Students from the UW-Green Bay student organization Making Arts Matter, spent time recently in the State Capitol with Prof. Ellen Rosewall (Arts Management) talking to legislators about the value and benefit of the arts.
“It’s a wonderful opportunity for the students to learn more about what’s happening in the arts in Wisconsin, to meet arts leaders and to talk with their legislators. In preparation, Anne Katz, Executive Director of Arts Wisconsin, came to visit ahead of the visit and talked with the students, giving them the basics of advocacy and what we are currently advocating for,” Rosewall said.
Many of the students who could not attend wrote postcards and letters to elected officials. Some of the postcards the students made were for our federal officials, and Katz hand-delivered them when she attended National Arts Advocacy Day in Washington D.C.
“It was (recently) announced that Congress is proposing a $3 million increase in the budget for the National Endowment for the Arts — so the UW-Green Bay students were a part of a much larger advocacy effort that the students can see is paying off,” Rosewall said.
The students were recognized at the opening plenary (there was also a group from UW-Stevens Point) and as part of Anne Katz’s opening remarks, she shared one of the postcards drawn by UW-Green Bay student Taylor Tess. The students met with Dave Hansen, Rob Cowles, and the chief of staff for John Macco — all of them seemed impressed not only with the students but their poise and knowledge, according to Rosewall — and with the outlook for the arts in Wisconsin.
“One special thing for me was that there were several people attending Arts Day who were grads of our program and now working in arts management around the state. I asked several to join us for lunch and they talked about their jobs.” Among them: Kenzie Tresize (development and marketing associate, Wisconsin School Music Association), Kristina Coopman (program director, River Arts, Prairie du Sac), Laura Schley (Green Bay Public Art Coordinator), Staci Mincks (executive director, Mosaic Arts Inc.), Lynn Schemm (creative coordinator, Appleton Downtown) and Rose DeHut (executive director, Center for Visual Arts, Wausau). “It was so wonderful for the students to see successful alumni and hear how much they valued their time at UWGB!”