The Fight to Get More Support for Wisconsin Arts Organizations

Imagine MKE is asking for a helping hand.


This summer, the arts advocacy nonprofit Imagine MKE penned an open letter cosigned by more than 40 different arts organizations.

The letter, which begins “In times of great uncertainty, we have always turned to the arts for solace and sense-making” makes an impassioned plea for greater arts funding at the city or state level.



According to the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies, Wisconsin currently spends less per capita on arts programming than any other state in the country. And representatives from the organizations that signed the letter are worried that if something doesn’t change soon, local arts nonprofits are going to start shutting their doors for good.

Cities like Chicago and Seattle have poured millions of dollars into arts relief funds. And Lee is optimistic that, with enough public support, we might see something similar in Milwaukee.

“Our city’s artists and creators are exactly the small business entrepreneurs that we like to hold up,” Lee adds. “We need more people engaged, raising their voices in support of this.”

This story is part of Milwaukee Magazine‘s September issue.

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Lindsey Anderson covers culture for Milwaukee Magazine. Before joining the MilMag team she worked as an editor at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago and wrote freelance articles for ArtSlant and Eater.