The state Legislature is considering a bill to establish a grant program to support Wisconsin’s creative industries, job creation and economic development throughout the state.
The Creative Economy Development Initiative, which would be administered by the Wisconsin Arts Board, would be a public/private partnership to leverage and grow artistic and creative assets and resources throughout Wisconsin.
According to supporters, the program would:
- Promote local and regional creative economic development that creates and expands jobs, businesses and income, through downtown and community revitalization, civic engagement and cultural tourism programs.
- Promote arts and creativity in education as a deliberate strategy for workforce development, to expand skills training; stimulate creative thinking, idea generation, innovation and inspiration; and enable entrepreneurship – all qualities needed in the 21st century workforce.
- Strengthen capacity and entrepreneurship for and in the state’s diverse arts infrastructure.
The bill would designate a total of $500,000 over the biennium to launch the program.
State Sen. Sheila Harsdorf, R-River Falls, and Rep. Dean Kaufert, R-Neenah, are the co-sponsors of the bill, LRB-3517/2.
The measure will be introduced as companion bills in the Senate and Assembly, and each house will assign the bill to a standing committee. Public hearings about the bill will be held. The bill must also be reviewed by the Joint Finance Committee prior to being approved by both the full Senate and Assembly, before it would go to the governor to be signed into law.
Arts Wisconsin has been working for over a year to develop the legislation and expand Wisconsin’s investment in the arts, arts education and creative economy locally and statewide. The bill also has the support of Creative Alliance Milwaukee.