By Teddy Larson
Magdalena Sas and Midori Samson are two of three recipients of the first Sherry Wagner-Henry Scholarship in the Creative Arts and Entrepreneurship. The scholarship honors Sherry Wagner-Henry, who was the director of the Bolz Center for Arts Administration in the Wisconsin School of Business from 2012 to 2020. Wagner-Henry passed away in May 2020.
Sas is currently completing her doctoral studies at UW-Madison, and is co-founder and executive director of Third Coast Chamber Collective (TCCC), a group of emerging musicians from diverse backgrounds devoted to promoting the transformative power of chamber music through inspiring performances, residencies and workshops. She will use her $750 award money for TCCC programming and operations.
“Sherry Wagner-Henry was one of my first mentors at the Wisconsin School of Business and her suggestions and advice helped me find confidence in bringing my project to life,” Sas said. “I feel incredibly honored to be one of the recipients of this unique and meaningful award and beyond grateful for everything I learned from prof. Wagner-Henry that helped me grow as an entrepreneur in the arts.”
Samson is finishing her doctoral degree as a Collins Fellow at UW-Madison studying bassoon and social welfare. Her dissertation suggests how musicians can operationalize social work principles to create a more anti-oppressive classical music landscape. She brings this philosophy to her role as the artistic director of Trade Winds Ensemble, a group of teaching artists that host composition workshops in partnership with social impact organizations in Nairobi, Chicago, and Detroit.
“Since receiving this award, I’ve heard from numerous colleagues of Sherry Wagner-Henry,” Samson said. “In their messages to me, everyone speaks to her friendship, kindness, and commitment to students’ success. While I never got to meet her, I have benefited greatly from projects she oversaw. So, it is an honor to be a small part of her legacy.”
Samson will use her $1,000 scholarship to support her work with Trade Winds Ensemble.
The Sherry Wagner-Henry Scholarship is sponsored by Max Fergus, a 2018 graduate of the Wisconsin School of Business. In 2019, Fergus founded LÜM, a social music streaming platform, and credits Wagner-Henry and the staff of the Weinert Center for Entrepreneurship for preparing him for his career in arts entrepreneurship.
The scholarship is open to any currently enrolled full-time student in good academic standing at UW-Madison.