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Project North Fuses Art And Sustainability With Help From Tourism Grant

Wisconsin Dept. of Tourism

RHINELANDER, Wis. (Dec. 21, 2018) – ArtStart Rhinelander,  in partnership with the Rhinelander Chamber of Commerce, WXPR Public  Radio and Nicolet College is celebrating the best of the Northwoods with a brand-new music, art and environmental festival.

With help from a $14,690 Joint Effort Marketing (JEM) grant from the Wisconsin Department of Tourism, Project North aims to promote the area as a top destination for natural resources and cultural entertainment. The festival is set to take place Sept. 26-29, 2019 in Rhinelander.

“We are thrilled to support this exciting new event that will attract art and environment enthusiasts to the Rhinelander area,” said Tourism Secretary Stephanie Klett. “Wisconsin’s Northwoods is home to unique outdoor recreation opportunities and a growing arts scene. Project North will not only highlight these attractions, it will also create a positive economic impact on the community.”

Project North gives visitors of all ages the opportunity to engage in the music and art of northern Wisconsin while learning about the area’s environmental sustainability initiatives. Festival events include live music from more than 20 regional and national acts, art education workshops, pop-up galleries and art installations, as well as discussions about the awareness of environmentally-conscious practices. In commitment to sustainability, local food trucks and restaurants will provide food, recycled paper materials will be used and a volunteer “green team” will help ensure the grounds of the festival stay clean throughout the length of the festival. The event is expected to attract 850 attendees, generating an estimated $98,700 in visitor spending in the area.

Grant funds will go towards online, print and radio advertising to attract both local and non-local attendees. “The Northwoods is home to a vibrant community of culturally and environmental engaged communities, and we are excited to celebrate and share that with others across the region,” said ArtStart Development Director Melinda Childs. I

n 2017, the tourism economy in Wisconsin totaled $20.6 billion, a 3.2 percent increase from 2016. Tourism activity supports 195,255 jobs in Wisconsin, a seven-year addition of more than 23,255 jobs to the state’s total employment, an increase of 13.5 percent. Visitors generated $1.5 billion in state and local revenue. Business sales in Oneida County reached $304.7 million, supporting 2,208 jobs and more than $22.4 million in state and local taxes. In fiscal 2018, the Department funded 56 JEM projects, awarding a total of more than $1.1 million. Visitor expenditures driven by the marketing from these projects will exceed $74 million.

JEM grant funds are available to non-profit organizations for the promotion of Wisconsin tourism events and destinations. The state can fund up to 75 percent of a project's first-year advertising and marketing costs, and provide support for second- and third-year projects with decreasing amounts for funding until projects become self-sustaining.

For information on the JEM Program and application materials, visit industry.travelwisconsin.com. The mission of the Wisconsin Department of Tourism is to market the State as the Midwest’s premier travel destination for fun by executing industry-leading marketing programs and establishing strategic partnerships. The Department plays a significant role in generating greater economic impact and jobs for Wisconsin.

The portal for traveler information can be found at: www.travelwisconsin.com.

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