Cultural Task Force to hold brainstorming session

Last updated on July 3rd, 2019 at 07:15 pm

The Cultural and Entertainment Capital Needs Task Force has invited about 60 community leaders from across the Milwaukee area to share their perspectives at its next meeting.

The event, “Metro Vision 2030: The future of culture and entertainment in Metropolitan Milwaukee,” will be held on May 28 from 8 a.m. to noon at the Milwaukee Art Museum.

The task force, which includes 48 civic, political, business and nonprofit leaders from the area, was established by the Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce in fall 2013 in response to a Public Policy Forum report that found a number of cultural and entertainment facilities in the area are at risk, and the National Basketball Association’s announcement that the BMO Harris Bradley Center no longer meets its requirements.

The group has met three previous times, and determined at those meetings that more input was needed from the community about its role.

“After the first three meetings, a number of task force members said ‘Before we go any deeper into the how of this…we need to pull back and look at the what and the why—toward what end are we working here?’” said Anne Curley, spokesperson for the task force. “So that led us to say ‘Yeah, we should make the next meeting about the vision, before we look deeper into potential funding mechanisms.’”

For this event, the task force targeted leaders from Ozaukee, Washington and Waukesha counties to assure a regional vision, she said.

“We do want this to be a regional vision, not a city-focused vision,” Curley said. “We also were very intentional about inviting young professionals, because the people who are in their 20s and 30s today will be providing much of the leadership for the region by the year 2030.”

The event will include keynote addresses from Milwaukee Art Museum Director Dan Keegan and BMO Harris Bradley Center chief executive officer Steve Costello, followed by a conversation among six leaders of key regional facilities: Bert Davis, CEO of the Zoological Society of Milwaukee; Dennis Kois, CEO of the Milwaukee Public Museum; Paul Mathews, CEO of the Marcus Center for the Performing Arts; Marie O’Brien, board president of the Sharon Lynne Wilson Center for the Arts; Don Smiley, CEO of Summerfest; and Laurie Winters, executive director of the Museum of Wisconsin Art.

The speeches will be followed by structured, small group brainstorming.

All task force events are open to the public. More information about the group is available at

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