Creative Conversations – Winter/Spring 2017


Click here for the list of Conversations – updated 4-29-17

Everyone interested in the future, locally and beyond – including artists, performers, arts organization representatives, arts supporters, educators, business people, economic and community development leaders, funders, elected officials, and civic leaders – are invited to let their voices be heard at a series of Creative Conversations throughout the state, presented by Arts Wisconsin, the state’s community cultural development organization.  Participation is free and all are welcome.

The Creative Conversations are all about bringing people together on a local and regional level to network, learn, share, and strategize about the ways in which the arts and creative sector can help grow and strengthen Wisconsin for economic vitality, education for the 21st century, healthy and vibrant communities, and engaged residents.

Arts Wisconsin is pleased to work in partnership with its board members, community captains network, local host organizations, and other dedicated arts activists, to present these Conversations.  Arts Wisconsin’s mission, vision and purpose are to strengthen Wisconsin’s creative economy and ensure civic engagement through the arts and creativity.  The Creative Conversations are made possible with funding and support from the Wisconsin Arts Board, Kohler Foundation, and Herbert H. Kohl Charities.

The Conversations will have a special focus on Wisconsin Createsa new statewide program to grow Wisconsin creatively.  The State Legislature will consider a bill this spring to make this program a reality and we need advocates to speak up in support!

Anne Katz, Executive Director of Arts Wisconsin, will attend and facilitate each Conversation.  Each gathering will include presentations on ideas, trends and initiatives for civic engagement through the arts and creative economy development, and small group discussions about current and future opportunities for artistic and creative growth. Arts Wisconsin’s regional network, developed over 25 years of service, provides a framework for the Creative Conversations.

The Conversations are all about:

  • Increasing advocacy and visibility for the arts and creative sector locally, regionally and statewide
  • Hearing and discussing local and regional needs, concerns and ideas
  • Providing education about the impact, value and benefits of the arts and creativity, and national, state, and local trends and issues facing the arts and communities
  • Discussing ways for local activists to become involved.
Arts Wisconsin will use this information to inform how we engage current partners and communities, find new opportunities for collaboration, develop strategies, and mobilize resources.

Meetings in 2017:

  • Green Bay, Thursday, June 1, 3-5 pm, at the Neville Public Museum, 201 Museum Place.  Local hosts:  Mosaic Arts, Inc. and the Neville Public Museum.
  • Amery, Friday, June 23, 10 am – 3 pm, at the Northern Lakes Center for the Arts, 113 Elm Street, Amery; cosponsored by the Northern Lakes Center
  • Additional meetings TBA

Previous meetings this season:

  • Ashland, Monday, January 30, at the Second Street Bistro. Local hosts:  Ashland Area Chamber of Commerce and Chequamegon Bay Arts Council.
  • Racine, Wednesday, March 29, at the 16th Street Studios, co-sponsored by the Racine Business Center, 16th Street Studios, and the Racine Arts Council
  • Eau Claire, Thursday, March 30, at the Eau Claire Regional Arts Center, co-sponsored by the Eau Claire Regional Arts Center
  • Appleton, Wednesday, April 12, Stone Arch Brew Pubco-sponsored by Creative Appleton Downtown

“Creativity abounds throughout the state, in all of its communities, and growing Wisconsin creative should be a priority for Wisconsin,” says Anne Katz.  “It’s time to recognize and invest in the arts and culture as an integral component in statewide and local economic development, community revitalization, and education.”

The arts and creativity work for a vibrant, innovative, and successful Wisconsin.  A recent survey of the arts in Wisconsin demonstrates that the state’s arts industry has a $535 million+ statewide economic impact, and supports nearly 14,000 full-time jobs.  Strengthening Wisconsin’s creative sector is a critical strategy for the state and all of its communities to compete in the global economy, educate our children, engage residents, and to develop, attract and retain entrepreneurs and a high skilled work force through healthy, vibrant communities where people want to live, work, learn, and play.

Previous Creative Conversations:

  • Ashland: Tuesday, January 26, Second Street Bistro, 201 Main Street EastLocal hosts:  Ashland Area Chamber of Commerce and Chequamegon Bay Arts Council. 

Arts Wisconsin’s regional network, developed over our 20+-year history of service, provides a framework for the Creative Conversations:

  • Region 1 – Walworth, Racine, Kenosha, Rock
  • Region 2 – Milwaukee, Waukesha
  • Region 3 – Dodge, Ozaukee,  Sheboygan, Washington
  • Region 4 – Calument, Fond du Lac, Green, Marquette,Outagamie, Waupaca, Winnebago
  • Region 5 – Marinette, Oconto, Menomonie, Shawano, Brown, Door, Kewaunee, Manitowoc
  • Region 6 – Marathon, Adams, Portage, Wood, Waushara, Juneau counties
  • Region 7 – Florence, Forest, Langlade, Lincoln, Oneida, Shawano, Vilas counties
  • Region 8 – Burnett, Washburn, Douglas, Bayfield, Ashland, Iron, Price,Taylor, Sawyer counties
  • Region 9 – Polk, St. Croix, Pierce, Barron, Dunn, Pepin, Chippewa, Eau Claire, Clark, Rusk counties
  • Region 10 – Buffalo, Jackson, Trempeleau, La Crosse, Monroe, Vernon, Richland counties
  • Region 11 – Dane, Jefferson, Columbia, Sauk counties
  • Region 12 – Grant, Lafayette, Iowa, Green, Crawford counties

For more information, contact Anne Katz, Arts Wisconsin, 608 255 8316 |