all about the arts, culture, creativity
and community in Wisconsin
February 8, 2021


Arts Wisconsin is a member of the "Stop the COVID Spread" Coalition, a partnership of statewide health, business, economic development, and civic organizations helping Wisconsinites learn more about how to "stop the spread" and help put an end the pandemic as soon as possible.  

We're spreading the word in a new social media campaign:  "wear your mask, wash your hands, and watch your distance." These actions will help Wisconsin's creative businesses and people re-open and get back to work, so everyone, everywhere in the state can get back to experiencing and enjoying the arts live and in person.

Best wishes - 
Anne Katz, Director
608 255 8316
COVID Issues and News
  • Federal Relief Bill:
    • Paycheck Protection Program: The U.S. Small Business Administration, in consultation with the Department of Treasury, announced that the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) has reopened for new borrowers and some existing PPP borrowers. This round of the PPP continues to prioritize millions of Americans employed by small businesses or as independent workers by authorizing up to $284 billion toward job retention and certain operating expenses by allowing certain existing PPP borrowers to apply for a Second Draw PPP Loan.  Application deadline is March 31, 2021.
    • Shuttered Venue Operators grant program (previously known as Save Our Stages)  The Shuttered Venue Operators (SVO) Grant program was established by the Economic Aid to Hard-Hit Small Businesses, Nonprofits, and Venues Act, signed into law on December 27, 2020. The program includes $15 billion in grants to shuttered venues, to be administered by the SBA's Office of Disaster Assistance.  Eligible applicants may qualify for SVO Grants equal to 45% of their gross earned revenue, with the maximum amount available for a single grant award of $10 million. $2 billion is reserved for eligible applications with up to 50 full-time employees.

Listening sessions, meetings, conferences, opportunities
Wow, there are a lot of great sessions and opportunities coming up!
  • Webinar:   COVID-19 Public Health Issues and the Arts, part 2- Thursday, February 25, 9-10 am.  Due to high demand, Arts Wisconsin and the Wisconsin Arts Board will present a second COVID-19 Public Health Issues and the Arts session with Dr. Laura Cassidy, Professor and Director of Epidemiology at the Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee.

    While the Part 1 session with Dr. Cassidy (click here for the recording and resources) focused primarily on issues of concern to Wisconsin's performing arts organizations, this session will focus more on Wisconsin's visual and multi-disciplinary arts organization concerns.   
    Dr. Cassidy is a noted expert in issues related to safely presenting and producing the arts in venues and public spaces during the COVID-19 pandemic.  Her presentation will provide the latest updates from state and national experts on what's happening with vaccine distribution, safety protocols for indoor and outdoor events, capacity levels, and mask wearing for staff, volunteers and audiences.  The session will include plenty of time for questions.

  • Speaking of questions, we're taking them in advance!  Send yours to
    Register here You'll receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.  Registration is limited to 100 attendees.  The recording and materials will be shared widely online after the webinar.
  • Applications are now open for the Citizens' Institute on Rural Design, a National Endowment for the Arts leadership initiative in partnership with the Housing Assistance Council.  Rural communities under 50,000 population are eligible to apply. Click here to view the  , due March 12.  An informational webinar will be held on February 9.   
  • is now gener8tor Art, a 12-week accelerator program for visual artistsgener8tor Art helps artists achieve greater success by providing the support and mentorship needed to maintain a sustainable practice and navigate the industry..  Applications are open until March 27, 2021.  You are also invited to attend a series of free, virtual professional development workshops and webinars.  Go to for all the information.
  • Are You Seeking Funding for Creative Placemaking & Equitable Development? Join the National Alliance of Community Economic Development Associations for a free webinar, Federal Resources for Creative Community Development, on Tuesday, February 9 from 3-4 pm CT.  Click here to register. 
  • Nominations are now open for Americans for the Arts' 2021 Arts and Business Partn
    ership Awards.  
    Americans for the Arts, through its Business Committee for the Arts (BCA) program,recognizes 10 businesses of all sizes for their exceptional involvement with the arts that enriches the workplace, education, and the community.  The deadline is February 12.   Click here for info.
  • CommUNITY Growth Summit, March 30-April, 2021, presented by Wisconsin startup accelerator Gener8tor, and including keynote presentations, panel discussions and networking opportunities on startup ecosystems and innovation, up-skilling a community's workforce, and local arts and culture.  Click here for full info.
  • Americans for the Arts will present the 2021 National Arts Action Summit, April 5-9, 2021. Over these five days, advocates will gain a depth of knowledge from policy experts at Americans for the Arts and many organizational Partners in an all-virtual setting.   Arts Wisconsin will participate as the Wisconsin state partner, and will organize and lead constituent meetings with members of Wisconsin's Congressional delegation.  Details TBA.   Click here for an in-depth list of opportunities, scholarship info, and important deadlines.
  • The Arts Midwest GIG (Grow, Invest, Gather) Fund is designed to provide support to Midwestern arts organizations as they re-build and re-imagine during the continued uncertainty caused by COVID-19.  Grants of $2,500 will support costs associated with engaging artists in community experiences as safely as possible given the current circumstances of the pandemic. Grants can be also allocated be towards capacity building work. Applications are due on May 3rd, 2021. 
Support the arts, creativity, and Arts Wisconsin in 2021

Arts Wisconsin is participating in The Big Share, a statewide online day of giving on Tuesday, March 2, hosted by Community Shares of WisconsinYour support now through March 2 will help us reach our Big Share goal.  As a Community Shares member agency, Arts Wisconsin is proud to stand with 70 other social change organizations to work towards a better Wisconsin for all.  

For over 25 years, Arts Wisconsin has been all about growing Wisconsin creatively and equitably.  As Wisconsin's leading independent community cultural development organization, Arts Wisconsin is activating creativity as essential to meet the moment and move into the future.  This work has never been more important than right now.  Learn more about Arts Wisconsin at

Make an investment in Wisconsin's creative people, businesses and communities, with your support of Arts Wisconsin.   Help us move forward, speak up, and serve with a fierce commitment to optimism, energy, and strategic change.   Many thanks - for your good work and for your generous support.

What we're reading
  • A coalition of national, statewide and regional organizations, including Arts Wisconsin and other Wisconsin statewide arts and civic organizations, have endorsed a new policy document that has been sent to the Biden-Harris administration. The purpose of The Arts and Cultural Sector: Federal Policy Actions is to demonstrate the role of the arts within the broad context of economic recovery and how the arts can be of service in addressing federal priorities. 
  • The year 2021 has been declared the International Year of Creative Economy for Sustainable Development by the 74th United Nations General Assembly. The implementation of the Year is led by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), in consultation with UNESCO and other relevant UN entities.  
  • COVID-19's $$$ toll on the artsGreen Bay Press Gazette, 1-24-21
  • In Call for National Arts Support, Don't Overlook Young Audiences, American Theatre, 2-4-21. "A comprehensive arts strategy that centers access to the arts as the right of every child will not only support the future of the creative economy, but will also help to heal the soul of the nation."
Thanks to sponsors and supporters
Thanks to our 
2021 sponsors and supporters and to our member organizations, businesses and individuals!  Your support makes our work possible!  Special thanks to our major supporters:

Wisconsin Arts Board

HomeLight Madison realtors
News from Arts Wisconsin ais a bi-monthly service of Arts Wisconsin as Wisconsin's community cultural 
development and advocacy organization.  
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