Beaver Dam Area Arts Association
Beaver Dam is a small, picturesque city on the shores of Beaver Dam Lake, surrounded by the rich farmlands of south central Wisconsin. According to the Beaver Dam Chamber of Commerce website, “quality of life has always been one of the chief themes of city officials, civic leaders and the business community of Beaver Dam.
The creation of the Beaver Dam Area Arts Association (BDAAA) in 1961, its sustainability over the past 50 years with only a few years of inactivity, and the recent expansion of art programs throughout the region, is a testimony to the commitment and dedication of this community to the arts. Consequently, the arts are a significant factor in the quality of life for residents of Beaver Dam and its surrounding communities.
The BDAAA is a non-for-profit organization whose mission is to provide variable, sustainable, high quality, and accessible arts and education resources for people of all ages. Superior exhibits, events, and educational programs are offered at the Seippel Homestead and Center for the Arts, which has been BDAAA’s home since December 1995.
According to Karla Jensen, BDAAA’s dynamic executive director, BDAAA has worked hard to break down barriers to make art accessible to all members of the Beaver Dam Area. Her efforts, and those of many volunteers, have welcomed new patrons of the arts from all walks of life and moved the perception of art beyond the visual arts. Karla looks for every opportunity to collaborate with civic leaders and businesses, neighboring art programs and centers, and local artists. The result is a community that appreciates and supports the arts. Artists working in isolation have come out to provide classes and exhibits, neighboring art centers have partnered with BDAAA to expand their programs, city officials have joined together with BDAAA to restore and revitalize downtown Beaver Dam with murals after severe flooding. “Art brought us together,” Karla explains.
On the 15th anniversary of BDAAA’s residence at the Sieppel Homestead, Karla writes, “Our love for the arts is what keeps us afloat, buoying us to become greater, serving others and looking beyond the horizon, even into the clouds, and looking forward with passion and yearning to the next fifteen, fifty and one hundred and fifteen years to come.”
To find out more about what is happening arts-wise in Beaver Dam, including the upcoming Week of Art, taking place March 19 – 23, check out the Beaver Dam Area Arts Association website .