Blog Posts for Wisconsin

Counties poised to pursue solutions through Creative Counties Placemaking Challenge

Posted by Jack King, Apr 29, 2022 0 comments

The National Association of Counties (NACo) and Americans for the Arts are pleased to announce the winners of the 2022 Creative Counties Placemaking Challenge, funded in part by the National Endowment for the Arts. NACo and Americans for the Arts invited small- and medium-sized counties to assemble a team of county leaders, local artists and community stakeholders to imagine how art can be used to solve local challenges. From Potter County, Pa.’s “Highway to the Stars” through Cherry Springs State Park to the storied and breathtaking beaches of Hawai’i County, Hawai’i’s Puna district, the winners represent the geographic and social diversity of the nation as a whole. The teams will seek to address a wide array of challenges confronting their local communities, from drug addiction to climate resilience. Over the next 10 months, Americans for the Arts experts will provide virtual training and mentoring of these teams as they explore the arts as an applied strategy for meeting policy objectives. On July 25, the counties will participate in an in-person convening in Adams County, Colo., in conjunction with NACo’s 2022 Annual Conference.

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Member Spotlight: Patrick Rath

Posted by Linda Lombardi, Oct 04, 2021 0 comments

In October 2020, Patrick Rath became the president & CEO of United Performing Arts Fund (UPAF), the largest united fund for the performing arts in the country. Since 1967, UPAF has been dedicated to securing community resources, promoting the performing arts as a regional asset, and improving the quality of life through responsible investment in and financial support of the performing arts in Southeastern Wisconsin. Every dollar raised comes from individuals, companies, and foundations. Rath brings more than 30 years’ experience in development and on the boards of several performing arts organizations to the role. He is also a classically trained double bass player and has performed with eight of UPAF’s 14 member organizations. 

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Member Spotlight: Maria Van Laanen

Posted by Linda Lombardi, Feb 08, 2021 0 comments

Located in Appleton, Wisconsin, the Fox Cities Performing Arts Center presents the best touring Broadway and performing arts productions from around the world. As president, Maria Van Laanen leads a dynamic team dedicated to delivering the Center’s mission of serving as a gathering place for the community to engage in educational opportunities and enhance understanding and enjoyment of life through the creation and presentation of the arts. “I am a passionate believer in the power of the arts to inspire and uplift an individual to see and reach for a life beyond their current circumstances and to gain a sense of community and belonging. When you scale that up to a community level, the arts have the power to bring people together in a unique way where they are willing to experience different viewpoints or ideologies in a way that might lead to understanding and acceptance.” 

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How to Secure a Local Proclamation for National Arts & Humanities Month

Posted by Mr. Jay H. Dick, Sep 08, 2020 0 comments

Proclamations are a wonderful way that your mayor, city council, or your city (or county) in general can easily show its support for the arts and culture. Each year, Americans for the Arts encourages advocates to work with their local and state elected officials to issue a proclamation declaring October National Arts & Humanities Month in their city, county, or state. They allow elected officials to easily demonstrate their support for the arts, offer a written document for advocates to use year-round to demonstrate the value of the arts and culture, and serve as a tool to engage other arts advocates in their local communities. For those who have never done this before, I thought that I would offer a how-to guide help you understand the process of obtaining a proclamation.

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Business Spotlight: Arts Business Transforms Spaces and Communities

Posted by Ms. Toni Sikes, Mar 06, 2020 0 comments

The arts can transform spaces (through public art), and they can transform lives. My company, CODAworx, has built a network of artists who create large-scaled artworks that are designed for the built environment in which we live and work. We have seen firsthand how these kinds of artworks can transform spaces. Everyone at CODAworx connects with artists on a regular basis (including our Controller!), and it is one of the great perks of our jobs. Artists inspire us on a daily basis—not just with the amazing works of art they create, but the way they think and interact with the world. They push the boundaries of possibilities. We all need a daily dose of inspiration!

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A Strong Equation: How State Arts Advocacy Efforts are Paying Off!

Posted by Mr. Jay H. Dick, Feb 21, 2020 0 comments

The National Assembly of State Arts Agencies (NASAA) recently published their FY 2020 State Arts Agency Revenues Report. By any measure, the report paints a very positive picture for state funding of the arts, with year-to-year appropriations increasing by more than 37% to a grand total of almost $495 million in total legislative appropriations. Because the economy is doing well, it stands to reason that SAA appropriations would be higher. While it is true that a strong economy makes increases more likely, a strong economy alone cannot explain this year’s massive increase. There in an interesting equation at work: If your state has a State Arts Agency that is engaged in thoughtful programming, a strong statewide arts advocacy organization, and advocates who are proactively engaged with your state’s existing political leadership, more funding/pro-arts policy are possible! 

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