Dept. of Tourism: Secy. Stephanie Klett presents tourism grant to promote Port Wing Plein Air Painting Festival


Lisa Marshall, Wisconsin Department of Tourism

Phone: 608-267-3773

Email: [email protected]

PORT WING, Wis. (May 3, 2011) – Tourism Secretary Stephanie Klett today presented a $406 Joint Effort Marketing (JEM) grant to the Port Wing Area Business Association. The grant will help festival organizers fund marketing efforts to promote the second annual Port Wing “Plein Air Painting Festival,” August 4-7, 2011.

“Lake Superior’s beautiful South Shore is the perfect setting for an art festival based on painting outdoor landscapes,” Secretary Klett said. “Now in its second year, this event has the power to attract new visitors, introduce them to unexpected tourism opportunities and to brand this community as an arts destination. These are the critical first steps to growing the tourism economy and creating jobs for this region.”

The festival encourages artists to visit and paint the local landscapes “en plein” while observers watch. The event culminates with an exhibition and sale of the works produced during the weekend.

Last year’s event succeeded in selling out the area’s lodging, cabins and campsites during the festival weekend. Goals for this year’s event include attracting 18 artists and 250 observers over the four-day event; increasing occupancy for local lodging and campgrounds and foot traffic for area businesses; and, raise Port Wing’s profile as a destination for artists. Event organizers will use the grant funding to promote the weekend through direct mail, print and radio advertising.

In fiscal year 2010, the Joint Effort Marketing (JEM) Grant Program funded 51 projects totaling $1.14 million. Visitor expenditures driven by the marketing from these projects exceeded $30 million.

JEM grant funds are available to non-profit organizations for the promotion of Wisconsin tourism events and destinations. The state can fund up to 75 percent of a project’s first year advertising and marketing costs and provides support for second and third year projects, but with decreasing amounts for funding each year until projects become self-sustaining.

For information on the JEM Program and application materials, visit