Accomplishments 1992-2021

Celebrating 25 years+ of advocacy, service, development and connections for and in Wisconsin’s creative sector

2020-2021 accomplishments (so far)


  • In 2020, led advocacy statewide for federal and state stimulus funding to cover pandemic-related losses, including $40+ million in CARES Act Funding from the Evers Administration
  • In 2021, continuing to lead advocacy for FY2021-2023 state budget and state legislative session funding opportunities, and for American Rescue Plan (ARP) state and local funding to support long-term sustainability and community development
  • Presented Creative Wisconsin Month, a month-long series of advocacy programs and discussions 
  • Recognized Arts in the Community Award, in partnership with the League of Wisconsin Municipalities, presented to Zach Vruwink, City of Rhinelander Administrator and former Mayor of Wisconsin Rapids, October 2020

Technical assistance

  • Presented numerous Zoom training workshops and listening sessions throughout the year, in partnership with the Wisconsin Arts Board, League of Wisconsin Municipalities, and other partners, on numerous pandemic-related and other topics, including public health guidelines for arts organizations, discipline-specific issues, and public art programming.
  • Public art workshops for Main Street programs and local arts and community organizations, in Janesville, Osceola, and Waupaca, were presented in partnership with Wisconsin Main Street Program and Wisconsin Arts Board – June 2021
  • Worked with small Milwaukee-area organizations on evaluation and sustainability in the pandemic era and beyond, through Arts Wisconsin’s Art$upport Fund.
  • Continue to assist over 25 groups and projects with fundraising and training through Arts Wisconsin’s fiscal receiver program.

Economic, Workforce, and Community Development

  • Working with regional leaders through the state to grow understanding of and participation in creative economy growth to benefit Wisconsin, its people, and its communities
  • Providing ongoing asset-based community development guidance, technical assistance, and services throughout the state to communities in every corner of the state over the course of the pandemic year.


Arts Wisconsin’s overall accomplishments since its founding in 1992:

• Recognized by local, state and global arts, business, education, government and political sectors as the only multi-disciplinary service, advocacy and development organization acting for the arts statewide, speaking up for Wisconsin’s creative sector and creativity for all.

• Recognized as the independent statewide community cultural development partner organization by the Wisconsin Arts Board

• Recognized as Wisconsin’s state partner organization of Americans for the Arts, the national arts service organization

• Created and expanded a presence and profile for the arts in Wisconsin via social media, starting in 2010.  As of August 2017, Arts Wisconsin has nearly 10,000+ FaceBook fans and close to 5,000 Twitter fans.

• Has provided technical assistance, include fiscal agent status, to at least 300 arts organizations and creative businesses on planning, visibility, programming and fundraising.

• Has continuously educated local, state, and federal public and private decision-makers about the importance of supporting and investing in arts programs, arts education and arts opportunities.

Accomplishments 1992-2019

• Continued to lead advocacy for the passage of Wisconsin Creates, a ground-breaking program to grow Wisconsin’s creative economy, and investment in the arts and creativity.

• Presented annual Arts Day legislative conferences each year since 1998.  Arts Day 2019 took place on Tuesday, March 12, 2019 at the Overture Center for the arts in downtown Madison

• Executive Director Anne Katz has presented on the arts, arts education, creative economy, and creative placemaking locally, statewide and globally, at:

— Americans for the Arts and State Arts Action Network meetings throughout the year

— National Arts Strategies’ Chief Executive Program

— Small Community Forums in Egg Harbor, Hurley, New Glarus, Pepin

— League of Wisconsin Municipalities conferences since 2010

— City Council, City of Waupaca

• The 2018 Arts in the Community Awards were presented on October 25, 2018 to Ken Juon of Artstart Rhinelander and Ryan Heise of the Village of Egg Harbor, in partnership with the League of Wisconsin Municipalities.

Creative Placemaking Institute – Arts Wisconsin partnered with the Bolz Center for Arts Administration to present an intensive course and professional development opportunity to learn the history, principles, and practices of arts-based community development, July 23-August 3, 2018.

Other accomplishments since 1992:

• Produced research on the state of arts education in Wisconsin, in partnership with the Wisconsin Alliance for Arts Education and the Music for All Foundation, August 2008

• Produced cultural tourism promotional campaigns in 2006 and 2007 with the Wisconsin Department of Tourism to promote the arts as a major component of tourism across the state.

• Partnered with the Wisconsin Downtown Action Council to produce the 2013 annual conference on creative economy development.

• Partnered with the Wisconsin Economic Development Association to produce the 2006 annual conference, “Planning for the Creative Economy,” featuring best practices and models, research and information on creative people, organizations and communities, in Wisconsin and globally

• Partnered with Corporate Report Wisconsin to host a discussion with arts and community leaders entitled: The Arts and the Economy: How creativity underpins the jobs and the communities of the 21st century, November 2005.

• Honored with the 2004 Governor’s Award in Support of the Arts (as Wisconsin Assembly for Local Arts) from the Wisconsin Foundation for the Arts

• Executive Director Anne Katz was honored by Americans for the Arts with the “Alene Valkanis Arts Advocacy Award” in 2010 and with Association of Wisconsin Symphony Orchestras’ “Service to Music” Award and the Wisconsin Visual Art Achievement Award in 2016.

• Arts Wisconsin is one of only two arts-focused social change organizations to be a member of Community Shares of Wisconsin, a community funding organization based in Madison

• Honored by Madison Magazine for grassroots arts development efforts in the Madison area, 2004.

• Providing ongoing training and technical assistance on legal issues for creative entrepreneurs and arts organizations

• Provided entrepreneurial training and business skills development through over 50 “Making a Living, Making a Life” educational workshops to 2,500+ individual artist-entrepreneurs throughout Wisconsin, 2004-2008.

• Established and enhanced the ArtsPeers Advisory Network, to provide mentoring, and technical assistance to individual artists, arts organizations, and community agencies, which has served 100+ communities so far.

• Created the Legislative Action Center in 2000, a statewide web-based communications action network connecting Wisconsin arts activists (2,000+) to elected officials statewide, and to national issues and leaders through Americans for the Arts’ national arts advocacy network.

• Organized and facilitated local and regional summits, meetings, forums, and summits at least 250 Wisconsin communities, to foster cooperation and communication between local, regional and statewide arts, business, educational and political leaders, organizations and agencies.

• Developed and continually upgraded research, statistics and information about the current state of Wisconsin’s arts and creative industries.

• Developed and continually updated print and electronic research and informational materials, for use by arts, business, education and political leaders, including:
o Action Guide for Arts Activists
o Arts/Business Handbook
o Community Cultural Development and Creative Placemaking
o Nonprofit and management information for organizations and agencies
o Services for individual artists
o Legal issues for artists and arts organizations

• Developed statewide promotional campaigns focused on the arts, cultural tourism, arts/business partnerships, and community cultural development

• Promoted cooperation between state agencies, including Departments of Commerce, Tourism, Workforce Development, DPI and the Wisconsin Arts Board, and state and local organizations, to build awareness of the state’s creative economy and its critical role in local, statewide, and global economic development.

• Has received funding from the National Endowment for the Arts, Wisconsin Arts Board, and Wisconsin Departments of Tourism, DPI, and Commerce, to provide research, promotional and educational services for the arts industry and the general public.

• Provides ongoing asset-based community development guidance, technical assistance, and services throughout the state – to at least 500 Wisconsin communities since 1992.