News from Arts Wisconsin              
Vol. 5, Issue 8 | August 2016 
Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design |
 You are receiving this newsletter because you care
about the arts, arts education, creative economy and creative placemaking in Wisconsin.
In This Issue
Important dates 
Arts Wisconsin Links
August 1, 2016


It's summer!  There's lots going on politically and civicly, as described below.  I hope you are enjoying everything a beautiful Wisconsin summer provides.   

My big message this month is to ask you to  nominate a champion of your community for an Arts Wisconsin  Arts in the Community Award This is a great way for Arts Wisconsin and for you, our constituents, to tell the important stories of civic leaders and elected officials who are championing the arts, culture and creativity on the local level.  The awards are presented by Arts Wisconsin and our outstanding partner, the League of Wisconsin Municipalities , and generously sponsored by Wisconsin companies Heid Music Vierbicher Associates and Redevelopment Resources . All the info you need for the nomination is here, and the deadline for nominations is August 19.  The awards will be presented at the League's annual conference on October 20 in Stevens Point.  Nominate your local arts champion today!

Enjoy the rest of the summer and thanks for your good work.   Keep in touch!
Anne Katz, Executive Director
Quick Links
Arts Advocacy and Visibility
It's election time:  Act Now!  
Arts Wisconsin is  looking to the future during this critical (and so far, way beyond interesting) election year, exploring options for investment in the arts and creativity, educating candidates on arts and cultural issues, getting ready for the next legislative session and 2017-2 019 state budget season, and continuing to shine a spotlight on the arts and creativity in Wisconsin. 
In addition to the Presidential elections, we're got important statewide races going on in Wisconsin this summer and fall. One of our two US Senate seats, all 99 Wisconsin Assembly seats, and the 16 even-numbered State Senate districts are up for election in November.  A new State Legislature will begin its term at the Capitol in January 2017, and will plunge almost immediately into consideration of the 2017-2019 state budget.  

It's more important than ever that the arts and creativity are front and center when elected officials are making decisions about Wisconsin's future.

We're on it!   Our advocacy this year includes candidate surveys and forums, community meetings, white papers, op-eds and as much visibility for Wisconsin's creative sector as possible.  We'll promote this info on our website  and social media outlets as much as possible in the coming months.

What can you do to be an informed voter and advocate?  Plenty! True, effective advocacy is ongoing, persistent, and comes from the ground up.  Your advocacy is needed now, more than ever, so check out our resources to help you connect with decision-makers:
Programs and Services
Nominations open for Arts in the Community Awards-deadline Aug.19:

Is there a great champion of the arts - a civic leader or elected official - in your community who deserves to be recognized for his or her work?   Here's your chance to celebrate that 
person's  advocacy and support!  Arts Wisconsin, in  partnership with the League of Wisconsin Municipalities, is seeking nominations for the eighth annual Arts in the Community Awards,to be presented on Thursday, October 20, 2016, during the League's 118th annual conference in Stevens Point, WI These awards honor  communities and civic leaders around the state for championing the arts as integral to economic, educational and community vitalit and success. 
Many thanks to our generous sponsors: 
Click here for more information  and the nomination form.   Deadline to submit nominations: August 19, 2016.      
Welcome, new Arts Wisconsin board members
Arts Wisconsin has welcomed three new outstanding board members:  Debra Lewis, Lu Lippold and  Melanie Tallmadge Sainz, for a term of three years each.  
The Board of Directors, representing the breadth and range of Wisconsin's multi-faceted arts and creative community, guides and advances Arts Wisconsin's mission of civic engagement through the arts and creativi
ty for everyone, everywhere in the state, and advancing the arts as essential components of Wisconsin's economic, educational and civic success.  

Debra Lewis, Ashland, was elected as the City of Ashland's first woman mayor in 2014. She is passionate about sustainable economic development, promoting tourism, attracting, buildin
g jobs, and protecting public safety. Over the years, she has been a licensed 
attorney in the state of Wisconsin, served on many boards including the Ashland 

School Board, and authored a fictional mystery series. As a resident of Ashland for over 20 years, Debra understands the need for a creative economy in a city like Ashland and is excited to serve on the Arts Wisconsin board. "I am looking forward to being a voice for residents in the far reaches of the north by supporting not just the many creative artists in our midst but also the need for continued support of arts funding. I said yes to serving on the Arts Wisconsin board because I believe that the arts enrich my quality of life as nothing else does."

