Stories from the field: creative sector responses to the pandemic

Creative sector responses to the pandemic


Balsam Lake:  While non-essential businesses are closed and pandemic fears keep people at a “social distance,” the Balsam Arts Gallery in Balsam Lake is finding ways to amuse and inspire.   Each week, the gallery windows feature the work of a new artist, from puppets to paintings to pottery to sculpture. All are invited to peek in the windows and feast your eyes on creativity.   Contact: 314 Main Street, Balsam Lake, WI; ;

Fox Valley: Future Urban Leaders (FUL) Gets Creative With Virtual Festival.  Milwaukee-based nonprofit Future Urban Leaders (FUL) is engaging their own community while tapping into Northeast Wisconsin connections with the debut of ‘FUL Fest’, a new virtual fundraiser experience on Thursday, May 21st from 5-10pm CST. Facebook event link:

Madison:  SEED Intensive and Performance Festival (Summer of Exploratory Experimental Dance) is a Madison, WI based summer intensive taking place online August 10-15, created by dancer and choreographer Li Chao-Ping.

Madison:  From the Madison Arts Commission – LOOK FORWARD, a social media and public art initiative to promote a sense of connectedness spanning across all neighborhoods and communities within the City of Madison

MarinetteShelter for Vaccine – a new song written and performed by artist and musician Rusty Wolfe of Marinette about the Covid-19 virus. Recorded by Hans Christian at STUDIO 330, Sturgeon Bay.

Milwaukee:  CONVERGE Milwaukee is a new platform to support community efforts that help individuals, families, and businesses solve their grand challenges, and build a resilient community ecosystem focused on the well-being of the Milwaukee region.

Portage County: CREATE Portage County is designed to be nimble and future-focused, shifting resources to help Portage County and its residents accomplish projects that grow the economy and improve the quality of life.  During the COVID-19 pandemic…

  • we will print and laser cut about 10,000 pieces of personal protective equipment for medical workers across North Central Wisconsin,
  • we are live-streaming #stillsessions programming that has already reached more than 13,000 viewers via Facebook
  • we are talking with small businesses, entrepreneurs, and independent contractors to advocate for support programs that work, connecting them to resources, and
  • we are converting programming like ArtsWalk and our 48-Hour Film Festival to meet #saferathome requirements.

Wisconsin Rapids:   The Wisconsin Rapids Community Theatre has created a new YouTube channel, and is proud to display songs from the May production of Cabaretwhich was cancelled because of the pandemic shutdowns.  Martha Bawara (WRCT Artistic Director and singer) and Ben Chitek (local musician) put together this medley to thank donors and offer some creativity during these tough times.  Contact:  220 3rd Avenue South, Wisconsin Rapids;