Message from the community: Kennita Hickman is the first black woman to win a local music award

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Kennita Hickman, owner and chief cultural curator of Catera, a music and media management company, won the 2021 Radio Milwaukee Music Ambassador Award. This award is presented to individuals or organizations for their outstanding work in advancing and elevating the Milwaukee music scene. Kennita is the first black woman to win Radio Milwaukee’s Music Ambassador Award since the awards began in 2007.

Radio Milwaukee emailed in a statement, “Anyone who knows Kennita knows she’s a BOSS. Through her work with Catera, she uses her creative marketing know-how and entrepreneurial spirit to uplift our music community and show them new and unique opportunities.

Catera’s recent projects include curating, promoting and producing Artist Eats, a series featuring independent musicians and local restaurants as a bridge to food and music, two avenues that bring together diverse groups of people. Hickman also lined up local musicians for Lakeside at MAM, a summer activation program at the Milwaukee Art Museum to encourage a safe gathering place outside. Additionally, Hickman facilitated local talent for Music on the Beerline, a one-day event with Riverworks MKE to activate the underutilized outdoor space in Harambee. Hickman has also written several opinion pieces for local media outlets on the importance of pay equity and work balance to creative entrepreneurs.

“I am honored to have been chosen as the recipient of this prestigious local award. Thanks in part to Radio Milwaukee for ensuring that the Milwaukee music scene continues to thrive. Catera is proud to be a part of it, ”said Hickman. “As a black entrepreneur it’s even more special because of those who are constantly working to amplify artists of color but are often overlooked. This award is for them, ”added Hickman.

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Past recipients of the Radio Milwaukee Music Ambassador Award include Milwaukee Public Library Library Loud Days, Vic Thomas, Milwaukee World Festival, Jim Linneman, Linneman’s Riverwest Inn and Kelsey Kaufman, Cactus Club.

About Catera

Kennita Hickman is the Chief Cultural Curator for Catera. She is a brand influence strategist, project manager and event producer for creative entrepreneurs. She is a board member of #IVoted and the Milwaukee Theater Alliance. Prior to working at Catera, she wrote for various music publications including Urbanology, Relevant and The Source, and was Director of Artist Support and Outreach for Imagine MKE, a non-profit arts organization. Learn more about Kennita and Catera’s work at or

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