Message from the Wisconsin Arts Board

Dear friends and partners,

The Wisconsin Arts Board decided at its meeting last Friday to actively contest Governor Walker’s proposal to cut state funding for the arts by 73%, eliminate the Wisconsin Arts Board as a state agency, transfer its four remaining staff members to staff a program within the Department of Tourism, and count the remaining funds associated with the arts under the column of Marketing.  More details can be found in the attached document, which outlines why the WAB finds his proposal in direct conflict with the goal to create jobs and economic recovery and growth for our state.

The Arts Board has enjoyed an increasingly productive and mutually supportive relationship with the Department of Tourism over our 38 year history, each agency focused on its unique mission but lending expertise and leveraging strength for the other.  Our work is not redundant.  Wisconsin, now more than ever, needs a state agency specifically focused on the arts and cultural infrastructure of its communities large and small, an agency that also provides a point of investment for that infrastructure.  The state actually needs to invest in the arts to ensure the context and conditions that will make our economy robust and prosperous.

The Arts Board will lead non-partisan advocacy for restoration of the agency in the budget.  We ask you to share these talking points with your Board of Directors, those on your mailing lists, and to expand your lists with every opportunity that a new audience or group is gathered.  Your communications with Assembly and State Senate representatives in your district should include vivid narratives about what it would mean to lose both the grants and the counsel of WAB, your measure of the deep public value of this agency.  If your legislators do not serve on the Joint Finance Committee (JFC), then we suggest that you ask both legislators to communicate with members on that committee on your behalf, asking that they restore the Wisconsin Arts Board with funding that reflects an appropriate 10% cut.  And of course it would be helpful for you to also contact JFC members yourselves, as they serve on that committee as representatives of us all.

I also invite your suggestions for increased advocacy or for ways we can partner with you and support successfully casting a wide net across the state to harness shared determination to restore the possibility of a sturdy, inclusive economy.

With my gratitude for your hard work,
Barbara Lawton
Chair, Wisconsin Arts Board

Come see us at Arti Gras

Come see us at Arti Gras this weekend! Brown County Civic Music Association volunteers will be manning a table.

Saturday & Sunday, March 12 & 13, 2011
10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
at Shopko Hall
1901 South Oneida Street
Green Bay, WI 54304

A special offer will be available to those who stop by:
$20 Imani Winds tickets – Sat., March 26 concert (regularly $25) and
$25 Milwaukee Symphony tickets – Sun., May 1 concert ( regular $35)

Please stop on by to see the table, talk with a few fellow music lovers, and pick up some information about our organization.

Artstreet Aug. 28-29

Artstreet 2010 - August 27, 28, 29 - Downtown Green BayStop by and say, “hello” to your Civic Music friends at Art Street in Downtown Green Bay August 28 and 29.

Where: The Civic Music Booth will be on “Cultural Street” (Cherry Street) just west of Adams St.

When: Civic Music representatives will be present:

  • Sat. Aug. 28, 10:00 am – 6:00 pm
  • Sun. Aug. 29, 10:00 am – 5:00 pm

In addition to display panels with large photos of performers to see, there will be free brochures for the 2010-11 season and an opportunity to sign up for a free membership drawing.

Season and individual tickets will be for sale along with Carolyn Barnard signed limited edition Lombardi’s Field prints (Find out more about the Packers Print Fundraiser.) And, of course, speak with friendly Civic Music members about what drew them to the organization and what it can offer you.

More information is available at

We hope to see you there!