Lu Lippold, Pepin, is a distinguished independent filmmaker, producer, writer/editor and professor.  She has been involved in many film festivals and has collaborated on many creative proj
ects involving language, journalism, communications, and video production. Lu's films have been screened at many impressive venues such as the Chicago International Documentary Festival and the Midwest Film and Video Festival.
"As an arts advocate in Minnesota, I can't even count how many times someone said to me, 'Art saved my life.' Now that I live in Wisconsin, I want to do all I can through Arts Wisconsin to make sure everyone has the chance to learn and create -- and maybe even save their own life."

Melanie Tallmadge Sainz,
 Wisconsin Dells, is an artist, educator, and director of the Little Eagle Arts Foundation (LEAF), which teaches the traditions of Native American culture, involve the surrounding community in the arts and hosting workshops and fundraisers. Her specialty is
 intertwining art and education to increase the preservation of history, promote community  building, and to assist individuals in gaining entrepreneurial knowledge and business acumen. "I am honored to serve on the Board. As the director of a non-profit arts organization in Wisconsin I feel that Arts Wisconsin is a highly regarded advocate for the arts in our state. Arts Wisconsin helped LEAF during our infancy, and it has continued to provide the necessary resources, support, and advocacy for our continued growth."

We look forward to working with these outstanding leaders to ensure access to the arts for everyone, everywhere in the state, and to advance the arts and creativity as fundamental to Wisconsin's economic, educational and civic success.
Arts Wisconsin Member Spotlight
Chestnut Center for the Arts, Marshfield  
by Allie Schaitel, Arts Wisconsin intern, UW-Whitewater

The Chestnut Center for the Arts (CCA) an important northcentral Wisconsin cultural center. Since 2003, the Chestnut Center has fulfilled its mission to "create a lively center for the community to enjoy the arts in all forms." The CCA plays host to a variety of events including classes, concerts, workshops, art shows, and more in a convenient downtown location. Visitors are able to experience and enjoy any art form that may suit their taste.  The Center believes that it is essential for small communities such as Marshfield to have a space that brings people together and showcases local artistry and culture.

 Many of the events and programs held are family-friendly, enriching, foster creativity, and allow for community members to meet and mingle. In addition to arts and community programming, the Chestnut Center for the Arts provides a public space that can be rented out for weddings, teaching and rehearsal spaces, and as a space for community or business groups.
The CCA works hard to understand the community's needs and to stay up-to-date with its facility, branding, and programming. The Board of Directors, the Executive Director, volunteers, and donors are all dedicated to making the organization the best it can be. All of these people are putting in the time and effort to making improvements and keeping the CCA growing, changing, and running smoothly.

In an interview with Adam Smrcka, Executive Director of the Chestnut Center for the Arts, learn more about the history, staff, and plans for the organization, and their upcoming signature event, Lift Up the Arts, taking place on September 17.  

What is the history of your organization?   The non-profit Chestnut Center for the Arts was founded in summer of 2003 by a local couple, community arts supporters who had common vision to transform a historic building into a community arts center. Chestnut Center for the Arts exists today due to broad community support.
What is its mission, vision, and purpose?   To create a lively center for the community to enjoy the arts in all forms.  The Chestnut Center for the Arts is Marshfield's non-profit community venue for the visual and performing arts, educational classes, gallery exhibits, workshops and special events. The arts center also houses individual artists' and musicians' studios. Our goal is to offer a broad scope of programming and opportunities to enjoy or participate in the arts that appeal to all age demographics and families.

Describe some programs and services for the community and how you foster community involvement.   CCA provides entertainment programming such as concerts, plays, gallery exhibits customized arts based parties, High Tea social events, special fundraising events (Bone Shakin' Bash Halloween costume party, Holiday Showcase event (holiday shopping by artist and crafter vendors, holiday music)...

Our biggest event is the "Going Nutz for the Arts" summer arts camp for kids ages 5-11. Kids explore a themed week based in a culture to explore through 2D, 3D, music, rhythm and outdoor activities.  During our test year in 2014 we had 15 participants, in 2015 we had 50 kids, and this July, in our  third year, we had nearly 70 kids over 2 weeks.

Who works at the Chestnut Center for the Arts? Who's on your board?   I'm the Executive Director, and we have a part time Office Manager and Office Assistant, who work really, hard to make a good experience for our audiences, on staff.  The Board of Directors is made up of 12 dedicated community members with unique and varying professional backgrounds.

What partners do you work with?   We work with our local businesses, K-12 schools, community members and a whole army of volunteers to bring our programming to the Marshfield area community.

