Les Paul exhibit receives $28,000 tourism grant

Last updated on July 2nd, 2019 at 09:43 am

The Wisconsin Department of Tourism will present a Joint Effort Marketing (JEM) grant exceeding $28,000 to the Waukesha County Museum today to support the museum’s Les Paul exhibit slated to open in June.


The $28,250 one-time, one-of-a-kind grant exists to boost regional tourism and will broaden the museum’s marketing and publicity capabilities for the Les Paul collection, titled “The Les Paul: The Wizard of Waukesha” exhibit.

“The JEM grant is helping us achieve two very important things,” said Kirsten Lee Villegas, president and chief executive officer of the museum. “First, we are able to better publicize Waukesha’s significant role in making the greater Milwaukee area a national music destination. Second, we’re getting the opportunity to share one of the most inspirational stories in the industry – the life of legendary Les Paul.”

The Wisconsin Department of Tourism selected the museum as a grant recipient through an application process in which the museum highlighted how the permanent exhibit will draw outsiders to the region.

The Les Paul exhibit will feature a collection of original artifacts belonging to the famed musician and Waukesha native. Showcased items will include guitars, clothing and personal writings.

Museum officials also hope to expand the Les Paul exhibit experience to include supplementary activities and events that will further celebrate Les Paul and his impact on the Waukesha community.

“The Les Paul exhibit is only the beginning of what we envision to be a creative movement that is already burgeoning in the region,” Villegas said. “It serves as the foundation to inspire people of all ages to follow their dreams and persevere in the pursuit of their life goals.”

“The Les Paul: The Wizard of Waukesha” exhibit will open on Sunday, June 9, at 11 a.m. Museum admission costs $7 for adults, $6 for seniors age 62 and older, and $5 for college students with IDs and teenagers between ages 13 and 17. Kids ages six to 12 can gain entry into the museum for $4, and kids age five and under are admitted for free. Museum members are also admitted for free.

For more information about the Les Paul exhibit or to purchase tickets, visit www.lespaulexperience.org.

The Waukesha County Museum is located at 101 W. Main St. in Waukesha.

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