Wisconsin Arts Congress: Converge, Explore, Dream, Create, Talk, Act.

The brand new Overture Center for the Arts in Madison will be the stage for the Wisconsin
Arts Congress which will take place on Tuesday, October 12 2004, 8:30 am - 3:30 pm.

This event presented by the Wisconsin Arts Board and Wisconsin Assembly for Local Arts will be an opportunity for folks who have an interest in the arts in all its forms to gather, share ideas, get inspired and work together to promote and advance the arts in our communities.

At the dawn of the new century, Wisconsin’s complex, diverse and multi-faceted arts and cultural industry is faced with challenging responsibilities, risks, and challenges- and great potential and opportunity. Individual artists are taking entrepreneurial risks; arts organizations are expanding programs and services for their communities; cities, towns and rural areas are using the arts for downtown revitalization and economic benefit. These are part of the state’s larger challenges and issues, which include:

--diversifying, strengthening, growing and sustaining the local and state economy --incubating, attracting and retaining businesses of all sizes
--stopping the “brain drain” of young people leaving for other opportunities
--attracting families to settle in our communities
--increasing our appeal as a destination for visitors --ensuring access to the arts for everyone
in the state, regardless of age, income, or geographic location.

It’s high time we used our state’s boundless creativity and innovative ideas to address these common issues and themes. With vision, focus and purpose, the first-ever Wisconsin Arts Congress will showcase the arts as critical tools for home-grown business and community support, revitalization, and sustainability, educational enhancement, and civic engagement.

The Arts Congress will feature:

--Keynote speakers Mark Barone, Director, Artist Relocation Program, and Tom Barnett, City Planning Director, Paducah, KY. Since 2000, this small city 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). --participatory strategy and action planning on issues, ideas and initiatives for the 2005-2007 state budget season and beyond
--Congress Raffle -- grand prize: 2 roundtrip tickets on Midwest Airlines! Lots of other prizes too! Raffle tickets will be available at a cost of $5 each/6 for $25.
--Table-top exhibits for nonprofits, businesses, and individual displays, at a reasonable fee. Contact Kelly DeHaven (608 441 7488, kdehaven@wisconsinarts.org) for information on displaying your programs, products and services.
--Resource table for arts, education and community program and project brochures
--Art installations by students from the Argyle School District and from the Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design
--Performers from across the state --plenty of networking and discussion time with people who are using the arts to make positive changes in their communities

Register online at www.wisconsinarts.org, and contact the Wisconsin Assembly for Local Arts, 608 255 8316 / akatz@wisconsinarts.org, with questions.