Arts are essential to a community’s vitality and economic development. And, Art making presents opportunities for us all to engage in healing and reconciliation, too. In Kenosha, as the community recovers from Summer 2020’s civil unrest, the Arts have been pivotal in fostering community dialogue and understanding.
View this Zoom presentation, Arts As A Vehicle To The New Kenosha recorded March 2021, where this topic of Arts as facilitator is explored in more depth by a number of local leaders; Francisco Loyola; Erica Ness; Tanya McLean.
Between 2015-2018, Extension educator, Amy Greil, served as the Chair of the City of Kenosha Commission on the Arts having spearheaded the Kenosha Creative Economy Strategic Plan. This was an expansive planning process conducted in close collaboration with the UW-Madison’s Bolz Center for Arts Administration. Aspects of the plan, including its local leadership and 4 objectives, can be found Kenosharising.com.
The 2016 Kenosha Rising project brings together the insights of local artists and localized economic data to show that the Kenosha County arts community is growing, organized and driven.
In August 2015, an online survey was conducted by the City of Kenosha Commission on the Arts, Kenosha County University of Wisconsin-Extension, and Expose Kenosha, with support from the Kenosha Community Foundation, to assess the state of the arts in Kenosha County. A total of 142 local artists participated, sharing their perceptions of the area’s strengths, challenges, and opportunities for continued growth. Then in 2016, a small team of arts advocates worked with researchers from UW-Extension to process the qualitative data presented in the survey results. Those findings including some recommendations for further study found at the link below.
Kenosha Rising is a collaboration between Extension and the following partners: