2023 Arts & Culture Snapshot

May 24, 2023 | News & Events

Did you know that the Community Foundation of Central Wisconsin is one of the few local organizations where your donation can support and encourage local arts and cultural programming in our community? A gift to the Foundation’s Arts & Culture Mission Fund can do just that.

How did the Arts & Culture Mission Fund start?

In the spring of 2004, the Arts Alliance of Portage County, now known as CREATE Portage County, was formed. At that time, the 13-member board aimed to connect, promote, and illuminate artistic expression, artists, and audiences across Portage County.

The Arts & Culture Mission Fund was established shortly afterward in September 2004. The funds co-founders were Bill Schierl, Ann & Bob Shannon, and the Arts Alliance of Portage County, Inc (now known as CREATE Portage County). The fund was started with a state grant and a generous contribution from the Robert and Ann Shannon Family Fund.

The fund’s purpose was to develop, promote, and enhance arts and culture in Portage County and specifically support the operation of CREATE Portage County (formerly the Arts Alliance of Portage County). This fund continues to provide grants to support arts and cultural programming in Portage County.

What does Arts and Culture giving look like in our state and in our region?

Wisconsin’s Creative Economy Coalition found that the creative sector in Wisconsin contributes $10.8b to the economy and employs nearly 90,000 people. However, Wisconsin has lagged behind the national average in terms of growth. From 2020 to 2023, Wisconsin’s creative sector’s economic impact increased by only 8.44%, while the national figure rose by 14.43%. Wisconsin ranks 41st in the country in terms of economic growth in the creative sector–and ranks last when it comes to arts funding on a per capita basis.

Wisconsin ranks last in arts funding in the Midwest and the NATION.
Wisconsin’s Creative Economy Coalition
Image source: wisconsincreates.com

We are proud that the people in our region are pushing back against this years-long trend in Wisconsin. Our Foundation’s Arts and Culture Mission Fund has given out $72,485.77 in grants since its inception. When you count grantmaking from all our different fund options, we have been able to put $379,206 towards Arts and Culture in Portage County between 2004 and FY 2023! We invite you to be part of the change to strengthen and revitalize the creative economy of Central Wisconsin!

How can you support Arts and Culture in Portage County?

June 1: Enjoy live music at the Levitt Amp Concert Series at the Pfiffner Park Bandshell. Visit our table to get some cool stickers, enter a raffle for a swag bag, and chat with our friendly staff. We are excited to kick off the concert series with a special message.

June 12: You’re invited to join our Community Lunch Hour, where we will discuss the Arts and Culture mission fund and explore its history, impact, and future. Jenny will be joined by CREATE Portage County’s executive director, Maggie Marquardt, and Board President & Founder, Bill Schierl. REGISTER NOW!

Today: Make a lasting difference by donating to the Arts and Culture Mission Fund or through other giving options that suit your interests. Visit cfcwi.org/ways-to-give or contact us at (715) 342-4454 / foundation@cfcwi.org to explore your charitable gift opportunities.

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