Wisconsin’s creative sector is a $9.6 billion industry representing more jobs than the state’s beer, biotech, or papermaking industries. It has shown resiliency during the COVID era. While the worst days of the pandemic may be over, artists and arts organizations still grapple with pandemic-related and oncoming challenges. These include workforce, audience engagement, sustainability and capacity, and rising costs. At the same time, there have been innovations and, for groups that survived, a long list of lessons learned when it comes to organizational sustainability and capacity investments. This session will offer a “backstage tour” of the last several years and a preview what lies ahead. Your tour guides will be leaders of 4 arts organizations that have persevered and see some hope for the future.
The session will offer a journal from the past several years and ideas for moving ahead that apply not only to the arts sector but to nonprofit organizations across sectors. The session is based on information gathered and lessons learned through Create Wisconsin and its Art$upport Fund’s “Journey through the Pandemic” project. Speakers represent Walkers Point Center for the Arts, Ex-Fabula, Bookworm Gardens and Woodland Pattern.