Sights and sounds of an arts festival still stir Quigley’s heart

Tina QuigleyTina Quigley ’90, studied psychology and Human Development at UW-Green Bay. Today she is executive director of Arts Events Inc., a subsidiary of the Northeastern Wisconsin Arts Council.

She was only 13 years old when the tantalizing sights, sounds and smells of a festival grabbed hold of her imagination. Her senses have held her captive ever since.

Quigley was a volunteer for children’s activities at the annual celebration called Bayfest on the UW-Green Bay campus. Bayfest was originated and directed by her father, Tim. Now an accomplished professional, Tina runs the show via Arts Events Inc., a subsidiary of the Northeastern Wisconsin Arts Council, an organization she directed from 1996 to 2004.

“I grew up in the festival business so it’s truly in my blood,” she says. “You could say I am a bit of a ‘carny’ at heart… Each festival has a variety of spectacular activities — live entertainment, gourmet foods, exhibits, children’s events and so much more.”

With one full-time staff member, empowered committee members in leadership roles, and more than 500 volunteers, Quigley runs Bay Fest (which has since moved to downtown Green Bay), Artstreet (a Midwest showcase for the visual arts) and a winter arts festival, Arti Gras. The events generate thousands of visitors and millions in economic impact. Just as important, they enrich the community, and enliven and enlighten its culture.

Arti Gras 2009 had Quigley’s attention most recently. Thousands attended the event at Shopko Hall Feb. 7-8, to do a little shopping, listen to live music, participate in the hands-on activities, and tour the displays of 100 artists and craftspersons.

“There is something truly amazing about being involved in coordinating events that tens of thousands of people come to with their families and friends to enjoy,” Quigley says. “Knowing that people are having fun and creating lasting memories is such an incredible reward.”

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