What are CCA's plans for the future?   CCA has reached a very important point in its 13 year history. Since I started this job three years ago we have gone through a total rebranding of the center with a new logo and website, a nearly 22,000 square foot building needing a major aesthetic overhaul, creating this arts camp. (which some thought was a crazy idea), implementing art education classes, continuing to find wonderful performers to fill our historic performance hall, finding tenants for our studios and kitchen, creating a professional gallery, creating special events like our Cork and Canvas/Clay parties, High Tea parties, the Bone Shakin' Bash Halloween costume party, expanding our annual Holiday Showcase event, creating our Signature Event : LIFT UP THE ARTS, lighting a fire of passion in the board of directors, and most importantly ensuring our incredible volunteers knew how much we love them and appreciate their support.
We have a long way to go...our Board of Directors has new leadership and new enthusiastic board members, we have some crazy fun ideas in the works and I can honestly say there's no place I'd rather be.

We have some very large infrastructure needs, including a a new heating system, a roof over our education wing, and an elevator or lift to make our building accessible.  So we are entering into major fundraising mode...trying to give access to giving by implementing online giving....exploring things like Go Fund Me options for splitting up some of these costly items.
Describe a really interesting project that you want people to know about.  We're excited about our upcoming signature event, Lift Up The Arts!  This is  a vital fundraiser supporting the eclectic and unique arts programming to the Marshfield area community. This event raised nearly $15,000 in our
inaugural year!   This year Lift Up The Arts will be held Saturday, September 17th from 6:00-11:00 p.m.   As Director, I invite everyone to join us on this exciting night to support the importance of the arts in our community and the Chestnut Center for the Arts.

Learn more about the Chestnut Center for the Arts at
Thanks to New and Renewing Members/Donors
July 2016...
Florentine Opera, Milwaukee...Marcus Center for the Performing Arts, Milwaukee...Peninsula Players Theatre, Fish Creek...River Arts, Inc., Prairie du Sac...Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design, Milwaukee...Central Wisconsin Symphony Orchestra, Stevens Point...
City of Milwaukee Arts Board, Milwaukee...The Grand Theater, Wausau...Sharon Lynne Wilson Center for the Arts, Brookfield...Ann Koshki, Madison.

We greatly appreciate the support of individuals and organization s.  Are you a member of Arts Wisconsin?   If not, you should be, because we're the only independent statewide organization serving and speaking up for the arts, arts education and creativity economy throughout Wisconsin!  We do our work on behalf of Wisconsin's amazing arts sector.  Join or renew online or through the mail today.
Thanks to Public/Corporation/Foundation Supporters
Thanks to the generous organizations, businesses, agencies, foundations and individuals supporting Arts Wisconsin's work to grow Wisconsin creatively!  
Herbert H. Kohl Charities  
The Arts Matter, so Please Support Arts Wisconsin!
Support the arts and creativity across Wisconsin  by supporting Arts Wisconsin!  
Arts Wisconsin is the only statewide community cultural development organization advancing Wisconsin and its communities creatively.   We're leading the way to speak up and work for the arts, arts education and creative economy in every corner of the state  

If you believe that the arts matter, please help us do our work on behalf of your community and the entire state.   Make an individual membership contribution or join as a member organization.  
Arts Wisconsin Merchandise - Get Yours Now!
You want arts stuff...we got it!
Get a set of our 2015 or 2014 year-end cards (with envelopes), or some cool t-shirts, and show that you support the arts in Wisconsin!

Commemorative cards:
  • 2015 cards:  Pecatonica students and their "arts parade," Hollandale, WI.
  • 2014 cards:  Former Wisconsin Poet Laureate Max Garland's poetry is featured in a beautiful design by artist Daniel Goscha of Madison. 
T-shirts:   We also have t-shirts from past Arts Days - all $4 each, 3 for $11: 
  • 2014 : Creativity 4 All (S, M, L, XL)
  • 2013: Creativity Works for Wisconsin (S, M, L, XL)  
  • 2012: The Arts Create (L and XL)     
  • 2011: a rts are part of the solution ( M, L and XL)
To order cards or t-shirts, send a message or call with your order to Arts Wisconsin at 608 255 8316 / You can pay via check payable to Arts Wisconsin (send to Box 1054, Madison, WI 53701-1054), by credit card (VISA/MC), or PayPal. All pric es include shipping and handling. Please allow up to 2 weeks for delivery.     

Keep Us Up to Date, and Send Photos!
Please make sure that Arts Wisconsin is on your e- and snail-mailing lists (send to, so we know about your work, your program, project, organization or business, and your community.  Our job is to know what's happening arts and creativity-wise in Wisconsin (and beyond), and to assist and promote that work locally and globally. 

In addition, we are always looking for compelling, vibrant, and relevant photographs exemplifying the arts in Wisconsin for our newsletter and social media outlets.  Please send up to three digital photographs with background information for captions. We might use them for our newsletter, or Facebook page (5,000+ fans and growing), or in a publication.  Send photographs to 

News from Arts Wisconsin
Editor:  Anne Katz