Conference will celebrate creative Milwaukee

The momentum continues to build for the Creative Alliance Milwaukee (CAM), which will move into a new creative incubator in Milwaukee’s Historic Third Ward and will present the first Creative Milwaukee at Work Conference this fall.

Lindsey Bovinet, chairman of Interior Systems Inc. (ISI), plans to acquire the vacant former Eisner American Museum of Advertising and Design building in the Third Ward at 208 N. Water St.

Bovinet has made an offer to purchase the building from the Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design (MIAD). He plans to move his company’s headquarters from its current home at 241 N. Broadway to the former Eisner Museum.

CAM will be an anchor tenant in the building, according to Jill Morin, chair of the creative advocacy organization. Morin said CAM will work to attract tenants for the incubator, including interdisciplinary creative start-ups, artists, arts and cultural groups and small creative businesses.

Management and programming support for the tenants in the incubator will be provided by organizations such as CAM, MIAD, the Milwaukee Artist Resource Network, BizStarts and others, Morin said.

The Creative Milwaukee at Work Conference will take place Friday, Sept. 21, at MIAD.

The one-day celebration will showcase the region’s top creative people and organizations, including artists, designers, architects, executives, photographers, writers, marketers and musicians.

The conference will provide networking opportunities and strengthen capacities for creative thinking and problem solving in the region, Morin said.

“The conference is a chance to promote our own, to attract and retain talent, for creatives to connect and to create new businesses,” Morin said. “We are an economic development organization, first and foremost.”

Leading up to the conference, CAM will conduct “Show Us Your Creative, Milwaukee!” The contest will feature two-minute video presentations, narratives or photo essays. Two winners will be invited to showcase their ideas at the conference.

The keynote speaker at the conference will be Jack Turner, an Oscar-nominated film producer with Milwaukee roots.

A luncheon panel discussion on “The Relationship of Creativity and Business Success” will be moderated by Bob Schwartz, general manager of global design at GE Healthcare. The panel will include: Reggie Baylor, artist and founder of Plaid Tuba; Tom Campbell, creative director of Quad Creative; Ken Hanson, chief executive officer of Hanson Dodge Creative; and Deanna Tillisch, president and chief executive officer of the United Performing Arts Fund (UPAF).

An array of creative types and community leaders will lead a series of breakout sessions at the conference.

An optional Creative Salon on “How Can We Make West Wisconsin Avenue Come Alive Again?” will be held at Cramer-Krasselt after the conference.

BMO Harris Bank and BizTimes Media LLC are the presenting sponsors of the conference.

Meanwhile, CAM is launching a national search for an executive director, Morin said.

In addition to Morin, the officers of CAM are: co-chair Mike Jones of MillerCoors; immediate past chair Dean Amhaus of the Milwaukee Water Council; treasurer Jim Locatelli of Locatelli & Company; and secretary Falamak Nourzad of Continuum Architects + Planners S.C.

CAM board members include: Mark Barr of Duraguard Solutions; Murph Burke of Murph’s Original; Erica Conway of C2 Graphics; Bill Eisner of Nonbox; Scott Emmons of UWM; Bill Florescu of Florentine Opera; Lyn Geboy, independent research and planning advisor; Neil Hoffman of MIAD; Jonathan Jackson of Milwaukee Film; James Mac Donald, artist; Patrick Rath of Aurora Health Care; Mary Roberts, Buzz Monkeys; Gail Towers MacAskill of the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp; and Kate Wilson, volunteer.

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