Sandy Brown Award

Sandy Brown Award

As you know, Open Door Pride’s mission is to affirm our community’s diversity through inclusion for all. The Sandy Brown Award is our visionary award recognizing contributions to the community. It is given annually to a person, persons or organization who have made significant contributions to the LGBTQ community and who have made Door County a more welcoming place for all to live and visit.  

 The award was created and given out at our 2nd annual Pride Festival in 2018. Our first recipient Sandy Brown, created the Door County Chapter of National PFLAG in 1997, the same year as Ellen came out. We felt it was more than fitting to name the award after her.

History of the Award

Sandy Brown Award was created in 2018 as a way to honor a Community member or business who exemplifies the Open Door Pride Mission. Given annually, with the actual award created by a Door County artist.

Sandy Brown embodies the spirit of equality and inclusivity that Open Door Pride wishes to convey in our community. Founder of the local PFLAG chapter and staunch supporter of our LGBTQ+ community. For over 25 years, Sandy has been a pillar and beacon for LGBTQ+ community members and their allies, and in recognition of her contributions, the award was named after her (2018 award artist Jeremy Popelka). Previous awards have been given to Gibraltar School’s Diversity Acceptance Alliance Club (2019 award artist Ellison Bay Pottery), Third Avenue Playhouse (2020 award artist Chelsea Littman), Write On Door County (2021, award artist Stephanie Trenchard).

2022 Search for nominees:

Open Door Pride is seeking nominations for the recipient of their annual Sandy Brown Award, given to a community member or organization who has demonstrated a marked dedication to LGBTQ+ visibility and equality.

If you know of a person or organization in Door County who has made distinct contributions to the LGBTQ+ community, please reach out to us (contact info here) with their name and examples of their impact within our community. We would love to recognize their efforts! Please email us at

We are also seeking creators of the upcoming Award, we reach out to Door County artists which further develops strong lines connecting Community with the spirit of inclusivity.

2021 Write On Door County – designer Stephanie Trenchard (Sturgeon Bay)

A number of Write On programs have been presented specifically for the LGBTQ+ community. Write On is committed to presenting a diversity of voices and perspectives in all of their programs. Twenty-five percent of the writers awarded a residency in 2021 identify as queer and/or BIPOC. The percentage of presenters of color at their recent poetry conference was 90%.

Write On recognizes the importance of providing a diversity of voices and backgrounds. We all have so much to gain when we listen to someone whose experience is different than ours.

2020 Third Avenue Playhouse –  designer artist Designer John Dietrich Ellison Bay Pottery studios and gallery and Diane McNeil manager. 

Third Avenue Playhouse has included LGBTQ+ playwrights, stage readings and plays into it’s programming for years. The benefits are vast within a Community when through the beauty and safety of theater, LGBTQIA+ lives are presented. 

2019 Gibraltar School’s Diversity Acceptance Alliance Club – designer artist Chelsea Littman (Sturgeon Bay) in recognition of their direct impact within the school since its founding in September of  2016.

2018 Sandy Brown – herself recipient and name for award – artist designer Jeremy Popelka (Sturgeon Bay, Popelka Trenchard Gallery)