Wisconsin Arts Congress: Creating the Competitive Edge

Contact:
Wisconsin Assembly for Local Arts
608 255 8316 / [email protected]

October 12, 2004, at the

Overture Center for the Arts in downtown Madison

The Wisconsin Arts Congress will take place on Tuesday, October 12, 2004, at the new Overture Center for the Arts in downtown Madison. Arts, business, education and civic leaders will come together at the Arts Congress to turn vision into action, developing and spreading the message that the arts are fundamental for home-grown business and community support and sustainability, educational enhancement, and civic engagement.

Across the nation, cities, states and regions are re-discovering the immeasurable value of the arts and creativity to sustained community health and vitality. Wisconsin is becoming a leader in using the arts, culture, creativity and innovation as essential, comprehensive tools for economic development, downtown revitalization, educational advancement, and civic improvement. These shifts in focus and priorities will diversify, strengthen, grow and sustain Wisconsin’s economy to:

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incubate, attract and retain business

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stop the “brain drain” of young people leaving for other states

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attract families to return to their home-town roots

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increase our appeal as a destination for visitors

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help ensure access to the arts for everyone in the state, regardless of age, income, or geographic location.

Keynote speakers Mark Barone and Tom Barnett of Paducah, KY, will tell the story of their city’s successful Artist Relocation Program. Since 2000, this small city in western Kentucky has leveraged $10.5 million+ from the private sector to establish and sustain programs that use the arts for economic and community gain, winning national recognition and awards for their efforts (more info at www.paducaharts.com).

250+ leaders expected from across the state are expected to attend, including artists, arts organization staff, board members and volunteers; social service organization representatives; economic development representatives; business people; educators; community activists; and city planners.

The time has never been better to bring together people across Wisconsin who are using the arts to make positive changes in their communities. The Arts Congress will address enduring and new issues and cutting edge ideas and innovations, and help move them forward through initiatives to benefit everyone in the state of Wisconsin.

The Arts Congress will be presented by the Wisconsin Arts Board, the state agency dedicated to the arts, and the Wisconsin Assembly for Local Arts, the state’s arts service and advocacy organization, both leading the way to positive change at the intersection of arts and culture, community vitality, and civic engagement. The Arts Congress is made possible with funding from the National Endowment for the Arts, Wisconsin Arts Board and the American Express Company. Promotional support is generously provided by Wisconsin Public Radio. A limited number of registration scholarships are available. For more information, contact the Wisconsin Assembly for Local Arts, 608 255 8316 / [email protected] / www.wisconsinarts.org.