonprofit and for-profit arts organizations such as Women & Their Work, the Creative Side Jewelry Academy of Austin, Yard Dog Folk Art, and Creative Mornings ATX. In 2016 she co-founded Dug Fresh Productions, a talent booking and event coordinating organization.

Ms. Zismen runs her own company, The Craft Advocate, where she provides creatives with an array of business support. Currently, Ms. Zisman serves on the City of Austin Arts Commission for District 8, representing southwest Austin. Additionally, she is a board member of SAGE Studio, a studio and gallery space for artists with disabilities, and she also volunteers as the talent buyer for Creative Mornings ATX, a community-building organization with chapters in over 200 cities around the world. 

In a social media post, Ms. Zisman stated, “I’m speechless. Oliver Franklin was an incredible leader and catalyst within our community. To be given this award in his name is an absolute honor, and I am beyond humbled to have been nominated.”

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