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The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

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State arts board announces community based partnership plan

To build its relationships with partner organizations and provide more
funding to smaller institutions, the Wisconsin Arts Board plans to alter its
funding procedures for fiscal years 2008 and 2009.

The plan was announced to more than 50 Madison area residents at the
Capitol Thursday. WAB Executive Director George Tzougros led the presentation.

Over the next few months, Tzougros said the WAB plans to concentrate on
strengthening its partnerships with agencies throughout Wisconsin.

"What we're going to do [in FY 2008] is set aside money for our partner
organizations, some of them need resources," Tzougros said. "It will make our
partnerships more effective in the long run."

In FY 2009, WAB plans to further distribute its allocated money to
multiple organizations. Certain groups that have received large sums of money
will have their funds capped. This will allow smaller organizations to receive
their fair share of state dollars.

Tzougros said the WAB would also promote "creative communities"
throughout Wisconsin, which will highlight local art development like the
murals in Ashland that have spread across the city over the past few decades.

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Lt. Gov. Barbara Lawton, chair of the WAB, said she believes the modern
economy needs to be promoted in both rural and urban Wisconsin.

"Communities across the state need to have that strong culture life that
helps them develop and retain their workforce," Lawton said from Delaware
Thursday. "This economy can't be located in just Milwaukee and Madison, it is
essential in rural areas just as it is in urban areas and in every part of the
state."

Tzougros cites the overall trend for state agencies to provide
significant public value as the reason for the change.

"We now need to make sure that our program not only benefits art
organizations but also serves the interests and the needs of the people of the
state of Wisconsin," Tzougros said.

Part of the application process for grant money from WAB will now
require applicants to contact their legislators and tell them how they intend
to use funds to improve their community.

"Those folks need to not only thank the legislators for the money from
the Arts Board, but they also need to show that they've been able to do some
very valuable things in the community," Tzougros said.

Tzougros will bring the presentation to town hall meetings throughout
the state this month, and will conclude with an online presentation at the end
of the month for those who couldn't attend any of the meetings.

"We want to educate people about the trends in public value,
participation and notions related to the 'creative economy'," Tzougros said.

WAB benefits arts organizations across the state from the Madison Museum
of Contemporary Art to smaller, local art agencies. Currently, the organization
gets 44 cents per capita in Madison. Tzougros and Lawton hope to raise that to
$1 per capita, or roughly $3.1 million.

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