Feasibility/funding options and opportunities for arts and creative economy projects and programs



  • Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (www.wedc.org) – information and resources (including some opportunities for funding) to help start and grow business and businesses throughout the state.
  •  Small Business Development Centers around the state provide free, confidential consultations to help prepare market studies, feasibility analyses, business plans, and other business management needs.    www.wisconsinsbdc.org.
  • Wisconsin Entrepreneurs Network (www.wenportal.org) provides extensive information on entrepreneurial programs, resources and technical assistance.
  • SCORE counselors provide free consultations for a variety of business development needs, matching industry and management needs with retired business managers with the appropriate expertise.   www.bplans.com/score/
  • University of Wisconsin-Extension has a wide range of research, case study, and staff expertise to help with specific business requirements.  UW-Extension serves the entire state:  www.uwex.edu.
  • Energy efficiency studies for a cultural facility may be eligible for funding through a local public utility company.


  • Wisconsin Arts Board (www.artsboard.wisconsin.gov) – supports education, outreach and civic engagement programs and projects benefiting the people of Wisconsin.
  • Wisconsin Humanities Council (www.wisconsinhumanities.org) -supports and creates programs that use history, culture, and discussion to strengthen community life for everyone in Wisconsin.
  • Wisconsin Department of Tourism (www.industry.travelwisconsin.com) – funds cultural tourism marketing and promotional campaigns.  The Joint Effort Marketing (JEM) program is especially suited for arts marketing.
  • Revolving Loan Fund assistance.  Municipalities, counties, and regional planning organizations sponsor revolving loan funds for development projects within central business districts, offering below-market, fixed interest rates.
  • Local banks offer downtown business financing initiatives as a possible pathway for development projects.
  • Municipal utilities may provide partial energy efficiency improvement project financing and funding for community engagement and/or technical assistance programs.
  • Projects organized as a cooperative are eligible for business financing through the Northcountry Cooperative Development Fund. (www.ncdf.coop/)
  • Grantseeker resources:
  • National funders:

Contact Arts Wisconsin (www.artswisconsin.org) with questions.

 Developed with assistance from Bill Warner, Executive Director, Pierce Co. Economic Development Corporation, River Falls, WI.  This is only a small sample of the range of financing options available.  Wisconsin’s County Economic Development Corporations and other regional and local economic development programs and agencies  maintain current information about the over 150 state and federal business financing programs and will be glad to investigate and pursue the options most likely  to fit the financing needs of the specific project as capital requirements are identified.

updated May 2016