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Funding the arts is topic for upcoming meeting

There will be a community meeting to discuss increased funding for the arts and arts education in the St. Croix Valley and across Wisconsin, on July 10, noon-1:30 p.m., at The Phipps Center.

The River Falls Community Arts Base and The Phipps Center for the Arts are co-hosting the meeting.

Artists, arts organization leaders, elected officials, business people, educators and any other community member who cares about Wisconsin's future can attend to this informal brown-bag lunch networking and information-sharing meeting.

Anne Katz, executive director of Arts Wisconsin, the state's arts service, advocacy and development organization, will present information on the Wisconsin Arts Board's New Economy Funding Initiative, a new plan to increase state investment in the arts, culture, creativity and innovation. Arts Wisconsin is leading efforts to convince Gov. Jim Doyle and state legislators to support the Initiative and they are looking for input from arts and community leaders across Wisconsin to assist in the effort.

At the meeting on July 10, St. Croix Valley leaders will learn more about the details of the Initiative and what they can do to speak up for the arts and arts education in the region. More information about Arts Wisconsin and the New Economy Funding Initiative can be found at

The New Economy Funding Initiative calls for an investment of $1 per capita for the Arts Board, the state agency dedicated to culture, creativity, commerce and community, to give Wisconsin the competitive advantage it needs in the 21st century economy.

According to information provided by The Phipps Center, in 1992, the state of Wisconsin invested 59¢ per person in the Wisconsin Arts Board, ranking Wisconsin 30th in the nation for state arts agency funding. In 2008, Wisconsin ranks 43rd, at an allocation of only 44¢ per person. As a comparison, Minnesota provides $1.97 per person in state arts support, and Illinois provides 83¢ per person.

Those interested in attending may register by contacting The Phipps Center at (715)386.2305, ext. 101, or by July 7.