Warren Gerds/Critic at Large: Grants recognize arts as part of Wisconsin economic engine
GREEN BAY, Wis. (WFRV) – Wisconsin has hundreds of performing arts groups, and the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic has their many fans missing what they add to living in our state.The importance of the cultural attractions was especially noticed this year.The economic impact of the arts in Wisconsin has been recognized for decades by way of large studies. Overall, they say the impact is in the billions of dollars.In 2020, the awareness was ramped up to new levels in response to the damaging effect of the coronavirus on live performances. The government stepped in with special grants that were welcomed by recipients.Small companies like Play-by-Play Theatre of Green Bay received a bit more than $2,000. Large operations like Fox Cities Performing Arts Center in Appleton received the cap amount of $137,712.39. Green Bay’s Weidner Center for the Performing Arts and the seven University of Wisconsin campuses in Northeastern Wisconsin don’t qualify because they are state-owned.