by Kristina Coopman, UW-Green Bay arts management student and Arts Wisconsin intern
Frederic is a small, tight-knit community in northwest Wisconsin, near the St. Croix River and the Minnesota border. It is home to Frederic Arts, Inc., a community-based organization bringing the arts and creativity to the residents and visitors of Frederic.
Begun in 2008 by a committee of local volunteers, Frederic Arts’ mission is to cultivate artistic opportunities for people of all ages through educational exhibitions, classes, performances, and events. There is a strong focus on preserving cultural traditions, increasing public awareness, and growing community involvement in the arts.
To do this important work, Frederic Arts provides a variety of programming options, including Art Medley and the Public Art Program.
Art Medley is the organization’s most popular event, one that has really caught on and gained enthusiastic support from the community. It’s also the major fundraiser for this volunteer-run nonprofit organization. Now in its 4th year, Art Medley gives area artists the opportunity for creative expression in any art medium, using only a framed 6-inch square space. The squares are assembled as a traveling display at venues in communities around Burnett County. Each square is sold in a random selection process throughout the summer. “I’m happy to see so much creativity and diversity here. Who knew there was so much talent in this area?” says Chris Byerly.
Frederic Arts partners with the Frederic Public Arts Commission to bring public art to the area. There are currently three public work statues throughout Frederic; a sculpture titled “Circle of Stones,” by Minnesota artist Fuller Cowles, was recently installed near downtown Frederic. The sculpture was funded entirely by contributions from Frederic Arts and local businesses and individuals. Hopes are high to expand this program in the future, creating at least one new artwork per year. “It’s a wonderful way for village residents and businesses to invest in themselves,” says Jack Route, Frederic Arts board member. The goal is to fund and accomplish at least one new artwork per year and develop an inventory of art to support community identity for the future.
Learn more about Frederic Arts and the arts in NW Wisconsin at www.fredericarts.org.