Friday, December 1, 2017

Village of Waunakee Launches Next Phase of the Creative Economy Initiative

A new task force will lead efforts to further enhance Waunakee’s profile as a creative, innovative place to live, work, and play.


Todd Schmidt, Waunakee Village Administrator – / (608)850-5227

Sarah Bluvas, Creative Intern, Waunakee – / (608) 850-2830

The Village of Waunakee is excited to launch the next phase of the Creative Economy Initiative (CEI) with the creation of a new Creative Economy Task Force and a partnership with the Bolz Center for Arts Administration at UW-Madison.

Waunakee introduced the CEI in 2011 in an effort to identify existing sources of creativity and innovation in the Village that could be leveraged and grown into a vibrant sector of the local economy. Programs and accomplishments have included hosting the Imagination Celebration, which debuted in 2012; drafting a creative economy strategic plan in 2013; and conducting a landscape analysis of Waunakee’s creative economy profile in 2015. The CEI also served as a driving force behind creative projects such as Art on Main, Creative Wall at the Hall, community murals, and the Chalk Walk event.

On Monday, November 6, 2017, the Village Board unanimously approved the creation of a new task force to develop the next phase of this initiative. Their stated goal is to design an entity independent of the Village to encourage and implement creative economy projects, businesses, and services across Waunakee.

To assist with this undertaking, the Village also engaged a consulting group from the Bolz Center for Arts Administration. The Bolz Center was founded in 1969 as the first multidisciplinary business degree program to address the special needs of the emerging field of arts and nonprofit cultural management. Second-year MBA candidates from the program and their advisors will support the task force by conducting research, facilitating discussions and community conversations, and partnering with task force members to design mechanisms to set the new entity up for success.

A key component of the project will be a series of community conversations and town hall presentations designed to engage civic and business leaders, artists and arts organizations, residents, and other important stakeholders in the process and gain feedback from them to inform the task force’s work. Specifics for these public gatherings will be announced later this year via the Village’s media outlets; details will also be listed on the Village’s Creative Economy page on the Economic Development website:

For more information or media requests, please contact Todd Schmidt, Village Administrator/Economic Development Director, at or 608-850-5227, or Sarah Bluvas, Village Creative Intern, at or 608-850-2830.