Arts Groups Seek Legislation to Grow Their Communities

Arts Wisconsin, the statewide arts advocacy agency, brought together more than 100 leaders of arts, education and civic organizations on March 9 at Arts Day. This year’s conference focused on a day-long effort to inform legislators about a promising bipartisan bill being introduced in the current biennial budget.

Eager to spark (or continue) the economic revitalization of their local communities, the group convened at the Overture Center in Madison, traveling from small rural towns, mid-size villages and Wisconsin’s largest urban areas. The conference kicked off with speaker Sen. Sheila Harsdorf (R-River Falls), who co-authored Wisconsin Creates, a bill that encourages public-private partnerships to develop workforces and expand innovation throughout Wisconsin. Those attending the conference met with their elected officials or staff at the Capitol Building throughout the day. Rep. Joel Kitchens (R-Sturgeon Bay) signed on as supporter of the legislation by day’s end.

Kate Rericha, Grants and Development Manager for Birch Creek and treasurer of the Arts Wisconsin Board, attended the conference for her 12th year. Accompanying her was Carla Byrnes, Birch Creek board member in charge of overseeing the Birch Creek Board’s communications with elected officials. For more information visit



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