Using the theme of community development, the state arts community is keeping an eye on the Wisconsin budget process going on now in Madison.
Anne Katz is the Executive Director of Arts Wisconsin, one of the leading arts organizations in the state.
Last term, a bill hit the floor to fund arts projects with an eye toward job creation. It didn't get approved, but Katz says has re-emerged within the budget cycle...
"..This is not a big program, right now the ask is for $500,000 to start it off. But we know that that is not enough by any means. Once we get this program established, we'll be able to advocate for increased funding...."
The criteria includes individuals or organizations whose products or services have an origin in artistic, cultural, creative, or aesthetic content, job creation, economic development, arts education and workforce training and development. Katz says a new business model is emerging...
"...The 20th century model of economic development, to make a generalization, was lets give a big business tax breaks and they will come and plant themselves here. It's much more evolving now towards lets make a good quality of life for everyone so people will want to come here, want to stay here, they will want their friends to come here. In the Northwoods, that's what it is all about..."
Katz thinks with the a Democrat in the Executive Branch and Republicans controlling the legislature, it will take some time before they know if the proposal made the final document.