Peninsula Arts Association Celebrates 72 Years in Door County

Scenes from an African drumming and dancing workshops held at Sevastopol School.

The Peninsula Arts Association (PAA), Wisconsin’s oldest arts organization, celebrates 72 years in Door County at their annual fundraiser and concert on Sunday, May 3 at the Ephraim Town Hall from 3 – 5 pm.

PAA was founded in 1937 by a small group of summer residents in Ephraim. Its vision was for an arts community where residents flourish through exposure to artistic excellence in harmony with the beauty of the land. In the early years the board established an art exhibit, concert, and lecture series, nature walks, and art classes.

Over the years the Peninsula Music Festival, the Francis Hardy Center for the Arts, and the Peninsula School of Art all began as programs or committees of the PAA. Each group eventually obtained non-profit organization status of its own, independent of the PAA.

Since 1994, PAA has received matching funds from the State of Wisconsin through the Wisconsin Arts Board. This has allowed PAA to support small fledgling and often under-served artists and organizations, as well as established organizations and artists. Together, PAA and the Wisconsin Arts Board Regranting Program have distributed approximately $490,000 to over 228 individuals and organizations involved in the arts in Door County.

The arts in Door County are thriving. Eli Mattson, who recently was runner-up of America’s Got Talent, received a grant from the PAA for his first album. Continuing in this tradition of excellence, the PAA is doing a fundraiser with several musical grant recipients, including Dorothy Scott, Seth Raddatz, Jeanne Kuhns, and Lily Larsen. This event raises money to continue funding the arts in Door County and will be held on May 3 at the Ephraim Town Hall from 3 – 5 pm. All money raised will be matched by the Wisconsin Arts Board and will be available for granting. Tickets are $15 and available by calling 920.495.0893. In addition, tickets will be available at the door.

Please consider attending the fundraising concert on May 3 at the Ephraim Town Hall or donating to the Peninsula Arts Association at P.O. Box 213, Ephraim, WI 54211.