Cable-Hayward Area Arts Council

Cable-Hayward Area Arts Council (CHARAC)

By Morgen Clarey, Arts Wisconsin intern 


The Cable-Hayward Area Arts Council, Inc (CHARAC) is all about supporting and growing the arts in the Cable-Hayward area in northern Wisconsin.  Since its founding in 1996, CHARAC has “encouraged the production, performance and appreciation of the fine arts through networking among artists and the community, education of artists and the public, arts and cultural programming, and advocacy for the arts.” CHARAC started its work by awarding scholarships to graduating high school seniors, sponsor their first art exhibit at Northwoods Health Center, opene the first Namakagon Art and Music Festival in Seeley, and established an Annual Dinner.  In recent years, CHARAC has sponsored art events and activities by Northwoods Strings, 2nd Sunday Poets, WOJB concerts, Chequamegon Children’s Theater, Serendipity Players, and the Park Theater Project. 


Today CHARAC continues to provide scholarships to graduating seniors through local high schools, Emerging Artists Grants, grants for education and workshops, and Professional Artist Grants.  The council also continues to give grants to community arts programs including the Northwoods Strings, the Chequamegon Children’s Theatre, and the Park Center.  In addition to granting thousands of dollars in scholarships, CHARAC sponsors several events and programs throughout the year.  In the spring, CHARAC hosts an Annual Fundraising Gala event with live and silent auctions, a wine tasting, live music, and food sponsored by local restaurants.  



Each July, CHARAC sponsors the Namekagon Art & Music Festival in Seeley, Wisconsin. The festival includes around 36 art vendors, a variety of live music all day, and a “poetry jam”. Carol Anderson, CHARAC says, “This is a delightful family event held under the pine trees at the Mooselips Festival Grounds.”  For the last four years CHARAC has sponsored an Art Crawl in the surrounding area with over 20 sites and 40 artists participating. Carol says, “the artists open their studios or exhibit their art as a guest in another gallery or studio. This is a three-day event which is spread for several miles in this area, including Drummond Cable, Hayward, Springbrook, and Stone Lake. It is very enjoyable driving through the beautiful Northwoods, stopping at the studios and meeting the artists, and perhaps finding other interesting things along the way.”


During the summer months, CHARAC also coordinates Gallery on Main, an outdoor art display in downtown Cable, featuring 24 art banners hanging from light poles.  Area artists are asked to donate a work of art in a 12×24 vertical format that is photographed digitally and a large banner created from the photo.  Several local businesses each sponsor a banner, and at the end of the summer both the original art and the banners are auctioned off.  This past year in particular, Anderson shares, “…the art was done by high school students.”  CHARAC also continues to have rotating exhibits at the Weiss Community Library and the Northlakes Community Clinic.  “The exhibits feature art by local artists, either “one-man” shows, or group shows”, states Anderson. 


Cable-Hayward Area Arts Council’s most ambitious project to date is a co-op art gallery, Art Market 63, which opened in 2013.  The Gallery provides programming and support to local and aspiring artists.  Currently, there are fourteen member artists who serve as an advisory board to run and staff the gallery.  Featuring artists include photographers, painters, a fused glass artist, a wood carver, a knife maker, and leather worker.  A gallery guest artist is featured each month during the summer and fall. The gallery also hosts classes, activities and other special events. A first Saturday art class for children is offered during the school year, a monthly open studio with a live model is held on Tuesday mornings, and there are a variety of adult classes throughout the year. 


President Carol Anderson says, “with creative people there is always a new idea for something but we try to not over extend. We want to be sure that what we do we can do well.  I think the future is bright.  There are many creative artists in this area, possibly because they are inspired by the natural beauty of the Northwoods. The Cable Hayward Area Arts Council has a small but active board and wonderful volunteers who work tirelessly to support the artists and bring art to the community.”


Learn more about CHARAC at