all about the arts, culture, creativity and community
throughout Wisconsin

"If you want to be a true professionalyou will do something outside yourself, something to repair tears in your community. Something to make life a little better for people less fortunate than you. That's what I think a meaningful life is - living not for oneself, but for one's community."
                                                                   ~ U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg (1933-2020)

September 21, 2020


There's a lot going on right now for all of us and for our country - the pandemic and its effects, the renewed social justice and social change movement, economic issues, the upcoming elections and all the politics involved, just to name a few things.  Yes, it's overwhelming, for all of us.  But in the face of such turmoil, we must rise to meet the times.  What choice do we have, for the sake of our children's future?

To that end, Arts Wisconsin asks you to take action on a specific cause:  make the case to elected officials that investment in the arts and creativity is essential for economic vitality, education for the 21st century, vibrant communities, civic engagement, and access to opportunities for everyone, everywhere in the state.  

The $5 million COVID-19 Cultural Organization Grant Program recently announced by Gov. Evers will make a difference for Wisconsin's nonprofit creative businesses.   We greatly appreciate this strong support, but more is needed for the creative sector - for-profit and non-profit - to be effective in Wisconsin's recovery and revitalization. 

At this moment in time, in the face of the loss of artistic and creative work and revenue by the pandemic's shutdowns and cancellations, and the reality that live events will be the last to return as the pandemic eases, that investment is critical for people, organizations, businesses and communities statewide.

Here's what you can do right now:If you care about Wisconsin's future - and we know you do - please speak up and ensure that state and federal relief and recovery responses help Wisconsin's creative sector survive this current challenge. It is critically important to make your voice heard and get attention for this issue.  

In addition, if you'd like to discuss what's happening with the arts, creative economy, politics, and the elections, Arts Wisconsin will hold an informal advocacy listening session on Thursday, September 24, 2-3 pm.  No reservation required, just join in if you're able.  More info here.

Many thanks for your good work and your good advocacy.  As always, keep in touch with questions, comments, and ideas.  

Anne Katz, Director
608 255 8316

Voting and elections

Ordinary people with extraordinary vision can redeem the soul of America by getting 
in what I call good trouble, necessary trouble. Voting and participating in the democratic 
process are key. The vote is the most powerful nonviolent change agent you have in a 
democratic society. You must use it because it is not guaranteed. You can lose it. 
                                                                                                         ~ Rep. John Lewis (1940-2020)

Do you know these voting deadlines?
  • September 17, 2020:  Wisconsin's city, village and town clerks mailed absentee ballots for November 3 to registered voters with requests on file
  • October 14, 2020 - The deadline to register to vote online (by 11:5
    9 p.m.) or by snail mail (postmarked).
  • October 30, 2020 at 5 p.m. - The deadline to register to vote at your clerk's office or other designated location.
  • November 3, 2020:  Election Day - you can register at your polling place.  Polls are open everywhere in Wisconsin 7 am - 8 pm.
For information on registration, candidates, voting locations, and anything else connected with the elections, go to

Use Americans for the Arts' Arts Action Fund to take the #ArtsVote pledge, because it's every citizen's right and duty to vote.  

Have you taken the ArtsVote pledge?  Make sure you're registered, make sure you vote, and make your vote count.

Listening sessions and other online conversations
  • Thursday, Sept. 24, 12:00 - 1:15 pm.  Register here (you'll get a Zoom link after you register)
    NonProfit Pop-up Discussion: Voter Registration & Get Out the Vote:  How to help your organization's members, supporters, and clients register to vote
    Since when is getting out the vote a part of your mission? If you care about democracy, public engagement, and promoting leadership for your cause, then assisting your organization's members, supporters, and clients with voter registration IS and should be an action strategy aligned with mission.  Join UW Madison/Extension for this peer learning session led by Melissa Kono, Extension Community Development Educator for Clark & Trempeleau Counties and Town Clerk for the Town of Burnside, to learn the basics of registering to vote in Wisconsin. Melissa will provide an in-depth discussion of, and clarify documentation needed to register and to vote absentee. Melissa will be joined by Anne Katz, Executive Director of Arts Wisconsin, who will introduce Wisconsin's ArtsVote Pledge, a campaign to encourage people in Wisconsin who care about the arts to commit to voting and to encouraging others to vote.   
  • Thursday, Sept. 24, 2-3 pm.   An informal advocacy listening session with Anne Katz, Director, Arts Wisconsin.  Discussion will include the presidential and state legislative elections, voting issues, and advocacy actions.  Free - no need for registration.    
  • Listening sessions with Arts Wisconsin and Wisconsin Arts Board - in October, we'll focus on conversations with specific arts discipline groups (listed below), but all are 
  • welcome to join in to share ideas, resources, challenges, opportunities, and issues.
  • Thursday, October 1
  • 9 am:  local arts councils
  • 10:30 am:   community theaters
  • 12 - 1 pm:  professional theaters
    • Thursday, October 15
      • 9 am:  musical groups
      • 10:30 am:  museums and art centers
    To participate in Arts Wisconsin sessions: 
Support Arts Wisconsin - pay-what-you-can!
Creativity is essential right now, more than ever Arts Wisconsin is working tirelessly to keep 
Wisconsin's creative economy strong through the age of coronavirus, widespread economic distress, and much-needed action for social justice, and beyond. 

Announcing Pay-What-You-Can Membership!  Our advocacy, service and development services for Wisconsin is only possible because of support from people, organizations and businesses throughout the state.  We need you with us now more than ever. We want to provide as much access to our services as possible, while understanding the obvious hardships of the COVID-19 crisis for people, organizations and businesses involved in the arts and beyond.  So, we're now offering pay-what-you-can memberships in Arts Wisconsin.  Moving forward with strength is imperative to the long-term sustainability of arts and culture. We need you standing with us.
Click here for all the information you need to support Arts Wisconsin Many thanks for your good work and for your support!

What we're reading
We're All In - creatively!

Arts Wisconsin and Wisconsin's creative businesses and people support mask wearing and physical 
distancing, to help protect ourselves, our friends and families, and our communities in every corner of the state.  

Thanks to UW Madison theatre student Gabe Hanna for creating this great YouTube video showing Wisconsin's creative sector masking up and physically distancing. We're All In this together! Special thanks also to the Wisconsin Economic development Corporation (WEDC) for support, 
League of Wisconsin Municipalities 
for assistance in this project, and to the creative organizations and people statewide who are featured in the video.  

And if you want to get an Arts Wisconsin mask or a branded mask of your own, go to
Action Alerts are an important service of Arts Wisconsin as Wisconsin's community cultural development and advocacy organization.  Thanks to Arts Wisconsin members, sponsors, and donors.  We are able to do our work with your support!
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