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The website and its creator, both Milwaukee institutions, beat out competition from over 70 countries.

The curtain rises on the 21st-annual Webby Awards on May 16, when the creative team at the Milwaukee ad agency BVK will win big for their recent revamp of the Milwaukee Ballet Company’s website.

The site, which is fully interactive and features a crimson-colored splash page that looks a little like a theatrical curtain being drawn across a stage, is at once functional and formally beautiful, intuitive and unexpected. Maybe that’s why its creators will be taking home a People’s Voice Award as well as a titular Webby. Members of the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences (IADAS) select nominees for both sets of awards and decide among themselves who will win the former. The general public (several million people each year!) votes for the latter.

In addition to those two awards, BVK will also receive an honorable mention for best overall design of a non-profit website. According to the ad agency, its design process was collaborative, and its creative team was inspired by the ballet company’s work.

“Working hand-in-hand with the Milwaukee Ballet, BVK set out to create a site that’s both stunning and deftly developed; equally showcasing the art form as well as outreach, academic offerings and donations, all within one holistic vessel. A website that gracefully unites the beauty of dance with the artistry of seamless design and user experience.”

The Webbys have been around since 2006, when the Internet’s overarching aesthetic was more Wild West than Westworld. Since then, the competition has intensified. And the awards ceremony—like the Internet itself—has grown immensely. This year, there were 13,000 entries from 70 countries around the world, making BVK’s big win even more impressive.

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So bravo, BVK. Take a bow!

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