Stories of Wisconsin’s Creative Economy-Northern


Northwoods Creative Economy Coalition

northwoodsArts development focused on cultural tourism and enterprise businesses is blossoming in Wisconsin’s northwoods.  Coalition partners include Nicolet College, Artstart and The Mill Paper and Book Arts Center in Rhinelander; Land ‘o Lakes Area Artisans and the Land ‘o Lakes Center for the Arts; Campanile Center for the Arts and Headwaters Council for the Arts in Minocqua; The Warehouse Four Seasons Center for the Arts in Eagle River; Three Lakes Center for the Arts; and the Northwoods Art Tour.



Three Lakes Center for the Arts


“Art on Main” 2014. Three Lakes, WI

The Three Lakes Center for the Arts was established in 2003 in order to make the arts more visible in Three Lakes. This is accomplished through showcasing local artists, as well as encouraging creativity in residents’ daily lives. Their mission: to celebrate and promote the arts in the Northwoods, including “facilitating and fostering the enriching interaction between artists and the community we live in”. Now an official nonprofit organization with 501c3 status, the Three Lakes Center for the Arts consists of 14 board members, 75 artists, 275 members, and over 100 dedicated volunteers.



Bayfield Peninsula:  

  • „Arts and cultural tourism is a major economic sector in this part of the state.„
  • Lake Superior Big Top Chatauqua brings big performers to the Big Top and celebrates local culture, history and heritage as a cultural tourism destination with major economic impact for the area
  • Northland Artisan and Chequamegon Bay Arts Council economic and community development organizations promote creative entrepreneurs and creative sector businesses.

bayfield“The Lake Superior region is teeming with creative people, organizations, businesses and communities, working together to strengthen the economy and keep the area vibrant.   There’s so much potential for growth.  People know that this is a great place to live, work, learn and play. “

~ Bayfield Mayor Larry MacDonald


Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum, Wausauwausau     

  • „Employs 31 people in this north central Wisconsin community (14 FTEs)
  • Spends ~ $ 1,570,000 annually on goods and services in the Wausau area and throughout Wisconsin
  • Serves an estimated 56,000 visitors each year, including 33% from outside local area
  • Serves more than 11,000 schoolchildren each year through classroom visits to the Woodson.


Stevens Point creative economy developmentpoint

  • extensive downtown revitalization with the Fox Theatre redevelopment project as a cornerstone
  • „The 2013 Portage County Creative Economy Inventory Study quantifies the community power and impact of the arts and creative industries
  • „Partnerships and planning for creative sector growth involve Portage County and North Central Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission
  • Stevens Point Sculpture Park bringing together arts and environment